Managing Our Emotions for Success in Dunya and Akhirah

Managing Our Emotions for Success in Dunya and Akhirah - Productive Muslim
Photo by StuntmanMike1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45186575@N08/

We constantly juggle multiple roles in our life. As a family member, professional and a friend, we deal with a variety of situations. Not only does this challenge us to be emotionally smart, it also challenges us to avoid the trap of a negative emotional state. So we need to make a choice to master our emotions. Do we handle our emotions or will our emotions handle us?

Let’s take a look at an example.

It’s a common scenario for a husband to quarrel with his wife because of work stress. These unfair and undue outbursts damage our personality and relations. How do we ensure that we are in control of our emotions to purify our hearts and protect the relationships we have with others?

 Step 1: Recognise and Accept that You Are in Control of Your Emotions

First, we need to convince ourselves that we are in full control of our emotions. We cannot blame anyone else for any emotion residing inside of us. Of course, there can be external triggers, unexpected events and piled up work. All of these are beyond our control, but what remains within the hold of our fist is how we react to all this craziness.

It is interesting to note how we tune ourselves to react in a certain way in a given scenario. For instance, we have programmed ourselves to get angry if someone horns at us during traffic rush hour. We have programmed ourselves to shout back if someone uses a harsh tone with us. And interestingly enough, we have programmed ourselves to smile and relax when someone says, “Sorry”.

By doing this, we become a puppet in control of words, tones and scenarios. If we start emotionally detaching ourselves from these triggers that we have programmed ourselves with, we can be more intelligent in crisis situations. People who react to every word and action coming their way are so caught up in dealing with their emotions, that they waste major part of their energy and time entangled in this self-created state of mind.

Step 2: Identify the Reasons for Emotional Outbursts

  1. Love of world
    Controlling our reactions is important. Equally important is the need to take a closer look at our lifestyles. Too much love of worldly possessions creates fear of loss and depression. So limit your wants by knowing your needs. Avoid indulgence.
  2. Lack of proper nutrition
    Eating inorganic, fast food and lack of routine in proper eating habits causes bad mood. If one does not eat at proper intervals, or if one starves for too long only to fill up the stomach with junk food, then the brain is confused to the extent that it treats hunger as stress. The body responds to hunger not by eating (because it is not trained to), but rather by shouting, screaming and showing irritation.
  3. Lack of proper sleep
    Agitation is also a common reaction to sleep deprivation. A healthy, sound sleep makes us happy and relaxed. By staying up for too long we become irritable and angry.One more important factor that keeps people away from emotional stability is uncontrolled thoughts. Have you ever noticed that your last thought before going to sleep is the first one that you have when you wake up? Our brain is engaged the whole night nurturing our thoughts. So make a dua, thank Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and think positive as you lie down to sleep. Avoid horror movies or late night talks.

