The present world is making various efforts to make human life easy and comfortable. But it is a sad but actual fact that despite the abundance of nobility and luxury, mental unrest is increasing among people today. As a result, people’s lives are filled with despair, sadness, and misery. So, depressed people are realizing that money or possessions may bring temporary happiness, but long-term peace requires something else. However, physical or mental stress, depression, and anxiety may affect every human being to a greater or lesser extent. But what remains to think about is how quickly one is recovering from those dispositions. The great guidelines of Islam provide us with infallible instructions to overcome these unwanted frustrations in our life. Therefore, in order to have a painless life our theme today is Islamic ways to get relief from depression, stress, and anxiety.
What is Depression, Stress, and Anxiety
According to WHO, Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, it is estimated that 5% of adults suffer from the disorder. It is characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities. It can also disturb sleep and appetite. Tiredness and poor concentration are common. Depression is a leading cause of disability around the world and contributes greatly to the global burden of disease. The effects of depression can be long-lasting or recurrent and can dramatically affect a person’s ability to function and live a rewarding life.
UNICEF says that Depression is one of the most common types of mental health conditions and often develops alongside anxiety. Depression can be mild and short-lived or severe and long-lasting. Some people are affected by depression only once, while others may experience it multiple times.
According to WHO, stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain. Stress is your body’s response to anything that requires attention or action. Everyone experiences stress to some degree. The way you respond to stress, however, makes a big difference to your overall well-being. Stress affects both the brain and body. A little bit of stress is suitable for people to perform and protect themselves but too much stress can overwhelm them leading to a fighting, flight, or freeze response. So learning how to cope with stress is important for our mental and physical well-being.
UNICEF says: Anxiety is the feeling you get when you’re worried or scared about something. It is a natural, human feeling of fear or panic. Afterward, we usually calm down and feel better. Small amounts of worry and fear can help keep us safe and protect us from danger. But sometimes anxiety can make us feel like things are worse than they actually are and can feel overwhelming. Constant worry can lead to prolonged anxiety.
Reason for Depression, Stress, and Anxiety
We Get frustrated, Stressed, and Anxious: because we-
- Don’t get everything as we expect
- Fall into various problems, dangers, accidents, or sorrows.
- Worry About the Future
- Compare ourselves with others
- Take certain goals as challenges
- Get sick
- Lose something we love
- Consider certain problems chronic
- Become needy
- Get deceived by others
- Get scared of something
- Feel lonely
Islamic Perspective on Depression, Stress, and Anxiety
We often suffer from depression, stress, and anxiety in different steps of our life. This can stem from some unknown or known reason. There is hardly any person in the present age who has not suffered from such problems at some point in his life. But in the Islamic view, depression, stress, and anxiety are some nonsense topics through which no Muslims can be covered with. The Holy Qur’an states:
“And never give up hope of Allah’s Mercy. Certainly, no one gets despairing of Allah’s Mercy except the disbelievers.” Al-Yusuf: 87
Despondency, worry, or despair is incompatible with faith in Allah Almighty. In various verses of the Holy Qur’an, our Lord forbids us from despairing of His Mercy after belief. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has inspired us to lead a life free from depression, stress, and anxiety.
“And those who disbelieve in the verses of Allah and the Meeting with Him, it is they who have no hope of My Mercy.” Al-Ankabut: 23
Almighty Allah has given us this worldly life only to test our actions. That’s why we often face various good and bad situations in our life. All these things are just elements to test us. So, we never should focus on this worldly life instead of righteous deeds. Therefore, Islam guides us to live a life of gratitude, hope, and patience against despair, stress, and anxiety.
“Who has created death and life, that He May test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” Al-Mulk: 02
” And certainly, I shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives, and fruits. But give glad tidings to the patient ones.” -Al Baqarah: 155
Islamic Guidelines to Get Relief from Depression, Stress, and Anxiety
Believe in Your Fate
Belief in fate is a fundamental condition of Islam. We believe that all the adversities we face at different stages of our lives are predestined. Therefore, we should accept these problems as a matter of destiny. Belief in destiny makes all the sufferings easy to feel, observe, and overcome. By doing this, we can quickly get relief from depression, stress, and anxiety.
The famous Islamic scholar of Bangladesh Prof. Dr. Abdullah Jahangir (R) states:
Belief in the destiny of Islam makes the Muslim action-oriented. As a result, people get rid of all depression, stress, and anxiety. The Muslim knows that his duty is to act, and worrying about the results is meaningless in his life. Because the result is in the hands of a Being who knows him better than himself, who loves him, who is kind, and who does not oppress anyone. So, the believer works without anxiety. Belief in destiny protects Muslims from arrogance, exuberance, and despair. He does not become arrogant when there is success or blessing in his life. He knows that he has achieved success by the will and mercy of Allah. His heart overflowed with gratitude.
