Emotional stress carries a heavy toll 

Deal with Emotional Challenges in Islam

Psychology in Islam is used in everyday practices but under different guises, such as spiritualism. Islam values the importance of good mental health and emotional wellbeing. The Quran can be used as a guide to those suffering from emotional distress and aims to lead people to a meaningful quality of life. Patience helps us keep our minds and attitudes towards our difficulties in check. Allah says:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

“And surely We will test you with something of [the] fear and [the] hunger and loss of [the] wealth and [the] lives and [the] fruits, but give good news (to) the patient ones.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:155)

Emotional challenges like depression are medical illness that affects how you feel, think, and act. It is more than just “the blues” or short-term feelings of grief or low energy. It can have a big impact on your life, your work, your health, and the people you care about.  Most sources of stress at work are easy to identify. Learn to know when enough is enough and you need help. Allah says:

وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ

“And whoever turns away from My remembrance, then indeed, for him (is) a life straitened and We will gather him (on the) Day (of) the Resurrection blind.” (Surah Ta-Ha 20:124)

Anxiety and constant worrying can feel like you’re drowning in a sea of never-ending problems. The Quran gives guidance to help overcome the inner turmoil that we can experience, caused by the nafs al-ammara and bring the peaceful self or nafs al-mutmainna into being. Excessive behaviour in everything is not suggested in Islam. Nothing causes more emotional distress than the thoughts we think.

Here are some ways to cope with emotional stress in Islam:

  1. Emotion does not have more to do with the human mind
  2. Emotion does not rejoice every single day of our life
  3. Emotion does not stop caring what people think
  4. Emotion does not move you in self-aware
  5. Emotion can be challenging to deal with
  6. Emotion using strong, intense language
  7. Emotion can greatly impact our lives
  8. Emotion can be particularly painful
  9. Emotion has excessive behaviour
  10. Emotion carries a heavy toll 
  11. Emotion gets angry easily
  12. Emotion is self-centred and selfish
  13. Emotion does not have self-confidence
  14. Emotion slows down in achieving goals
  15. Emotion holding grudges and unforgiving
  16. Emotion watch for constantly angry people
  17. Emotion complain endlessly about their lives
  18. Emotion is quick to shoot down your opinions
  19. Emotion causes can affect your physical health
  20. Emotion always seems to be caught up in the drama

If you always avoid situations that make you anxious, this might be stopping you from doing things you want or need to do. It sounds weird, but facing the things that make you anxious can reduce your anxiety. You can test whether the situation is as bad as you expect, and learn to manage your fears. Allah says:

وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ

“And We wanted to bestow a favour upon those who were oppressed in the land and make them leaders and make them the inheritors” (Surah Al-Qasas 28:5)

Stress is anything that causes mental, physical, or spiritual tension. Turn each worry into a Du`a, that will show your commitment to your request and will focus your energy in the right direction. Use the five daily prayers as a means to become more Hereafter-oriented.

Here are some reasons to avoid or minimize contact with Emotional Challenges:

  • Avoid the stress that they cause can affect your physical health
  • Avoid negativity slows you down in achieving your goals
  • Avoid regularly using strong, intense language
  • Avoid complaining endlessly about their lives
  • Assess how you feel around people
  • Watch for constantly angry people
  • Reflect on tactics for specific situations
  • Practice responding assertively in your life
  • Try to figure out where you could use some improvement
  • They fail to contribute anything positive to the relationship
  • They feel distrust and unnecessary negativity towards other
  • They drain you of energy and add stress and anxiety to your life

Depression is a situation where the heart feels sad, worthless, desperate and often blames himself. The main cause of depression is usually caused by stress. Islam is not just a religion but also a complete way of life. Allah says:

قَدْ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ الْمُعَوِّقِينَ مِنكُمْ وَالْقَائِلِينَ لِإِخْوَانِهِمْ هَلُمَّ إِلَيْنَا وَلَا يَأْتُونَ الْبَأْسَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

“Allah knows those who hinder among you and those who say to their brothers, “Come to us,” and not they come (to) the battle except a few.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:18)

Stress can arise because there is a problem with family, friends and even romance. Feelings of anxiety have their roots in some type of fear, be it unease, worry, apprehension, powerlessness, or a sense of danger. Anxiety is our response to life’s uncertainties.