Step 3: Take Positive Action to Manage Your Emotions

  1. Counsel yourself
    Some people spend the whole day wondering if their neighbour’s laughing at them, if people like their shoes, if someone thinks they are stupid etc. Avoid suspicion and rid yourself on any thought that keeps recurring endlessly.Another great way to reduce emotional crisis is to keep looking at the bigger picture. Keep telling yourself that this world and everything in it is a timely setup – a trial for our character and it will all go away. Having faith in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and gratitude towards the smallest of blessings He has granted us can help us stay positive with what life has to offer us.”For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease” [Qur’an: Chapter 94, Verses 5-6].
  2. Take control of your mind
    Think about a joke that you heard years ago and you will find yourself laughing, as if you are heard that joke for the first time. Think about a tragedy you faced and you will find tears in your eyes.None of these two situations exist in reality right now, but our brain assumes they do. So if we can control our imagination, we can control those negative thoughts that strike us day in and day out, and then we can spend our whole life smiling while others wonder how we do that!A very effective way of controlling evil whispering away is to recite Surah Al-Falaq [Qur’an: Chapter 113, Verses 1-5] and Surah An-Nas [Qur’an: Chapter 114, Verses 1-6].There is always a brighter side to things that disturb us. Try to practice positive thinking, and if you still can’t see anything good about it, then it is an opportunity for you to practice patience and tawakkal.
  3. Remember Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)
    If you find yourself over reacting to certain events, try keeping a specific dhikr for it. Dhikr keeps the heart alive.For example you can read Kalimah Tawheed when waiting for someone, or Surah Al-Ikhlas [Qur’an: Chapter 112, Verses 1-4] when angry. You can also read ayat Al-Kursi [Qur’an: Chapter 2, Verse 255] when happy and perform sujud when you hear a good news. You can train yourself to do tawbah when distressed or sick.
  4. Practice forgiveness
    The best way to come to terms with your emotions is to let go, move on and to not drag your emotional burdens with the intention to take revenge. There is no evil you can do without hurting yourself first, and there is no good that you can do without benefiting yourself. So do yourself a favour by forgiving and moving on.”And those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, and when they are angry, they forgive” [Qur’an: Chapter 42, Verse 37]
  5. Follow the seerah
    Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was the most stable personality in the history of mankind. We see an amazing balance of emotions in his seerah. The way he dealt with things is a role model for us.When Muslims won the battle of Badr and returned home, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was told that his daughter had passed away. He did not highlight his sorrow, he did not mourn on it. He let the Muslims celebrate the victory.However during the conquest of Makkah, he did not get carried away by vindictiveness or elation. His head was down, he was remembering Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and he granted everyone a general amnesty.
  6. Manage your time
    We find ourselves badly tied up in stress, depression and sorrow when we are late for a deadline. Planning properly and doing things in time is the best way to keep your life in control. Do not procrastinate.Also remember, if you find doing something is easy now, take advantage of it. For it does not mean that it will always remain easy. So make the best use of the time as it is one of the biggest blessings of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).
  7. Always communicate honestly
    When nothing works, at least speak up. Voice it out to the people around you intelligently and politely, so they will know how you feel. It will give you the space you need until you feel emotionally stable again.But be careful in choosing the best words and best ways to let people know how you feel. Don’t let it become your weak point if you know that the other party can be manipulative, and don’t burst out in shouts and sarcasm as a defence. If people around you care for you, they will certainly facilitate, and in return you can be empathetic to them when they go through a bad time.Emotional crisis is an illusion created by human mind. Stress is not real: if it were a real thing like gravity, it would effect everyone the same way quantitatively. However these emotional crisis eat away our bottom lines. They affect our mental health, personalities and attitudes. To deal with them, the three golden principles are:Avoid: If there is an appropriate way to avoid the situation or people who trigger your stress then you should do it.Alter: Ask yourself, can I do the same thing in a less stressful way? If yes, then Do it.

    Accept: For situations beyond our control, consider them as part of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)’s will and accept them. Develop a sense of gratitude towards Him. The more we thank Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for what is, the less we get upset for what is not.

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

 

About the Author:

Farah Mehboob works at hibamagazine to help Muslim families enrich themselves with religious values. Besides learning the morphology of Quranic script, Farah is also studying the science of tajweed and hadith.


54 thoughts on “Managing Our Emotions for Success in Dunya and Akhirah

    1. AlhamduLILLAH.Jazak Allah khair ,Sister Nasreen.I hope it is of benefit to you and other muslim brothers and sisters around the world.

      1. Sister Farah !
        Assalam walekum!
        The thing you mention in point 2 of Step 3 i.e. “take control of your mind” is incredible because it says to dump the previous thoughts(good or bad) and motivates to discover the new ones in the present life. This recommendation is incomparable and ultimate. I have seen many people missing their earlier life whether it is childhood, student life, youth etc. but nobody dares to love the present or design the future and that’s why I loved your thought very much.
        Thanks for giving such a unique suggestion and please do provide me any medium to keep in touch with your articles directly.

        Allah Hafiz!

        1. Walaikum salam warahmatULLAH e wabrakatuhu,

          Jazak Allah for your kind remarks.I have recently written for Hiba Magazine’s upcoming Issue (January 2014) and by the Grace of Allah I will be writing and creating the major content of Hiba Magazines’s July 2014 Issue which is under work these days. I also have a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ColorsofIslam.Quran.I also have a website . although i don;t get much time these days to update it but perhaps next year I will start writing regularly at
          http://www.nlp-research.com/features/. If Allah wills and grant me toufeeq, life and health.

          1. oh thanks sister !
            by the way, I also wrote the same message to your contact id which i got from hiba magazine website.
            Did u get that ?
            Actually I just want your permission to contact you through that mail ID if needed.
            Allah Hafiz!!!

  1. This article really inspired me to think about the way I am constantly upset about small things, and indeed, waste a load of time and energy on those negative thoughts. Jazakillah khair to the author for enabling me to see the light. I really hope I act on the lessons learned from this beautifully written article.

