‘You switch off from all the noise’: How Ramadan helps our mental health
Tahseen is one of the two billion Muslims around the world who are currently observing Ramadan.
For the next month, followers of Islam will spend time on reflection, increased worship, charity, community and fasting.
It’s a time of self-evaluation and improvement – a chance to strengthen the bonds with faith, God and the community.
And for many, this disciplined routine and focus on mindfulness is a great boost for their mental health.
Tahseen, from Manchester, has anxiety, and says Ramadan is helpful in managing her condition. ‘As Ramadan is a time to pray and reflect, this helps me to remain calm and stay grounded, which enables me to adapt better coping mechanisms if any anxiety symptoms do arise.
‘I definitely feel my symptoms of feeling restless, on edge and overthinking are significantly reduced in Ramadan.
‘It allows me to take a look inwards and reconnect with myself. The hustle and bustle of daily life often makes us lose sight of what is important.’
However, she also has to adapt her some of her usual coping mechanisms to due to the challenges that the month can bring.
‘I find that the gym is really helpful for my mental wellbeing but in Ramadan I cannot commit to intensive workouts, so I will try to schedule in a daily ten minute walk, which helps refresh my mind and ensure I am still getting my body moving.’
Nubaid Haroon, 31, also says that Ramadan eases his anxiety. ‘For me Ramadan is all about focus,’ he explains. ‘I’m fortunate to say I haven’t suffered from depression but anxiety is a regular occurrence – during Ramadan my focus is all on my inner beliefs which allows me to stay in the present moment which is not something that we get to do in our everyday lives.
‘During Ramadan you switch off from all the noise and become one with the idea of being here, today and not anywhere else.’
Source of data and images: metro