Compassionate Communication in Mosques and Marriages – ICNA 2019

2. Breathing

Our breath is a powerful tool. When you’re mindfully and intentionally inhaling and exhaling, you’re able to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. If you use your breath correctly, you can give yourself the presence of mind back.” Shuaib described and did the 4-7-8 breathing exercise with the audience. “You can use this [before you react] whenever anything happens to you that upsets you.”

3. Your Connection to Allah

“Spirituality has many benefits for stress relief and overall health and wellness. Allah (SWT) told us, ‘Verily in the remembrance of Allah, hearts find rest.’ Remembering Allah (SWT) and being spiritual will help us become less stressed and cope with it. The Prophet (saws) was reported to have said so many different dua during stressful and emotional times. Find your rest in prayer and comfort in remembering Allah (SWT) and tranquility in calling out to him in dua.

Compassionate Communication in Mosques and Marriages - ICNA 2019 - About Islam

4. Stress-reducing Rituals List

“Have a list of stress-reducing rituals. Self-care is an essential part of keeping stress at bay. It’s important to take time out of your day to take care of yourself. Having a self-care routine is very important in managing stress.” Shuaib suggested exercising, having a bath, reading a book, going down to a coffee shop.

5. Practicing Gratitude

“Practicing gratitude helps us react because it creates positive emotions in us. Having a daily gratitude ritual or practice, like writing it down in a gratitude journal helps us become more resilient for future stress. [It’s] super simple. Just jot down 3-5 things that you’re grateful for every day, and make sure that they are different. If you’re married, add 2 or 3 things that you’re grateful for your spouse. Don’t forget to express your thanks and gratitude to your spouse as well.”

6. Convey Empathy and Compassion

“A lot of times, our first gut reaction to our spouse being stressed is stress, problem-solving, or criticism. All of those need to go out the window. When our spouse is stressed, we need to convey empathy and compassion. We need to listen to them without judgment and problem-solving. Just listen. Remind yourself and them that you are both on the same team working against the stressful situation.

7. Express Lots and Lots of Love

“Sometimes, all we need is a hug or a shoulder to cry on. All we need is for our loved one to tell us is that it’s going to be okay, inshallah. All we need to hear [are] those three words, ‘I love you’ and ‘I’m here for you.’ Something as simple as physical touch between partners is so good for our physical and mental health. Hold hands with your spouse and hug them and cuddle with them. That has a huge calming effect.”

Shuaib offered additional advice.

Healthy Eating Habits

“What we eat affects our mental state. It affects us emotionally. Ensuring that we are getting a balanced diet is important.

Adequate Sleep

“Sleep is so important that I cannot stress it enough. Our brains and bodies absolutely need sleep, prioritize getting enough sleep every night.

Date Night

“Take time to go out on dates with your spouse. We are all super busy, but it’s so important to schedule time alone with your spouse and has stress-reducing conversations, where you just talk about things that are interesting to you. Where it’s not every time you’re talking to your spouse, it’s not about an issue or problem at home. Every day, [the Prophet] made time for his spouse[s], even though he was very busy. If he can do it, we can do it too.