If you are having trouble thinking of ways to help yourself:

  • Watch a movie you loved when you were younger
  • Tawakkul on Allah relying on loss or success
  • Read the story of someone you admire
  • Ask someone to just sit with you
  • Watch a funny YouTube video
  • Turn off your phone, tablet
  • Reorganize your room
  • Forget the past
  • Love and be loved
  • Focus on your senses
  • Draw how you’re feeling
  • Get a grip on your mind
  • Deal with circumstances
  • Flip the anxiety switch off
  • Make a list of your strengths
  • Make a list of solutions to problems
  • Make a list of places you want to travel
  • Do something nice for someone you know

Islamic psychology or the science of the nafs is the philosophical study of the mind from an Islamic perspective, which addresses psychology, neuroscience, philosophy of mind. The word nafs lexically refers to our soul, the psyche, heart or mind. Nafs is used to indicate ourselves. Allah says:

وَكَأَيِّن مِّن دَابَّةٍ لَّا تَحْمِلُ رِزْقَهَا اللَّهُ يَرْزُقُهَا وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ 

“How many are the creatures that carry not their sustenance? It is Allah Who feeds them and you, for He hears and knows all things.” (Surah Al-Ankabut 29:60)

Our health, wealth, and loved ones are all blessings and gifts that belong to Allah, which He lends to us for some time. We just tend to forget that they are gifts and end up attached to the gift and not as attached or thankful to the One Who blessed us with the gift, even when He, in His Infinite Mercy, chooses to take the gift away. We know that for the believer, being tested or being blessed is an opportunity for patience and gratitude.

You might have emotional challenges if:

  • You have trouble sleeping, or you sleep too much
  • You feel little interest or pleasure in life
  • You gain or lose a lot of weight
  • You feel sad or hopeless
  • You feel restless
  • You feel tired all the time
  • You feel worthless or very guilty
  • You think often about death or suicide
  • You have trouble with focus, memory, or choices

Negative emotions like fear, sadness, and anger are a basic part of life and sometimes we struggle with how to deal with them effectively. It can be tempting to act on what you’re feeling right away, but that often doesn’t fix the situation that caused the emotions. It may lead to more problems to deal with down the road. Allah says:

إِن نَّشَأْ نُنَزِّلْ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ آيَةً فَظَلَّتْ أَعْنَاقُهُمْ لَهَا خَاضِعِينَ

“If We will, We can send down to them from the sky a Sign so would bend their necks to it (in) humility.” (Surah Ash-Shu`ara` 26:4)

How to Deal with Depression and Anxiety According to Quran:

  • “Seek help through Sabr and Salat.”. (Quran 2:45)
  • “For indeed, with hardship comes ease.” (Quran 94:5)
  • “When you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah.” (Quran 3: 159)
  • And if there should come to you guidance from Me – then whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray (in the world) nor suffer (in the Hereafter).” (Quran 20: 123)
  • “And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell (rendered) contemptible.” (Quran 40: 60)
  • “And never give up hope of Allah’s soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah’s soothing mercy, except those who have no faith.” (Yusuf 12:87)

Remember: there’s a difference between feeling stressed now and then, and experiencing ongoing anxiety. If the stress or anxiety is starting to take a toll and you’re looking for ways to deal with anxiety, consider talking to a mental health professional. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ 

“O you who believe! Resort to patience and prayer; surely, Allah is with the patient.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:153)

If we as a society are to move forward and remove the stigma associated with mental health, the first thing we should do is not emphasise unjustified prejudices and put more hate into the world. We should all push for the same common goal of love and humility in a place where people can live free from fear.