During Ramadan, we find that the time we normally spend eating is now empty space within our calendars. Our usual routine becomes amiss as we cannot fill this time with going to the gym or socialising as we do outside Ramadan. Because of this, it can be difficult knowing what to occupy our time with, and this free time can often lead to boredom.
This is the part where we log in to Netflix, scroll through TikTok or watch a movie (or two). It becomes very easy to fill this time with mindless activities as it requires little effort, and can keep us entertained for hours.
Ramadan is not just about detoxing our bodies, but our minds too, which can prove to be difficult to do in the same capacity. Modern day has brought modern problems; it’s created a digital deficiency in which we are dependent on technology for our day to day functions. Digital channels are now fundamental to our daily lives, dictating how we work, how we entertain ourselves and even how we unwind from stress.
It can be difficult to disengage from these activities; after all, they’re designed to be addictive and we are encouraged to waste time on them. However, it’s important that we use Ramadan to be more conscious of how we spend our time, and spend it on constructive things for our mind, body and soul.
What is dopamine?
Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter in our brain that’s released when we do most things, and effects various brain functions such as memory, pleasure, motivation, attention and mood to name a few. Our dopamine levels tend to be the highest when we receive random rewards.
In a new age of technology, these rewards take form of likes, tweets, shares and follows. We’re constantly consuming content online, which leads to an overstimulation of the neurotransmitter, causing a dopamine tolerance to build up.
A digital detox is exactly what is needed in Ramadan – but don’t just take my word for it. It’s also been recommended by the experts.
The science behind a digital detox
A digital detox is exactly what it sounds like – taking a step away from our digital devices and engaging in low dopamine activities.
Research highlights that engaging in a digital detox, also known as a dopamine detox, helps regulate stress and increase our happiness. By disengaging from technology, we can alleviate the feeling of feeling overloaded with information. Because of this our minds feel clearer and we can slow down. Studies have also highlighted how limiting social media use can lead to a decrease in loneliness and depression. The American Psychological Association (APA) has found that constant use of technology is one of the leading causes of stress in Americans. By engaging in a digital detox, this will decrease stress.
There are over 3 billion social media users worldwide, yet we’re still understanding the long lasting effects of overconsuming social media on our wellbeing.
It’s easy to feel swamped by the digital world. However, tuning into reality instead of seeing it through a screen can give you a new lease of life and make you appreciate the small things.
Why we should partake in a digital detox during Ramadan
Ramadan is all about cleansing our spirit, practising gratitude and detoxing from the day to day.
Engaging in a digital detox can help clear our minds and give us more time to engage in activities that truly matter.
A digital detox doesn’t mean disengaging from our phones completely. In the 21st century, our phones are necessary for communication, whether that be for work, family, friends and networking. Instead, it just means being conscious of where we spend our time, and maximising Ramadan to detox from bad habits and form new ones.