If you want to skip ahead to the Duas for anxiety and stress click here.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s often a feeling of fear we get when we try to anticipate (negatively) what is about to happen.
Common everyday examples, first day on the job, first day of school, going for an interview, giving a speech all may cause people to become fearful and nervous.
It’s important to recognize this type of anxiety, although unpleasant, can be motivation for completing a task and doing things better. Ordinary anxiety is a feeling that comes and goes and does not interfere with your everyday life.
In the case of an anxiety disorder (PTSD, Panic Disorders, phobias, separation anxiety disorder) the feelings of fear may be with you all the time. It is intense and can be debilitating.
If depression and anxiety persists then we highly recommend you see a doctor to address the issues you are having.
Powerful Islamic Teachings To Overcome Anxiety and Stress
The idea of living in day tight compartments mentioned in Dale Carnegie book ‘how to stop worrying and start living’ was similar idea mentioned in the Sahih Muslim.
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said,
“A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do. Your” if” opens the (gate) for the Satan” (Sahih Muslim 2664)
The message behind this hadith, is to only focus on the things you can control today. To live your life in a day tight compartment, we don’t have a time machine that we can use to travel to the past, there’s no point in letting our mind dwell on things that have already happened. Focus your effort on the present that is the only thing in your control. Let go of the past and don’t fret about the future.
It’s a simple concept but hard in practice. If you master this, you can live a much more happy and fulfilled life.
Another powerful idea to dealing with your fears comes from remembering these three words, “I’ll handle it”.
Do you remember the thing three years ago where you felt like this was the end, or how you questioned how you would ever overcome such a difficult task. Well, you handled it and that’s why your here.
The feeling of fear can ultimately be rooted to down to a sense of not being to handle or comeback after being rejected or failing at a task. But this is not true. We are more resilient and adaptable than we give ourselves credit for. So remember,
What if I lose my job over this? I’ll handle it.
What if my car breaks down? I’ll handle it.
What if this fight ends the friendship? I’ll handle it.
What if I fail miserably and am humiliated? I’ll handle it.
Why does this work? Cause you actually will handle it and life will move on just as it has always done.
Duas for worries, anxiety, and fears
Allah will do that which was ordained. However, it is important Tawakkul which means reliance-on or trust-in Allah. He who does not believe in the existence and absolute power of Allah will find it so difficult to trust or rely on him.
“If you had all relied on Allah (SWT) as you should rely on Him, then He would have provided for you as He provides for the birds, who wake up hungry in the morning and return with full stomachs at dusk.” (At-Tirmidhi)
This first dua is to seek refuge with Allah from the difficult moments of calamity, for relieving hardships, afflictions and to seek protection from enemies. It is from Sahih Al Bukhari #6347.
Next, Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that whenever Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) used to be afflicted with any concern or stressful situations he would recite this supplication. This dua is recommended for relieving worries about the issues of your families health or wealth. Source: Tirmidhi
Third Dua, The Prophet (PBUH) said to Abu Talha, “Choose one of your boy servants to serve me in my expedition to Khaibar.” So, Abu Talha took me letting me ride behind him while I was a boy nearing the age of puberty. I used to serve Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) when he stopped to rest. I heard him saying repeatedly, “O Allah! I seek refuge with You from distress and sorrow, from helplessness and laziness, from miserliness and cowardice, from being heavily in debt and from being overcome by men.”
Translation, “O Allah, I seek refuge with You from anxiety, and sorrow, and weakness, and laziness, and miserliness, and cowardice, and the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men.”
Bukhari No# 2893, 5425, 6363, 6369; Abu Dawud No# 1541; At-Tirmidhi No# 3484; An-Nasa’i No# 5449, 5450, 5453, 5476
Abu Hurairah reported that whenever the Prophet, peace be upon him, was faced with a serious difficulty, he would raise his head to the sky and supplicate,
“Subhan-Allah al-’Azim (glory be to Allah, the Mighty).”
And when he implored seriously and strongly, he would say, “Ya Hayyu, Ya Qayyum (O the Living, the Eternal One).”Source: Tirmidhi
Abu Bakrah reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “The supplications of distress:
‘Allahumma rahmataka arju, fala takilni ila nafsi tarfata ‘ain, wa aslah li sha’ni kullahu, la ilaha illa anta
(O Allah, I hope for Your mercy, so give me not over to my self even for as little as wink of an eye, and set right all my affairs, there is no god but You).”
Source: Abu Daw’ud
In Islam, our physical bodies have a right over us. No matter how great your mind may be, you are limited by the vessel of your body. It is important the that you take care of our health, optimize your nutrition, get enough quality sleep, and try to exercise regularly.
Many scientific experiments have shown eating healthy, getting enough sleep on a regular consistent schedule, and exercising daily (even for 10-20 minutes daily) can decrease stress and make you feel alive and energized.
These three – diet, sleep, and exercise – are the pillars of physical health.
From a Harvard Research, the foods you eat may have a beneficial impact on your brain if you frequently experience anxiety.
These foods include:
- Foods rich in zinc such as oysters, cashews, liver, beef, and egg yolks have been linked to lowered anxiety.
- Psychiatry Research suggested a link between probiotic foods and a lowering of social anxiety. Eating probiotic-rich foods such as pickles, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir was linked with fewer symptoms.
- Foods rich in B vitamins such as avocado and almonds
- Beans, fruits, berries, nuts, and vegetables (like asparagus).
- Dark Chocolate
For Sleep, choose a time to go to bed that will allow you 7-8 hours of interrupted sleep. Once you choose a time, be consistent since your body likes a routine. Changing your sleeping cycles will not give you the energy needed to tackle your day.
For exercise, you don’t need to train like an athlete. Humans, were meant to be on our feet moving. We’ve strayed away from what Allah designed our bodies for and sit stationary at desks all day. The key is to just begin, start small, walk around your house, up and down the stairs for 10-20 minutes a day. Go for a walk around your neighborhood. Immerse yourself in nature and bike or walk through trails and woodlots. The key is:
Be active and enjoy the activity.
That’s how you create long lasting change.
Overcoming depression and anxiety is difficult but necessary since you don’t want to your fears or emotions have complete autonomous control over your life.
You want to be in control.
It will take patience and effort and it will be hard, but it’s possible to overcome. Islam teaches us by adopting healthy habits in your mind, body, and spirit, you can overcome the challenges and fears in your lives.
Just remember, put full faith in Allah recite the Duas mentioned here (there are also many more you can find) and focus on what you can control today.
Forget about the past and don’t stress about the future. Remember whatever fear you have, you can handle it. Lastly, don’t forget to sleep, diet and exercise.
Our success depends on our sincere efforts to better ourselves. It is the mercy of Allah that he does not demand results, Alhamdulillah. He is happy if he finds us making our best effort. Allah knows best.