Stress is bad for your heart

Ways to Relieve Stress

Stress leads to muscle tension which can lead to headaches. It also triggers the release of certain chemicals within your body which can lead to migraines for some. There is no running away from it. All that matters is how you deal with it. If you feel depressed, you are not alone. It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious from time to time, but there are lots of things you can do to feel a bit better. Stress is our response to situations in our life that we experience as worthy of anxiety. 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 is anything that causes mental, physical, or spiritual tension. Regardless of age, sex, ethnicity and religion, no one is immune to the burdens of stress. Acute stress disorder affects as many as half of all people exposed to a serious or life-threatening stressor. Simply focusing your mind on the present moment can help you feel a little more relaxed. Allah says:

فَكَيْفَ تَتَّقُونَ إِن كَفَرْتُمْ يَوْمًا يَجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَانَ شِيبًا

“Then how will you guard yourselves, if you disbelieve, a Day (that) will make the children grey-haired?” (Surah Al-Muzammil 73:17)

Stress is a natural reaction to a threatening situation and enables us to react quickly in the face of danger. It can also help to motivate us to make positive changes in our lives and get things done. However, when we are stressed regularly, both physical and emotional symptoms can start to occur. Stress is one of the leading causes of insomnia, making falling asleep difficult or causing you to wake up during the night.

The signs and the causes of stress, some common are:

  1. Stress can overburden your mind with incessant worries
  2. Stress can make your digestive system go haywire
  3. Stress increases anxiety, nervousness and worry
  4. Stress is a nearly universal human experience
  5. Stress can make you irritable, and even angry
  6. Stress is controlled by your nervous system
  7. Stress can keep you from sleeping at night
  8. Stress crops up the chronic headaches
  9. Stress triggers irritability and anger
  10. Stress can affect anyone
  11. Stress can make you feel hot
  12. Stress can be acute or chronic
  13. Stress affects everybody differently
  14. Stress makes your ability to stay calm
  15. Stress can impact mental performance
  16. Stress may even find it difficult to breathe
  17. Stress is a hormonal response from the body
  18. Stress increases your risk for type 2 diabetes
  19. Stress develops a chronic high blood pressure 
  20. Stress develops to decrease your immune system

Stress is the body’s natural defence against predators and danger. It causes the body to flood with hormones that prepare its systems to evade or confront danger. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst. It’s no secret that living rightly on Earth is pretty hard. But it’s a trial to have a better life in the Hereafter. We have to be honest in life, not only with our words but also with our attitude regarding properties that do not belong to us.

Stress is something that affects everybody from time to time:

  • Seek help through Sabr: “Seek help through Sabr and Salat”. (Quran 2:45)
  • God controls Life and Death: If you fear for your physical safety and security, remember that only Allah gives life and takes it back and, that He has appointed the time for it.
  • Ask Him. He Listens, Dua: Turn each anxiety, each fear and each concern into a Dua. God listens and already knows what is in your heart, but He wants you to ask Him for what you want.
  • Remember that human responsibility is limited: While we need to carry out our duty to the best of our abilities, always remember that you don’t control the outcome of events.
  • Spend Time With Friends and Family: Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.
  • Focusing your thoughts: Keeping a journal can help relieve stress and anxiety, especially if you focus on the positive.
  • Laughter intervention: Find the humour in everyday life, spend time with funny friends or watch a comedy show to help relieve stress.
  • Stay on top of your priorities: Prioritize what needs to get done and make time for it. Staying on top of your to-do list can help ward off procrastination-related stress.
  • Learn to Say No: One way to do this may be to say “no” more often. Try not to take on more than you can handle. Saying no is one way to control your stressors.

Stress has unfortunately become a normal part of our lives. In modern society, it is one of the silent culprits that affect anyone. Continuous stress can cause negative effects on your mind, body and overall life. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated and ready to avoid danger. Stress is simply a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. Know that whatever hardships come the way that cause you stress, Allah either wants to make you strong or wants to absolve you of your sins and raise your ranks.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

  • “Seek help through Sabr and Salat.” (Quran 2:45)
  • “For indeed, with hardship comes ease.” (Quran 94:5)
  • ” If you are thankful, I will give you more.” (Quran 14:7)
  • “Allah burdens not a soul beyond its capacity.” (Quran 2:286)
  • “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah, do hearts find rest.” (Quran (13:28)
  • “When you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah.” (Quran 3: 159)
  • “Do good to others, surely Allah loves those who do good to others.” (Quran 2:195)
  • “Do not ascribe purity to yourselves. Allah knows best who is righteous.” (Quran 53:32)

Stress has many different symptoms and not everybody will experience it in the same way. When we are faced with danger, our central nervous systems switch into “fight or flight” mode. Our heart rates increase, blood vessels become narrower, and we become more mentally alert. These changes in our bodies prepare us for swift action, to either face the threat head-on or run away. We must take action, and work to alleviate the hardships, our families and our communities face. 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)

Stress is also responsible for reducing your ability to concentrate, make decisions and can even make you more forgetful. When you have a busy schedule, your mental performance suffers. It sounds weird, but facing the things that make you stressed can reduce your worry. You can test whether the situation is as bad as you expect, and learn to manage your fears. Allah says:

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ 

“Remember Me, and I shall remember you; be grateful to Me, and deny Me not.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:152)

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep your stress levels down. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, taking regular exercise and using various relaxation techniques can all help to reduce stress and improve your physical and emotional well-being. Our success depends on our sincere efforts to the best of our abilities. It is the mercy of Allah that He does not demand results, May Allah protect us from all grievances, worries, stress and depression and make us among those who walk on the right path and obey Allah, Ameen.