  2. Mashaallah, absolutely amazing article, very good job to the author. Alhamdulillah perfect timing, and just what i need. Jazak’Allah.

  3. Assalamu Alaikum. A really interesting read. May Allah allow us to benefit from these advices, especially me… JAZAAKALLAH KHAIRAN.

  4. SubhanAllah, very well written. I hope everyone who reads it will follow the tips and benefit from them
    Jazakumullah khair

  5. Thankyou so much for publishing this article. It’s very informative and has helped me understand a lot of things that can help strengthen my faith and behavior with those around me. May Allah bless you always.

  6. Such an inspiration; sometimes we need that extra kick to boost the positivity within us and this article does exactly the same. The author deserves much appreciation and should thank Allah that HE has bestowed her with the ability to guide others.

  7. Thank You sister Farah.May Allah bless you with the strength the to contribute further to enlighten us with productive life style tips.

  8. Masha Allah! A much needed – to – read article. May Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala reward you abundantly in Dunya o Akhrah, ameen.

  9. Mashallah Jazakallahu Khayr we make tons of excuses for our actions which are based off of our inability to control our emotions.
    In reality we just have to learn how to control them.

  10. MashaAllah a beautiful article that sums up the ephemeral issues that occupy us everyday when rather we should be engaged in remembrance of Allah SWT.jazakAllah for all the practical tips to keep our minds more productive in seeking our deen.

  11. I -indeed- got great benefits from your valuable lines..
    As to me, controlling my emotions is a very big problem that i always suffer, but after reading, i’ll try to stick your advises, Allah Willing. May Allah reward you, sister, for your great effort.

    1. @Batool – Wa alaikumussalaam warahmatullah, I’ve informed our Content Team to seek Sr. Farah’s permission for sharing her email address. I’ll get back to you once I hear from them, in sha Allah.

  12. Assalam o alaikum,
    BismiLLAH e Rahman e Rahim,

    I recntly wrote a solution based articles on how to deal with stress . the 4 A rule as I call it.Due to copyright restrictions it is not available online but I just thought of sharing little bit of it here as an after thought.


    If it were not for the difficulties we face in our lives, we would have never been able to recognize our true potential.You don’t need to be strong all the time, you don’t need to be winning everytime , you don’t even need to be happy all the time.You need to be a muslim all the time and a muslim never loses hope.Keep trying, seeking help from Allah and hope for the best.
    …….Also as a Muslim, it is our responsibility to make sure that we are not triggering stress in anyone else’s life. Usually we do that , unintentionally by asking too many questions about someone’s personal life, weak points and any embarrassing aspect of their lives that they don’t want to share. Also avoid pointing out at other people’s anomalies or weaknesses.
    “Courage means to keep working a relationship, to continue seeking solutions to difficult problems, and to stay focused during stressful periods.”
    Denis Waitley

  13. A good dua:

    Do you feel that You are being overpowered by some bad feelings, moods or even some people?
    Then here is a Dua: Memorize it and recite it as much as possible:
    اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّي أَعْوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَـمِّ وَ الْحُـزْنِ، والعًجْـزِ والكَسَلِ والبُخْـلِوالجُـبْنِ، وضَلْـعِ الـدَّيْنِ وغَلَبَـةِ الرِّجال
    Allahumma inni ‘audhubika min al-hammi wal huzani,wal ‘ajzi wal kasali, wal bukhli wal jubni, wa dala’ad-dayni wa ghalabatal-rijâl.
    O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.
    Sahih Al Bukhari

    1. “The greatest prison that people live in is the fear of what other people think” —David Icke
      You are responsible for what is in your head.Remember a negative mind cannot have positive thoughts.If you are told that the food your are about to eat is poisonous you would rather chose to be hungry than eat the poisonous food.Similarly if you know that a certain situation , person or experience can cause stress the don’t take the chance of digesting psychological poison.Be wise enough to remove yourself from places and situations that can be stressful.
      One of the reasons we find ourselves trap with stressful, useless commitments is our fear of saying NO.Saying No is not rude specially if you are avoiding a stressor.The way you say it has to be gentle, wise and accommodating. We don’t always need to shout, offend or abuse while saying NO.It can be said with a smile gracefully.
      Try to have clear priorities in life and whatever comes in your way to stop you getting to your goals has to be avoided.For example if you are asked to attend a late night party a day before your child’s exam , try to call, congratulate on the occasion and tell the host your reasons to miss the occasion. You can visit the host at a better time with a gift to compensate for the absence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>