On the other hand, the believer is not disheartened by failure or defeat. He believes that according to the will and knowledge of Allah SWT he has received the result, surely there is some good in it. He knows that he will surely be rewarded by Allah for his efforts and actions. Therefore, he does not despair and tries to remove the mistakes of his actions according to the instructions of Allah, leaving the responsibility for the results to Allah SWT.
Remember Allah SWT
A true believer never gets frustrated and disappointed. Almighty Allah has filled your life with so many blessings of happiness and comfort. Compared to these luxuries, your level of suffering is really very small. Be grateful for the blessings and praise your Lord. Because He is the only one who reserves the power to fulfill all your needs. Remember, Allah is with you. So, ask him for help. Chant him more in times of trouble or distress. Surely, He bestows peace in the hearts of those who remember and praise Him more.
” Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” – Ar Ra’ad: 18
On the other hand, those who stay away from the remembrance of Allah SWT suffer from depression, stress, and anxiety despite having abundance in their lives. As a result, happiness, peace, and joy vanish from their lives forever. As Allah SWT says:
” But whosoever turns away from My Remembrance, verily, for him is a life of hardship.” At Ta Ha: 124
Lower Your Expectation
A highly ambitious person can never get relief from frustration, stress, and anxiety in his life. Hazrat Ali said, “To prolong the desire is to destroy the character with one’s own hands.” The greater our desire, the greater the want. And if the lack is more, the shortage will be more. Correspondingly, the greater the lack of achievement, the greater the frustration. And out of frustration, you will develop stress and anxiety.
Contentment with little is one of the tools for building a believing character and leading to a happy life. He who can attain this unique quality of contentment with little has no regrets in the hundred miseries and imperfections of life. He is satisfied with the prescribed life given by Allah. Well-being and success are rooted in contentment with little. Because the pursuit of overindulgence, ambition, and excessive luxury makes people extremely depressed and restless.
Therefore, acquiring the quality of contentment with little is essential for a happy and peaceful life. A true believer is always grateful to the Almighty Allah for what He has bestowed upon him. He considers all his achievements as special favors from the great Lord. So, he does not suffer the agony of not having or being deprived. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah SWT forbids us to be highly ambitious and competitive for any worldly achievement.
” The mutual rivalry to piling up worldly things diverts you. Until you visit the graves (die). Nay (It shouldn’t), you shall come to know.” -At Takathur: 1-3
Take Things Easy
You may feel that the problems you are suffering from are really unbearable. But remember that you are not the only unhappy person in this world. Look around you. Try to realize how many people are living extremely inhumane lives right now. And try to know how many people are deprived of their minimum food, clothing, or other basic needs. See how many are drowning in disease, grief, and poverty. Try to understand that you are not the only one in the world who suffers the pain of losing. Learn to fully understand that our life is a combination of happiness and sorrow, joy and pain, achievement and loss. So, take your suffering easy and have faith that it will go away very soon. Because with every grief there is relief.
“So verily, with the sufferings, there is a relief.” Al-Inshirah: 05
Patience is one of the greatest virtues of the righteous. A believer accepts the various complications, adversities, or sufferings of worldly life as a test from Allah Ta’ala for him. Also, he prays to Allah for relief from these complications and continues to do his work with patience. So, don’t despair in your sad times instead of being patient. Consider these difficulties as a special test of God for you and strive to succeed in this test. Remember, Allah, the Almighty tests His beloved servants with various dangers, hardships, torments, sorrows, etc. So, seek His help and Inshallah, your troubles will pass very soon. But if you get impatience then certainly you must face more difficulties in your survival.
“Verily, Man is in the loss. Except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth, and recommend one another to patience.” Al-Asr:1-3
Salat keeps us from all evil and useless deeds. A prayerful person is always in control of his character, desires, aspirations, and limitations. He is always loyal to the great Lord and depends on him alone for all his needs. For the sole purpose of attaining the pleasure of Allah, he considers all materialistic benefits unimportant. Thus, he attains self-purification and tranquility in his life. As a result, no enemy or adverse situation in his life can make him depressed. So, performing Salat regularly is very important to get relief from depression, stress, and anxiety.
Besides, Salat is the best way to seek help from the Almighty Allah. It is narrated in the hadith that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to pray Salat when He was faced with a difficult problem. (Abu Dawood). His companions were also used to this task. They used to stand in Salat even for the smallest matters. Most importantly, Allah SWT himself instructs us to pray Salat when we need to seek His help.
