Dr Zeerak Attari
Allah Almighty blessed us with intellect and awareness. He has also endowed us with the capacity to feel emotions, by means of which we experience the joys and sorrows of life. Like the waves of the sea, human emotions fluctuate. In a single day, we may cross the entire spectrum of human emotion, traversing through happiness and sorrow right through to anger and anxiety. This is perfectly normal. It is perfectly human.
Occasionally, life forces us to face bitter situations that leave a seemingly uncurable scar on our hearts and minds. We may feel fearful, without an apparent reason, and find our heartbeat racing, our lungs struggling to catch a breath, and our bodies quivering. These feelings can be potent, invoking a powerful sense of defeat and despair.
All of these are common signs of anxiety. We may have encountered this on numerous occasions across our life. For instance, before an exam, or during an important meeting or when getting late for a flight. This form of anxiety is perfectly normal. In fact, it can sometimes prove to be beneficial, because one becomes alert, and his performance improves.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that if a person suffers from background anxiety that does not adversely affect his daily life, such as his work, marital life, interactions with people, conversations, business, and other matters, then this background anxiety is normal. If only this background anxiety transformed into fear regarding the Hereafter, then life would truly prosper.
Let us now turn our attention towards the anxiety that negatively affects our daily lives, prevents us from fulfilling our responsibilities and makes us rely a little too much on others. Anxiety itself is not an illness, but just as there are many causes of headaches, anxiety is also a symptom which is manifested due to various illnesses.
Causes of anxiety
Psychiatric disorders such as:
* Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
* Stress caused by a major accident (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Physical diseases such as:
* Joint pain and swelling disorder (Arthritis)
* Thyroid hormone excess
* A specific heart disease in which heartbeat becomes very fast suddenly, etc.
If you think you suffer from anxiety, consult your healthcare provider, psychologist, or GP.
Many treatments are available for anxiety. The nature of treatment varies slightly depending on the root cause of each respective case, but the general treatments for anxiety that are being prescribed in this article will benefit everyone, اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه.
First of all, assess your conditions. What makes you feel restless? Anxiety can be exacerbated at specific times. Keeping a diary of your emotions may be useful in identifying the times of the day when your anxiety is triggered. For each day, you will want to note the time and your feelings and prevailing thoughts at that time. If you felt anxious, note the circumstances and events at the time too. The more you understand what catalyzes your anxiety, the more you will be able to treat yourself successfully.
Classify the difficulties or problems you face. For example, first try to solve problems that can be easily solved. This will give you confidence and reduce anxiety. If you ignore problems considering them to be arduous, their burden will weigh as heavy in your mind as a mountain, and you will continually suffer from anxiety.
There should be a routine in regard to sleeping, waking, eating, drinking and worship. In relation to this, praying in congregation five times a day can bring about a great routine and positive change in your life. A routine of remembering Allah, reciting the noble Quran and invoking prayers on the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم can greatly reduce your anxiety.
Exercise has a fundamental role to play in removing anxiety. Do 30 minutes of exercise every day that causes you to sweat, breathe harder and increases heart rate. Exercise eliminates muscle strain caused by stress and anxiety.
Ask your well-wishers for help in an appropriate manner, without acting as a burden. Share with them your emotions and feelings. This will also reduce your anxiety.
Make a list of all the positive things in your life. Study this list every day and thank Allah for those bounties. Our religion of Islam teaches us to adopt a positive mindset. It is not befitting of a believer to have negative assumptions regarding himself or others.
Every Saturday, watch the Madani Muzakarah aired live on Madani channel. There is no substitute for the counselling that you will receive through it.
Follow your doctor's advice and implement the instructions given in full. Some patients need special medication to help with their anxiety. There is a negative misconception among the masses about medicine, which is why many people do not take psychiatric medicine at all. This can lead to them remaining as psychiatric patients throughout their lives.