5 Stress Busters to Enhance Your Productivity

5 Stress Busters to Enhance Your Productivity | Productive Muslim
Photo by Marsmettnn Tallahassee: flickr[dot]com/photos/95453036@N08/
In this deadline-demanding, rat race society, it seems like we’re pushed to run and run everyday beyond our capacity. Suddenly, one day passes like an hour, and an hour seems like a passing mosquito. But now, instead of making stress a scary green monster that’s ready to eat you alive, we’re going to find out how to manage stress and keep it under control.

1. Address the Root Problem

What would you do if suddenly in the middle of night, your fire alarm rings? Would you switch off the alarm and go back to sleep? Of course not! You’ll search the house and try to find the source and spring into action to douse it out.

Likewise, your stress. You don’t just slap a “this too shall pass” attitude then turn on the TV comedy show to distract yourself from the problem. Stress is merely a smoke, and fanning the smoke alone won’t save your house from the fire.

Now do a quick contemplation: write down the things that stress you. Stuff you have to accomplish, including those you must do but you’re just “finding no time” to do. Just write them all down, from big stuff like “I want to publish a novel!” to something as trivial as giving your cat a bath. This is only the start. Next you’ll have to:

2. Reassess Your Priorities

The cause of stress is typically poor self management and time management. Very often, we get mixed up between which stuff needs a higher priority than others. We lack self discipline and try to do several things at once or end up switching between tasks because the others are not desirable enough to do. We end up getting lazy and procrastinate, opting to rush within the last minutes.

In one of the productivity seminars I attended, the coach inserted some pebbles to a jar. He inserted all the bigger pebbles first, then the smaller ones, then the sand, until the jar was full. He asked the participants, “What message can you get from this?”.

“You can multi-task in between your schedule”, one participant replied.

“No”, he answered. “The message is: you must prioritize your bigger goals first, the bigger pebbles. If you inserted all the sand first, or the smaller pebbles, there wouldn’t be enough room for the bigger pebbles.

“Likewise, your time. If you keep wasting it for insignificant goals, you’ll lose your valuable asset for life, and you’ll lose in the long term.

“What is your bigger goal in life? How do you treat and value your time according to it?”

3. Use the Stress Boost to Take Action

Under a great emergency, or what the mind PERCEIVES as emergency, human beings often do something incredible beyond their ordinary limits. The mechanism is quite simple. Under the perceived emergency, your body releases cortisol, which in effect stimulates the production of adrenaline. Adrenaline accelerates the breaking down of food – converting it into quick energy so we can react in a “fight or flight” response. The result is a great boost of alertness. It’s just a survival mechanism God has installed in your body.

But an unhealthy, excessive cortisol production can induce stress. And as law of nature conducts, all good things done excessively will turn out bad.

Sometimes we react more to pain and fear than pleasure. But it’s just the way the human mind works. Now you could use it against you, or to your advantage. Turn stress into your natural caffeine, use it to kill procrastination, and take action.

4. Quick Meditation

A quick relaxation and deep breathing technique – like a little pause button to your non-stop world – will work wonders for you. Plus, the deep breathing can supply oxygen to refresh your brain.

  1. Sit or lie down in comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes and take a deep, diaphragmatic breath.
  3. Slowly count in your mind from 100 to 1, or from 50 to 1.
  4. It’s better if you do it while listening to alpha or tetha binaural beats with your headset. They’re available for free to download everywhere, and many are music-free. This audio might sound weird for first-time listeners, but it works by stimulating the alpha state in your brain, which induces the relaxation and creativity state. Listening to this audio is better for your brain than music.
  5. Empty your mind from worldly stuff during the process and focus on your breathing.
  6. Give yourself a suggestion, like “on each count, I’m feeling more relaxed”. Alternatively, visualize your problem as trash, and on each count you’ll ditch them one by one into the garbage can. What works best for me is visualizing a beautiful green garden with flowers and fountains.
  7. Done; or repeat until you truly feel relaxed.

5. Don’t Forget to Smell the Roses!

Once you’ve completed your tasks, reward yourself. Truth is, if you can’t appreciate or care for yourself,  no one would do it for you.

Reserve a block of time each day or week (depending on what activity you want to reward yourself with) to do something relaxing and rejuvenating.

We live only once and if we run too fast, we’ll miss a lot of beauty on the sides of the road. Stop and smell the roses. Life is about keeping a balance between yourself, your family and beloved one, work, and of course with your Divine Creator. Get your dusty Qur’an from the shelf and recite it heartily, while pondering its meaning. Take your family out for a picnic. Bike to a hill and breathe some fresh air. Life is larger than what you perceive it inside your box.

Be grateful that compared to a billion people on the planet, you’re still blessed.

“Whoever among you wakes up physically healthy, feeling safe and secure within himself, with food for the day, it is as if he acquired the whole world.” [Ibn Majah]

Try the tips above and share your experience in the ‘Comments’ section below!

