How can Ramadan affect mental health?

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims worldwide, and it is considered to be one of the most significant periods of the year. During this month, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs. Besides the spiritual benefits of Ramadan, research shows that fasting during this month can have a positive impact on mental health.



Fasting during Ramadan requires discipline and self-control. This exercise of self-control can have a positive impact on mental health by promoting self-esteem and increasing confidence in one's ability to manage impulses and urges. It can also help individuals develop better self-awareness and self-regulation skills.

When individuals can exercise self-control, they are more likely to experience a greater sense of stability in their lives, which can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.


Fasting during Ramadan also promotes empathy by encouraging individuals to feel the hunger and thirst experienced by those who are less fortunate. This can lead to a greater sense of compassion and a desire to help others, which can improve mental health and promote a sense of purpose.

By experiencing the discomfort of fasting, individuals may be more likely to empathise with those who suffer from hunger and thirst daily. This empathy can encourage individuals to take action to help those in need, leading to feelings of happiness and fulfilment.


Fasting requires focus and mindfulness. It encourages individuals to be present in the moment and to pay attention to their thoughts and feelings. This can help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as promote a greater sense of calm and clarity.

Fasting can help individuals become more aware of their body and mind, which can lead to better decision-making and a more balanced emotional state.


Fasting during Ramadan can also improve sleep patterns. Many Muslims wake up early for the pre-dawn meal (suhoor) and stay up late for the evening meal (iftar). This can help regulate sleep patterns, leading to better quality sleep and improved mental health.

Sleep is essential for maintaining good mental health, and fasting can help individuals develop better sleep habits.

Social connection

Ramadan is a time for community and connection. Breaking fast together and sharing meals with family and friends can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can have a positive impact on mental health.

During this month, individuals can strengthen their relationships with others and create a sense of belonging, which can promote positive mental health outcomes.


Fasting during Ramadan can also promote gratitude. By abstaining from food and drink, individuals can gain a greater appreciation for the blessings in their lives. This can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and promote a greater sense of well-being.

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can lead to improved mental health outcomes, including increased happiness, decreased depression, and enhanced life satisfaction.

In conclusion, fasting during Ramadan can have a positive impact on mental health in many ways. It can promote self-control, empathy, mindfulness, better sleep, social connection, and gratitude. These benefits can help individuals develop a more positive outlook on life and improve their overall well-being. By practising these habits during Ramadan, individuals can improve their mental health and well-being not just during the month, but throughout the year.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Ilford IG3 & London E7
Written by Saleha Choudhury, Diploma in Counselling | MBACP
Ilford IG3 & London E7

My name is Saleha Choudhury. I am an integrative counsellor based in Greater London. I enjoy helping people get unstuck as they work through difficult moments in their lives. I write regular blogs to keep in tabs with my readers on a regular basis. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs.

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