How to be Free From Anxiety, Depression and Negative Thoughts?
Life is not perfect, we are not in heaven – we are in the world, living. If you have heard anyone saying that sadness and anxiety meant that we do not have faith, and Allah does not love us, that is not true.
Every one of us experienced worries and sadness in our life. Even the prophets (pbut) experienced these feelings. Here are the five (5) things we can do when we are sad, backed by scientific and psychological research shared by Dunia Shuaib, an inspirational speaker and author:
- Breathing exercise
Breathing technique helps to change the way we feel. It’s free and we can do it anytime.
How to breathe the right way?
Take a deep breath – Hold it for 5 seconds – Release it slowly in 5 seconds
Research said that by doing it for five times can lower our level of anxiety and sadness. If you have ever met any experts, one of the first things that they will help you with is the right breathing techniques.
- Turn to the God
Ask help from the healer of the heart. After the loss of Khadijah, Rasulullah (saw) had the most difficult day in his life. Allah then gifted him five daily prayers to relieve his sadness. Du’a and and reading the Holy Quran are the powerful tool to treat our heart as well.
Here’s the du’a that we can practise:
اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّي أَعْوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَـمِّ وَ الْحُـزْنِ، والعًجْـزِ والكَسَلِ والبُخْـلِ والجُـبْنِ، وضَلْـعِ الـدَّيْنِ وغَلَبَـةِ الرِّجال
O Allah, I seek refuge in you from grief and sadness, from weakness and from laziness, from miserliness and from cowardice, from being overcome by debt and overpowered by men (i.e. others).
According to the research, prayer proves to help lessen the feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Look for the good
When we practise gratitude, we increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin, our brain will give us happiness. Think of the blessings in our life and try to be grateful. When we are grateful, even when we are in pain and tested, our sins will be expiated.
Studies proved that when we smile, it could lead to a change of mood even if we force it. Another study showed that even when there is something in our mouth that could bring our lip corners up, it could change our mood. The prophet (saw) once said:
- Spend time with your loved ones
Do you know who did Rasulullah go to when he felt anxious or worried? He went to Khadijah and found the support in her. After all, we are social creatures. Physical touch from someone we love and care can become as effective as antidepressants.
The same result was found in a study on women who went through postpartum depression. When they held their husbands, hug and touch them, they found that it reduced the depression on these women.
The most important thing is try to reach out to others when you are overwhelmed with these kinds of emotions. If it persists and affects your life, seek mental health professionals.
Watch the full video of this inspirational talk by Dunia Shuaib on YouTube.