 

About the Author:

Fatima Ariadne is a graduate student. She shares insightful tips on spirituality growth, inner peace and life reflection on her blog. Visit her blog to taste a cupcake of inspirations and download a free e-book “100 Beautiful Positivity Hadiths to Recharge Your Soul”.


28 thoughts on “5 Stress Busters to Enhance Your Productivity

  1. the student took a simple areptty much atheistic way of tackling the big issue of a stress. 1stly there are absolutely different types of stresses and they should be tackled in a different way. 2ndly Quran and sunna of the prophet SAW gives good answer to stress situations.
    Just adding at the very bottom “and read the dusty quran” which means the author gives it in every sense a little meaning is unfair.

    1. Agree … No1 and No2 are great advice BUT No4 is totally wrong,and part of No5 – we DON’T need alpha or so to feel relaxed, there is Qur’an (that ISN’T dusty at all), and there is salah, and there is dua … and all other things that re-connect us with The One

  2. it is unfortunate that (a) such articles get through and (b) that muslims are so hungry for any info that they try to digest whatever has been pit before them. This article is simply a copy paste and a very light look into the very complex issue of the stress. Further, it should have been checked for compliance with basic religious principles. And finally, we all need to enhance our knowledge by obtaining knowledge from right sources and by applying what we have learned.

  3. Masha’Allah, a very enlightening article. Would like to add that stress at times results from (as the writer mentioned) an incorrect perception of priorities. As Muslims, we need to remember at all times that our aim is to attain the pleasure of Allah (swt) and Jannah – so essentially, if we have been (or about to get into) a situation over which we are stressing too much, to the point that it is affecting our productivity, we need to sit down, remind ourself about our ultimate goal and renew our intention to focus only on what helps us achieve that goal. Praying supererogatory prayers and supplicating to Allah is a HUGE stress-buster! Sitting down for a while after obligatory prayers and taking deep breaths helps also. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.

  4. Assalamu alaikum all

    Sorry for the delayed reply, and thank you for all your kind words! :)

    I only write things I have actually APPLIED in my own life that’s proven to work. No first-hand experience, no writing stuff like this. ;)

    I’m a college student doing my thesis, having part time work, and (newbie) entrepreneur dealing with day-to-day stress from juggling all those roles. I do these 5 things regularly they all become my habits, so I just share it to you. Nonetheless, God knows it’s not perfect at all, and I’m not an expert hence my experience is very limited.

    For this, I thank you for your support and your feedback! Every criticism and every thank you are precious. :)

  5. Oopsie! I’ve left something! To (brother/ sister) Emran : I usually downloaded all my binaural beats here : http(dot)free-binaural-beats(dot)com. They might be not so pleasant, like listening to UFO engine or sort lol! But they’re music free.

    Youtube has many Binaural beats audio covered with random white noises to make it less irritating. Depends on what is your definition of music, these random white noises don’t sound like music for me. But I don’t know for other people. Or you can type keyword phrases in Google like “free binaural beats audio download”.
    .
    Jazakallah khair everyone for your comments, criticism, and feedback :)

  6. asslmkm guys u all r really doing a good job.i really appreciate this. and pray to ALLAH swt that every muslim shud be like this .ur techniques of productivity is really awesome .this was abt stress was a very good one and abt listeng to some stuff i wud really go to verses of quran .this is my way . thanks

  7. Dhikr or listening to the Quran with understanding, to me gives more relaxation to your mind and soul…sister as for the Hadith you quoted “Whoever among you wakes up physically healthy, feeling safe and secure within himself, with food for the day, it is as if he acquired the whole world.” [Ibn Majah] could you give more reference like hadith number etc …than just saying ibn majah…on a whole the advice was fantastic…

  8. Awesome article ! Guys everybody knows that prayer and listening to quran is relaxing but the purpose of this article is to learn something new such as listening to alpha beats and the deep breathing technique ^_^ jazakiallah khair sister :)

  9. A Novice writing the subject of Mufti Psychiatrist ?

    With Her first name Fatima which is Islamic and Second name on contrary ?

    We suspect the notion of the author. Islamic ideology and its sources are Strong enough to withstand any kind of threats.

    1. @Kadayanallurnews – We appreciate your views. However, we’d encourage expressing them with respect and not judging a person by their name. The author intended to share her opinion/what works for her on the topic and in no way intended to present it as an expert’s work.

    2. Your judgment is unfair. I come from a mixed Christian and Muslim family.
      I’m a muslim convert myself and I don’t choose my birth name. My writings are based on my imperfect experiences and I’m not a psychologist, never claim to be one. Take it or leave it.

      Wassalam.

  10. Masha Allah sister Fatima. May Allah reward you. Good job. I wonder if there can be done some research on these binaural beats and qur’an recitation. I feel like there might be some correlation.

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