If you ever experienced unexplained aches and pains, sleeping and breathing trouble, exhaustion, stomach digestive problems, irritability and lack of motivation? All these denotes that you might go through stress. and deal stress in Islamic ways of reaction occurs naturally as a response to life events, but it needs to be addressed when it becomes prolonged and severe. While seeking professional help is advised in chronic situations, Islam teaches us how to deal stress in Islamic ways. Let’s focus on these 5 tips to effectively manage stress in Islamic way.
1. Remembrance of Allah ﷻ
Beyond being obligatory acts, Salah, Dhikr, Duas and Qur’an serves as most effective deal stress in Islamic ways.
As Muslims, to know our Lord is in control of everything that happens is a gift. If we find ourselves derailed and in a position to reach out for help, Salah should be our first priority. Allah ﷻ says in the Qur’an, ‘And seek help through patience and prayer…’ [Surah Al-Baqarah: 45] Put all your heart and stand before your Lord ﷻ and pour out about all that distresses you. Prayer helps us actively deal with the stressors of our life, if we have faith.
Another powerful tool that Islam has blessed us with, is Dhikr (remembrance of Allah ﷻ). It is said in the Qur’an, ‘Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest…’ [Surah Ar-Rad: 28] Adhkar can be done as and when we carry out our daily tasks for example, when you drive or when you cook or we can take out time for it from our routine. Engaging in dhikr, with a staunch belief in Allah ﷻ in His Qadr, would lighten and ease our heart.
‘Call upon me I will respond to you…’ [Surah Al-Ghafir: 60] Indeed it is a promise of our Lord that He will respond to our calls. There are a lot of duas in the Qur’an and in the sunnah that we can learn and ask our Rabb. Talking to Allah ﷻ about our problems and asking Him to help us through it will be a major life-changing factor in stress management.
2. Being Mindful
Mindfulness is maintaining awareness of things happening within us and around us. Let us take a look on how mindfulness serves as a tool in stress management in Islam.
Mindfulness is a proven technique against stress and incorporating it in our life would help us manage stress to a great extent. There are lot of ways in which we can adapt mindfulness in our life as believers making it an excellent Islamic way to reduce stress. A few of them being- Maintaining khushoo in Salah, Self-awareness and self-introspection and seeking forgiveness.
‘Successful indeed are the believers: those who humble themselves in prayer;’ [Surah Al-Muminoon: 1-2] Humility and focus are the essence of our worship. Haste in prayer not only deprives us from its validity and rewards but from the entire benefits we could obtain from Salah. Taking time out, intending to pray just for the sake of Allah ﷻ and focusing completely on every word and every action of the Salah would help us stay connected with our Lord, our spiritual self and would give us a break from our daily stressors and worldly affairs.
We go about our mundane life and routine without actually sparing time for self-introspection. When you divert your thoughts into your own self about your deeds and start taking accountability for it, it would actually be a source of relief. Similarly reflecting also could be pondering over the miracles of Allah ﷻ, His signs, His favours and His blessings in our life and this would be an amazing stress management technique to deal stress in Islamic way as suggested.
3. Making Isthigfar
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud, Riyad as-saaliheen 1873].
Seeking forgiveness reveals that you have reflected upon your deeds, acknowledged them, accepted them and owned accountability for them. When you accept what you have done is wrong and when you ask forgiveness for it believing that Allah ﷻ, the Entirely merciful, will forgive you, what better stress relief can you have. Making istighfar regularly proves to be an effective technique to deal stress in Islamic way of stress management in Islam.
4. Taking Care of Oneself
Our beloved Prophet ﷺ has said, ‘Your body has a right over you…’ [Sahih Al-Bukhari 5199] Taking good care of our body is an obligation upon each of the believing Muslim. Indeed a strong believer is better than a weak one. Hence it is important to exercise, eat and sleep properly. Engaging in self-care is a primary weapon against stress. When you focus on building yourself you put behind worries and are often prepared to face them. Lets see how self-care benefits as an Islamic way to reduce stress.
Exercising- we know how active a person was our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Lot of evidences suggest that our Prophet ﷺ encouraged archery, swimming and horse riding. Exercising has scientifically been proven to give physical and mental health benefits and an active fighter of stress. If you cannot spare time for exercising here are few things you can do-
- Take up stairs instead of elevator
- Walk/ use bicycle instead of car or bike
- Hand wash your car or bike
- Clean your house or do gardening
- Walk on your lunch break
5. Being Content and Grateful
Allah ﷻ clearly states in the Qur’an, ‘So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.’ [Surah Al Baqarah: 152] When you count your blessings and feel grateful for what you already have, you cultivate a sense of contentment and fulfilment in your life. People who tend to be more grateful stay far away from stress, anxiety and depression. Moreover Allah ﷻ promises that he will give more to those who are grateful. You can practice gratitude by writing down notes, filling gratitude jars or having a gratitude journal. Be grateful for it is an ideal Islamic way to reduce stress.
These are few of many tips that we could incorporate to successfully manage stress, in sha allah.
May Allah ﷻ forgive us and alleviate our distress. Aameen.