Mental health: Five things you need to know
Every strand of our emotional, intellectual and social life returns to our spiritual purpose to serve Allah the most merciful. When it comes to improving our well- being and mental health, we are blessed by Allah with divine guidance in the shape of Quran and Sunnah.
In today’s world everybody assumes that the purpose of our life is to attain much pleasure and gratification. The misunderstanding of the nature of life arises here when we think that happiness exists in house of our dreams, luxury holidays, or perfect children.
Here’s the thing life was never supposed to be perfect. This unjust narrative negatively affects our mind.
Life tests everyone among us, we suffer from depression, joy, heartbreak, success, and loss. In these times, we can muster our excellence as much as we can. We can get inner peace only when we focus on our spirituality. In both hardship and ease it’s our spiritual self that helps us
Following are the five keys for maintaining mental health:
1. Never underestimate yourself
Too often, our thoughts either they are negative or positive directly affect our mental health. Mostly we think that our problems are too big, too devastating and too difficult it may not be the reality. Allah says in Quran:
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.”
As a Muslim, we never let ourselves compromise our mental health or get trapped in unending negative thoughts; we believe in our ability that we can overcome every struggle we face whether it is physical, mental, or spiritual. We must maintain the believe that Allah knows what we are capable of overcoming.
2. Strength of struggle
Many Prophets on this earth faced lots of problems, pain and difficulties. But still they were always fair in their deeds, character, and heart. Yet at the same time, they suffered a lot. We need to remember that when Allah wants something good for us He tests us and hence our sins fall away. In Hadith Saad Abi Waqqas ,
“I said, “O Messenger of Allah, which people are tested more severely?”
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“They are the Prophet, then the best of (people) who are next, then the best of (people) who are next. A man is put to trail according to his religion; his trails will be more severe. If he is weak in his religion, he is put to trail according to his strength in religion. The servant will continue to be put to trail until he is left walking upon the earth without any sin.”
Prophet Yaqub (alayhi al-salam) faced many hurdles and pain when he lost his son Yusuf ( alayhi al-salam). After sever grief and weeping too much he went blind but still he did not lose hope. Instead of complaining he turns towards Allah, the One and Only who could help him out.
Many of us become ungrateful of blessings of Allah during time of ease. Once we get through hard times, we realize that Allah is the only one who protects us, sustains us and provides us everything we need. Our struggles and pains may be sometimes blessings for us that bring us closer to Allah. The Holy Quran says:
“Is He (not best) who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the Earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Little do you remember?”
3. Hardship is a sign of ease
We derived from Quranic stories that things usually get harder before relief comes. If things gets harder so do not give up it is sign of ease. Yaqub (alahyi al-salam) loses his sight after losing his son Yusuf, then he loses his second son, Binyamin (alahyi al-salam) but still he does not lose hope and he was sure that a time of ease is nearer. It is often in time of unbearable condition Allah sends his help.
4. Ease will surely come
Our sufferings are not endless. Ease always comes, especially to those who help themselves and make efforts to please Allah. Allah says:
“Whoever fears Allah he will make way out for him”
In order to get better, recovery must be your first priority and you need to make efforts to fight against your negative thoughts and sensations. Once you take this step, things will get easier. Seek the support of professionals, loved ones and Imams as much as you can. Turn to Allah, ask Him whatever you need, and truly confide in Him.
5. Seek help through patience and prayers
As a primary step, seek counselors and psychiatrists who are available to you. These professionals are experienced and can help you out from your pain. Allah says:
“Seek help through patience and prayers. Indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive (to Allah), who are certain that they will meet their lord and that they will return to Him.”(10)
Patience is one of the most ethical qualities we can uphold. To be patient is not to be helpless. When we are in state of patience we are more hopeful. Holy Prophet (PBUH) says:
“Adhere to that what is beneficial for you, keep asking Allah for help, and do not feel helpless.”(11)
Moreover, a person with patience is so close to Allah that He rewards him without limit.
Life can weigh heavy upon us, but we are supposed to lighten it with remembrance of Allah. Life have many ups and downs , if we are in smooth phase of our life we need to thank Allah for it and if we are suffering from hard times we need to turn to Allah , never lose hope and trust on Him.
Let us go away from all noises of the world, and go towards our loved ones , and most important of all our Allah.
(Written by freelance journalist Sadaf Riaz)