Depression is a state of low mood, an aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. Depressed people feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless. This is how Wikipedia defines Depression.
Why are we so unhappy today?
Why do we have so many complaints about our lives?
Anyone can get depressed. At some point in our lives, we all do. Some basic causes of depression that can range from but are not limited to are; a series of events that happen in our lives, our upbringing, the environment, people we live with, the weather etc. The reasons can vary from relations, health to finances, to social issues.
And some people don’t need any reason to be upset. Their alleged reasons are based on dissatisfaction with their lifestyles, jealousy or envy; based on thoughts like, “Why don’t I have better car?” Why does he have a bigger house?” and “I should be wearing designer clothes not her!”
Why do our minds constantly nag us about these material things? In today’s world everyone is competing in life, running the rat race, not knowing what true happiness is or how much better life can be. It is amazing how we look at what others have and want them for ourselves. So preoccupied are we that we forget about our core blessings like health, our families, the fact that we can put food on the table and eat to our hearts content when so many others cannot.
Our heart is never at peace and feels like it will never be satisfied.
“Indeed, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find comfort”.
(Al Quran: Surah Ar-Ra’d 13, Ayat 28)
Through His ayaat (verses) Allah instills within our hearts His Zikr (remembrance from Allah), in a form of reformative advice, as a part of our memories.
Remember how our parents would tell us not to play in the dirt when we were kids. And every time we would attempt to do so we would remember what they said. This is how Zikr (remembrance from Allah) works. This advice guides us on how to react to and handle situations wisely, the moment they arise, so we can stay away from the negative effects of that situation and maintain our peace of mind.
Through Allah’s Zikr (remembrance from Allah) we can learn of all the ways to keep happiness alive within our lives.
1. Nothing gives you as much as peace and confidence as Zikr (remembrance from Allah). It gives us the hope that Allah (God) is going to take care of us. All we have to do is keep our thoughts clear and always think positive. Take control of the fear of losing things as Shaitaan (devil) puts those fears in our hearts. And most importantly, that we follow Allah’s (God’s) instructions with a pure heart and complete submission. That we acknowledge, that our knowledge is limited and faulty and that only with Allah’s (God’s) instruction can we achieve our target.
2. Stop crying and complaining to everyone about everything in your life. It is better to shed tears in front of someone who can actually solve your problems. And who better ask for help than Allah (God). Only our Creator can give us the solutions all our problems. If you must cry, then cry only to thank Allah (God). Cry when you are asking Him for His forgiveness.
“Complaints will make the Shaitaan (devil) happy and upset Allah”
Hazrat Ali (R.A)
3. Be thankful to Allah (God) for what you already have in your life, start appreciating the blessings that surround you. Be grateful for your health, a family that loves you, loyal and sincere friends or even the free Vitamin D you get from sunshine! The more thankful you are, the more blessings you will receive from Allah (God).
“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.”
(Al Quran: Surah Ibrahim 14, Ayat 7)
4. Be content with what you have, this step is goes hand in hand with being grateful. Don’t look at what others have, look at what you have otherwise you will never be happy.
5. Don’t give up! There is nothing that is impossible for Allah as He is the Creator. Even Allah’s (God) name inspires hope within millions. Just imagine what we can achieve if we follow His guidance. We may not be able to stop or to change the situations that we will face in our lives but we will learn how to cope with them and manage our lives accordingly.
6. Stop yourself from having unrealistic expectations. Everything in this world is temporary. People get old or grow distant, situations change everyday, time ebbs and flows. But Allah (God) is the only constant. Put your expectations and full faith in Allah (God).
7. Start appreciating the people who love you rather than material things. Acknowledge and encourage others, as you would like them to acknowledge and encourage you. If you won’t appreciate or thank people, how can you thank your Creator?
8. Help others however you can; the happiness you get in helping others will keep you positive and give you a sense of achievement. And if you can’t help someone then just smile! That is Sadqah (charity) too.
9. Get rid of the negative elements within your life. Stay away from pessimistic and petty people, as they influence negativity. What happens when you touch fire? That’s right! You get burnt.
10. These steps will help you balance your emotions and allow you to think healthy positive thoughts. So the next time you are in stressed out and dissatisfied with your life, remind yourself to be thankful and content with what you have. Just remember that you may not have control over how things happen but you can control how you react to them.
Remember happiness comes from within. You may have the best of everything and still be depressed. Material things have nothing to do with happiness as they come and go in life. But your belief and faith that you can overcome any calamity with the help of Allah (God) through His Zikr (remembrance from Allah) keeps you strong, and patience will give you the strength to face every storm in life. This will guide us to a path where there is only peace and Islam means Peace. The key is to first become at peace within yourself and then establish it amongst your family and then further into society. With such a positive outlook towards life you will inspire people towards Allah (God). Your happiness will spread happiness to others.