” O you who believe! Seek help in patience and Salat. Truly, Allah is with the patient ones.” -All Baqarah: 153
Recite the Qur’an
The Qur’an is the greatest wonder of the universe given by Allah SWT. The divine power inherent in each of Its verses gives you a heavenly feeling. This great message of the Creator has been sent to mankind to guide your life on the path of truth, beauty, and peace. Recitation of the Qur’an along with regular prayers will make you pure, purified, and holy. All worldly troubles, weariness, and regrets will be removed with the help of this infallible word of the great Lord. With the proper application of its underlying understanding and teachings, your life will be happy, peaceful, and prosperous. Because the Quran is the solution to all problems for believers. Therefore, Almighty Allah says,
” And We send down from the Qur’an which is the healing and the mercy for the believer.” – Al Israa: 82
Don’t be Vindictive
We are sometimes insulted, hurt, cheated, or abused by others. And as a result, we become vindictive which puts us under a lot of stress and makes us vulnerable. Again, we do not all have the same person, family, or social status. Every one of us is unique and different, whether it’s an ability or financial situation. Although these differences are normal differences in the world, they often create resentment in us. As a result, we engage in unhealthy competition. As a result, we suffer from mental turmoil and anxiety. The great ideals of Islam teach us to be forgiving as opposed to vindictive and benevolent rather than revengeful. So, to get relief from depression, stress, and anxiety, we need to get rid of revenge tendencies first.
It is said that an idle mind is the devil’s factory. The thing is, when you lead a lazy life, you are consumed by various meaningless thoughts. Various failures in life or bad times in the past make you depressed. So, you gradually become bored with your life. Your stress increases and you suffer from depression. Laziness also damages you physically. As a result, you get sick easily. You can do physical exercise regularly to become more active and stronger physically and mentally. Hence, there is no alternative to being energetic and diligent to get relief from depression, stress, and anxiety from our life.
Lead a Social Life
Are you feeling lonely? Then you should know that loneliness is one of the main causes of depression, fear, or anxiety. Taking the opportunity of loneliness, the devil puts various evil suggestions in you, as a result of which you are immersed in all the terrible ideas. You have no one to support you in your illness, grief, or sorrow. As a result, gradually resentment comes towards your life. So, you suffer from various mental and physical disturbances and stress. Islam asks us to live a family and social life so that we can share the various adversities with each other. Social life inspires you to live together with your loved ones. Life becomes easy, peaceful, and enjoyable with parents, brothers and sisters, relatives, and neighbors. And if you are staying somewhere alone leaving your nearest, then try to connect with them via phone calls or social media. We hope it will be helpful for you to get relief from depression, stress, and anxiety.
Istighfar frees our mind from sadness and gives us hope for the help of Almighty Allah. Allah forgives our sins if we ask for more forgiveness. When the servant repents for his deeds and makes Du’a to Him, He accepts and solves all his problems. So, in our sad times when we get depressed or worried, we should ask Him for forgiveness more and more instead of breaking down. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said,
“Whoever asks for forgiveness regularly, Allah SWT will remove all his problems.” He will solve his problem, remove all his worries and provide for his sustenance from unimaginable sources.”. (Abu Dawud)
Du’a is the weapon of the believers. Making Du’a means seeking help from Allah SWT. A true believer believes that Allah has the omnipotent power to turn evil into good, and sufferings or sorrows into happiness. So, he relies on the great Lord to get all his problems solved. The Great Almighty says:
” And whoever relies upon Allah with trust, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose.” – At-Talaq: 03
By praying to the Almighty Allah, he seeks His refuge from all his sufferings and distresses. According to the Hadith, Allah SWT changes the predestined fate of people through Du’a if He wills. And indeed, Allah SWT loves to see His servants invoking Him with trust for asking for any help.
” And your Lord said: Invoke Me (ask Me for anything), I will respond to your invocation.” -Al Mumin: 60
That’s why, the great Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) teaches us some magnificent Du’a to get relief from depression, stress, and anxiety. So, we should recite this Du’a more and more.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ، وَالْعَجْزِ وَ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ، وَ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ ضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ، وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ
Meaning: O Allah! Surely, I seek Your refuge from anxiety and sorrow, I seek Your refuge from idleness and laziness, I seek Your refuge from miserliness and timidity and I also seek Your refuge from the burden of debt and oppression of people. – (Bukhari, Muslim)
Depression, stress, and anxiety do not last long in the life of a true believer. The noble guidance of Islam strongly influences a believer in every walk of life in various situations. As a result, a Muslim finds in his life the ultimate meaning of living. Because a Muslim believes that all worldly sufferings, happiness, or joys are only elements of blessings and trials from Almighty Allah. Nothing in this world is permanent. Through proper deeds, patience, and seeking Allah’s help, he strives to succeed in these trials and surrenders the results of his actions to his Almighty Lord. At one point in His prophetic life, the Prophet (PBUH) fell into depression due to a break in revelation and became anxious and broke down mentally. Then the Great Lord Almighty consoled Him,
“Your Lord (O Muhammad (PBUH)) has neither forsaken you nor hated you. And indeed, the Hereafter is better for you than the present. And verily, your Lord will give you so that you shall be well-pleased.” Ad-Dhuhaa:3-5
“Have I not opened your breast for you (O Muhammad (PBUH))? And removed from your burden, which weighed down your back? And raised your fame? So verily, with the hardship, there is relief.” Al-Inshirah: 1-5
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