I hope you are well. I don’t really post or ask for help but it’s coming to a point now when it’s not bearable.
Since the past 2/3 years, every now and then I just slip in a mode where I feel like I don’t know who I am or what my goal in life is. I don’t wish to speak properly with the people. I just want to be in my own zone. I try to regularly pray my prayers and do zikr on a daily basis, but I just don’t feel happy from within and just don’t know what to do or whom to speak to.
As I don’t really like sharing my issues with anyone, I’ve desperately been trying to find a counselor I can speak to get more advice. I would really appreciate if I could get some help, please.
In this counseling answer:
• For you to find your skillset, you need to find yourself a passion.
• You need to practice more gratitude to avoid thoughts of sadness and isolation.
• It is very important to know why we read the Salah and the Quran.
• Exercising is the best way to feeling happier and more relaxed.
As-Salamu Alaikum dear sister,
I am sorry to hear of the trouble you are going through right now. I pray that things will change for the best.
I believe that your condition is the result of negative thinking and lack of passion for productivity. How you are feeling can happen to anyone. However, the ones who are not depressed are those who chose to look beyond the negativity and strive to work hard for a change and happiness in their lives.
Dear sister, the only purpose in life is to Please Allah.
In the Quran, Allah says,
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (51: 56)
Allah says in the Quran,
“…Do good to others as I have done good to you…” (Quran 28: 77)
The Prophet said,
“Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you.” (Tirmidhi)
This is a clear sign from Allah that we must do our part in this world to help others. For this very purpose, Allah has blessed us with various skills. We must definitely acknowledge these skills and improve them.
For you to find your skillset, you need to find yourself a passion. A passion that will not only render you satisfied but also occupy your mind and prevent you from thinking negatively.
But the question arises, how do I find out what exactly I am passionate about? How do I know? Remember, your passion should these three questions:
- What subject could I read 500 books about without getting bored?
- What could I do for five years straight without getting paid?
- What would I spend my time doing if I had a complete financial abundance to do anything?
Therefore, once you find an activity which successfully fits the three requirements above, then invest time and increase productivity.
I also believe that you need to practice more gratitude to avoid thoughts of sadness and isolation.
In the Quran, Allah says,
“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” (2: 152)
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” (14:7)
Being able to see the blessings we are given is a blessing and a skill that not everyone possesses. It is his very skill which helps human beings avoid depressions and thoughts of sadness and purposelessness.
For this very reason, Allah says in the Quran that a very few of his servants are grateful.
This is, indeed, true. There’s quite a bit of research to support the idea that experiencing gratitude can positively impact both your mental/emotional state and your ability to achieve the life you want.
Islam is known as the life transaction of the natural state of man.
Psychologists have been experimenting for centuries to understand human nature. What they have found is directly related to the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah. Allah, being our Creator, knows us more than we know ourselves.
Allah says in the Quran,
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Rad, 13:28)
True sadness and despair tend to deviate us from believing in the power of Allah. So, remember Allah often. Your degree of happiness depends on your level of connection with Allah, and your knowledge of Him.
How can you love a stranger? That love will only grow once you learn more and more about Allah. Simply reading salah will not help you, if you do not successfully internalize the meaning and purpose of salah.
In my opinion, when we do not question our own actions, we lose their purpose. Eventually, the actions come to a halt themselves. In order to overcome your feeling of hollowness and to improve praying, we need to understand what it is that we are doing.
For example, if you are asked to eat one apple every day, you will eat it for a day, a week, and maybe two. But, after that, if you do not understand why you are eating an apple, you will not want to do it. You will lose the purpose, and you will question why you even did it once.
Check out this counseling video:
Therefore, dear sister, if we can’t eat an apple regularly without knowing the true benefits of heart, mind, and immune health it offers, we lose interest in eating.
Then how can we expect our minds to pray and not lose interest if we do not realize the importance of prayer and Islam in our lives?
It is very important to know why we read the Salah and the Quran. We are a part of something bigger.
We are created by Allah to worship Him, and Allah loves us. It is in these moments that we need to search ourselves to find what it is we are doing and why we are doing it.
This can be achieved if you sincerely try to acknowledge yourself the importance of prayer, du’aa’, and that of being in connection with Allah.
You need to reflect and write down these reflections. Once you learn more and more, I ask you to make connections. I assure you that the feeling of emptiness will be removed as this is an indication that your soul is in need of knowledge, just as our stomachs are in need of food.
In addition, I suggest that you use this supplication:
“O Allah, make my religion easy for me by virtue of which my affairs are protected, set right for me my world where my life exists, make good for me my Hereafter which is my resort to which I have to return, and make my life prone to perform all types of good, and make death a comfort for me from every evil.” (Riyad Al -Saliheen)
Also, The Prophet said,
“I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him.” (Sahih Muslim).
Eat Healthy and Exercise
As insignificant it may sound to someone experiencing panic and anxiety, eating healthy and removing all sorts of fat and added sugar to your diet can have an unbelievable positive effect on your overall health, whether be it physical, emotional or spiritual.
Not only does healthy eating improve physical health, it also releases certain neurotransmitters which are good for your overall health and emotions likewise.
For example, according to researchers, a high intake of sugar acts as an adrenal stimulant and can cause anxiety or even panic attacks. Other offensive foods include those containing refined flour products, and even wheat since this causes inflammation.
Diet affects anxiety. A morning glass of green juice (vegetables such as kale, lettuce, cucumber, etc.) can get you on the right side of calm.
Exercising is the best way to feeling happier and more relaxed. It releases various chemicals in the brain which leaves you feeling stress-free and better about yourself.
Exercising regularly also boosts your confidence levels, improves self-esteem, and clears your mind of unwanted, depressing thoughts and builds motivation and positive mental attitude.
In addition, it also improves your physical health, which is very important. Exercising can be done at the gym, aerobics, and even yoga.
For you to find your skillset, you need to find yourself a passion.
You need to practice more gratitude to avoid thoughts of sadness and isolation. Experiencing gratitude can positively impact both your mental/emotional state and your ability to achieve the life you want.
It is very important to know why we read the Salah and the Quran. You need to reflect and write these reflections down.
Finally, exercising is the best way to feeling happier and more relaxed.
I pray that Allah relieves you of your troubles.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.