Fasting is good for general well-being
Most people know that Ramadan is a month of abstaining from food, drink, and other substances from sunrise to sunset. But what most people often overlook is that Ramadan is also a month that invites us to have an inner experience and to deepen our connection with the things that matter: our God, our family, our community and ourselves.
Here are some benefits that you can enjoy during the month of Ramadan if you approach this month with consideration:
- Fasting helps clear your head. Some might think that fasting makes them more tired and less focused, but it doesn’t. The first week of detoxification from substances and foods is the most difficult. Most people feel exhausted and dehydrated as they adjust to a new diet and sleep plan. However, once you get past the first week, you’ll find yourself with more energy, more clarity, and less need for all the substances that cloud your brain like gluten and sugar.
- Fasting creates a space for you to connect to your higher power. Whether it is God or your higher self, fasting allows for a deeper connection with the spirit. When we refrain from eating and drinking we have less physical energy to expend, we are forced to sit still and create space to connect with our spiritual selves.
- Fasting cultivates values such as gratitude and generosity. When we fast, the values that are effortlessly present in the hearts and minds of people are generosity and gratitude. As we struggle all day without food and drink, we are reminded of those who are less fortunate and live lives where they do not get enough food in one day. When we finally take a sip of water at sunset, it reminds us of those for whom drinking water is a luxury they cannot afford every day. These moments encourage us and inspire us to give to those who are less fortunate.
- Fasting shows you that you already have discipline. Throughout the year, we make resolutions and plan to limit or stop eating certain foods or break certain addictions but succumb to bad habits. During the month of Ramadan, we are reminded that we already have what it takes to break certain habits and make new ones. We all say no to cravings all day long, we all shift our thoughts from focusing on desires to more meaningful thoughts or prayers, and we all have a sudden willpower that we lacked days before. The month of Ramadan shows us that when our “why” is clear, we can do whatever we set out to do.
- Fasting reminds you of what matters most: relationships. Whether it’s being connected to God, to our family, to our community or to ourselves, we are reminded of how good it is to be connected to others and to ourselves. When we feel connected to the things that matter, we feel grounded, confident and less alone.
So, when you refrain from eating and drinking during the holy month, consider and be aware of how it affects your mind, body, and soul in order to get the maximum benefit from Ramadan.