Fasting in the month of Ramadan has social, spiritual, physical and mental benefits. The researches have shown that fasting and calmness are related to each other. If an individual is committed towards the real essence of fasting, he will not only suffer less from depressions and mental disturbances but will also lead a satisfied life. In this article we will discuss both the scientific and religious aspects of fasting benefits on your mental and physical health. Islam has stated fasting as a way to live healthy life and the medical researchers have also proved the same thing today. Fasting can be a way to keep your diet in a perfect balance and help you to fight many physical and mental diseases. During the fast, metabolism rate of the body slows down and the body allows energy conservation.
Fasting teaches us self-control and balance and for this reason a survey conducted showed reduced crime rate and poverty level during the religious month of fasting. The economic system gets better and the society also gets responsible during the month of Ramadan as people are attracted towards good deeds and perform religious duties in a better way. Let us first look into the physical benefits of fasting and explore the ways fasting helps us to stay fit and healthy.
Physical benefits of Fasting:
Our bodies are on the constant move all the time and perform its functions in perfect timings and manner just like a machine does. Just as the machines need repair and care to go smooth, our bodies also require rest and care to repair and revitalize. Fasting allows our bodies to go on a small vacation to relax and take time to get healed. Allah has designed our bodies in such a way that they have their own different ways to heal.
While we observe religious fasts we abstain from eating and drinking and this means a time-out from food intake. Your only job is to do good deeds and keep yourself away from all impurities and give rest to your stomach and body. This provides a resting chance to your digestive system from the daily routine. This also helps in providing relaxation time to the body and the repair and healing process begins. The break which the body gets is utilized in refreshing the body mechanism.
Fasting cleans the body toxins and impurities by the method of detoxification. It can help people suffering from skin diseases, digestive complaints, asthma problem and allergies. The main reason of such physical improvements is the healing time provided to the body. This can also be helpful in treating other small health related issues and many doctors in the western world are asking their patients to fast and go on a cleansing diet to treat some medical conditions. To remain in good shape and health, fasting is recommended by many religious scholars and also by medical experts. There are several books by doctors which explain how fasting can act as therapies to get rid of illnesses.
One other physical benefit you can obtain from fasting is “Weight control”. Fasting teaches you self-control and hunger management. You can start your diet by being on fast and eating healthy. In this way you will consume fewer calories and at the same time gain energy by eating healthy. Being hungry will not solve your weight issues but will teach you how to stay away from the food you don’t have to eat if you are on diet. You automatically feel light when you are on fast and a proper diet plan can assist you in controlling or even losing weight in a healthy way during religious fasting.
Mental benefits of fasting:
Jealousy, frustration, negativity, bad habits, pessimist thinking, anger and depressive thoughts can disturb a human mind in a very serious manner. The human brain is very strong but these emotions can turn the switch off and a person cannot live a happy satisfied life until his mind is at peace. If the mind is calm and working properly, it can generate positivity and countless emotions which will change his life into a prosperous and happy experience. If the mind gets distracted and moves on to the negative path it can ruin your life as you lose control over your moods and anger. For this reason it is very important that your mind stay relaxed and calm and gets positivity so that it generates optimistic energy. The tranquility and peacetime can only be attained if the worldly connection is switched with the connection of Allah. Worldly desires and complicated lives have made it difficult to get some time out to connect with Allah and for this reason fasting serves as a best medium to join that link of meditation with God.
Fasting not only re-energizes the body but also stimulates our mind and help in the regeneration of cells which bring peace and calmness to our brains. Fasting has been a source of spiritual uplift and the person connects easily towards God as his mind is also at ease during the fasts. When a person is fasting, the mental functions are stabilized and the nervousness within a person is reduced. This improves the mental alertness and the mind becomes healthy. Fasting can help you to get rid of the addictions like alcohol and smoking. In this way your body becomes healthy and the chemicals released in the brain helps you to fights against your addiction. Thus the brain and body both becomes healthier and the dependence on such addictive things is also relieved.
The mind becomes more focused and clear during a fast. The mental and emotional balance created during a fast can assist in learning how to control your emotions and mental state. Fasting is recommended to people who are depressed and going through a stressful situation in life. Once your mind is focused and clear, your decision making ability will improve and you can handle difficult situations easily. Mental health brings in a new approach in your thinking pattern as the ideas start flowing on how effortlessly you can manage your life.
Religious fasting not only makes you gain the will power but it also infuses the feeling of deep gratitude and tolerance. The deprivation from food and drink along with the control over desires enhances the sense of taste and smell and the mental relaxation can be felt when a person ends his fast with the scrumptious meal. Each sip of water taken gives a feeling of satisfaction and the brain gets the signals of being contended and gratified.
Meditations and prayers are an excellent source of energy for the mind. Concentration, focus, peace and easiness are combined and this is all what the mind has when a person is praying or mediating. Religious fasting provides our mind and body with a great opportunity to attain all the benefits of fasting. In the above article we discussed how fasting can help in controlling weight and in some cases causes weight loss and you can get rid of the obesity issue. When the person is observing a fast the fat reserves break down and the toxins are eliminated causing detoxification of the body. The rest given to the digestive system helps in resolving the inflammation and digestive problems. Allergies and asthma can be controlled being on fasts. Medical researchers have also commented that fasting stimulates the drying process of the abnormal fluids (like edema) that accumulates in the ankles and areas around legs. Eating healthy and correct diet after and before the fast can also help in reducing the blood pressure issue. People who fast reported that fasting has improved their taste buds and they enjoy eating the food more. Fasting can lead you to a healthy lifestyle by providing you ways to calm your mind soul and body. Ramadan the religious month of fasting is given to the Muslims as a gift of Allah as this month beholds great rewards and benefits for the people who fully avail the blessings of Ramadan. The teachings and learning from this month should be carried forward throughout the year and the devotion we show in this month should be a part of our daily lives.
Muslims have always believed on the benefits of fasting but now the modern researches and doctors have also shown how healthy fasting is and the misconception about fasting that it leads to low energy and starving along with a misunderstanding that it is not good for health are all removed. May Allah accept our prayer and fasting and guide us to the straight path that leads to His happiness. Have a blessed Ramadan and share with us your views about the article and also contribute your views about other mental and physical benefits of fasting.