Ever heard of the saying “An idle mind is a devils workshop”? It’s been engraved in our minds but we don’t really realise how important it is to keep ourselves away from idleness!
Keeping yourself occupied is the bestest way to get over the sad days, if Allah wills! As soon as you realise that your mind is going on the wrong thinking track, immediately occupy yourself with something productive. This way you not only save yourself from sinking into depression but also make productive use of your time!
Productive Muslim mailing list had a series for a few weeks in which the brother gave us some tips on helping managing our emotions.
The set of tools below are called “Body Hacks!”, i.e. what you need to do to your body in order to manage your emotions. Here they are:
1. Good Exercising: Exercise is a great way to feel positive and good about yourself even though you’re emotionally down. Whenever you feel stressed/depressed, a simple quick jog, or running around the block will put you in positive mood. Try it and let me know!
2. Healthy eating: If you’re feeling low, and you’re hungry, you’ll feel worse. You might not feel like eating when you’re anxious or stressed, but that’s the best thing you can do to fuel your body and your positive emotions. (Now careful here, don’t go the other extreme and over-eat either! Have a balanced meal).
The above 2 tips, although sound simple and basic but they work! I admit, they won’t cure you emotionally on their own, but they’ll get you on the right foot to tackle your negative emotions inshaAllah.
Next set of tips is on ‘Mental Hacks’, ways to tackle your mind so that you don’t get emotionally distraught about things and able to manage your emotions. Here’s what to do:
1. Write it down: There’s nothing more powerful in managing your emotions then simply writing what you’re going through on paper. Some people worry that others might read what they’ll write, don’t worry, simply write it down and then throw it in the bin. You don’t have to keep these thoughts stored anywhere. You’re simply trying to off-load your mind with all sorts of negative thoughts that are affecting your emotions.
2. Talk to somebody: Holding it in or ‘Imploding’ will kill you emotionally and make your life really difficult. Talk to a trusted friend or family member of what you’re going through and notice how you’ll feel far better afterwards.
3. Mind vs. Heart: Normally, whenever you’re going through emotionally difficult, a tug-of-war occurs between your logical brain and your emotional heart. Sometimes the emotional heart can go to the extreme and think it’s the end of the world for you and you’ll never be the same and you’ll never heal emotionally..etc., however, this is when sometimes using your logical brain to calm things down can help. Give each issue you face it’s true magnitude, think of Pros and Cons, think what could be the worst case scenario…etc. Simply using your logical brain in emotional situations can help you calm down and deal with things rationally, inshaAllah. (p.s. I won’t fall into the debate of which should rule, the mind or the heart, but this is simply to say that you should use both the mind and heart when trying to tackle emotional situations that are affecting you).
Some other suggestions to keep yourself occupied:
- Learn Quran: This could be learning the tajweed or reading quran with qiraat or taking up a course on understanding quran or tafsir classes or even better would be memorizing the quran. Learning the book of Allah is definitely the best way to bring peace to your heart. “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!” (Quran 13:28)
- Attend Halaqas: A lot of islamic webinars keep happening, or find some happening live in your town.. it will give a big boost to your Imaan and may also help you find some righteous friends too,inshaAllah!
- Study the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad(saw) and learn more on Islamic history.
- Cultivate some productive hobby: Here’s a list to get you started with. It covers pretty much everything you could do to keep yourself occupied from blogging to horse riding.. sounds fun, right? 🙂 So once you are done with reading the tips below check out the link, find something that interests you and get yourself started right away! 😉
- Learn a new language – how about learning Arabic?
- Spend some quality time with your parents/family.
- Join a NGO.
- Find a job online: this will also open the door to lot of opportunities. Why not try to find some islamic websites with openings and send in your resume? This way you can keep yourself occupied and contribute to fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, inshaAllah! (Mind you, this might be a voluntary job, you might not get paid by them, but Allah will surely pay you in abundance in Akhira! 🙂 )
- Listen to islamic lectures online: A lot of amazing lectures can be found online that could be both informative and make you feel better, inshaAllah!
- Make new (righteous) friends and Be friends with everyone: Instead of confining yourself to a single person, be friends with everyone – this way you are never left alone thinking about past or getting worried about the future, inshaAllah!
A very important thing you should avoid is listening to songs. If you REALLY want to get yourself out of the depression, stop listening to those “sad” songs right away! It’s just going to pull you into deeper depression and do you no good! So whenever you feel the urge to listen to that song try replacing it with some feel good nasheeds (try Allah knows or You are never alone by Zain Bikha).. or even better thing to do would be give your heart some peace by listening to some amazing recitations of the quran. My personal favourite is the recitation of surah Ar-Rahman by Shaikh Mishary Rashid Al-Afasy, brings a LOT of peace to my heart, alhumdulillah!
Another thing to keep yourself occupied in (which I forgot to include in the spiritual tips) is occupy yourself in the dhikr of Allah! Just mere “La ilaha ilallah”, “SubhanAllah”,”alhumdulillah”, “Allahu Akbar” will not only make way for you to earn reward from Allah but also keep Satan’s whispers away, inshaAllah!
My next post, I will be wraping up this series with another amazing audio to keep you going, inshaAllah. Until then remember you are never alone! 🙂 (It’s my ‘favouritest’ nasheed :D.. oh and ‘Allah knows‘ too!)
Lot’s of Love & Peace
P.S. “Truly, God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 13:11)
Wake up, put that extra effort to get yourself out of the condition you are in, and Allah will help you through it, inshaAllah! Because if He says He will help, then He WILL, Trust Him!!