Anxiety self help


Self help Islam and Anxiety

We all experience difficulties in our life’s and as Muslims we should know that this is a test from Allah. In fact that this is something Muslims firmly believe in, that going through difficult times is inevitable.

{Do people think they will be left alone and they will not be tried? …} ( Al-`Ankbut  29:3)

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.). Al-Baqra Verse No:155

Even the Prophet went through difficult times. For examples when his son Ibrhim passed away to the next life. The prophet felt sadness, expressed his emotions through tears and grief.

Then he wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim! Indeed we are grieved by your separation.”  Bukhari; Book 23, hadith 1228

Allah gives us reward through affliction

It’s important to remember that as Muslims Allah has not left us but rather he wants us to get closer to him however we must also seek professional help where necessary. For example when we re ill we go to see a GP to aid recovery. Just like if you are suffering from a Mental Health condition you should seek help from a Qualified professional Counsellor that is in congruence with your faith.

Allah encourages us to seek help

Anxiety is something that we cannot escape given the adversities that we may experience everyday. Anxiety is a condition that doesn’t show itself out of nowhere. It slowly gets on us without us really knowing.

Depression is a condition that brings us down and makes us feel like life is not worth it anymore. It slowly creeps its way into our system and turns us into a kind of person who isn’t enthusiastic about life anymore.

What makes matters more alarming is that both of these mental conditions are very common in every part of the world and may inflict anyone. Fortunately, they can be overcome by knowing how to cope with anxiety and depression.

I will be discussing some of the ways on how to know if you have anxiety or depression, how anxiety leads to depression in the long run and vice versa, as well as some tips on how to overcome them. Overall we’ll discuss how to cope with anxiety and depression in the comfort of your own home.

What is Anxiety and How it May Lead to Depression and Vice Versa

What exactly is anxiety?

Anxiety is often described as an unpleasant feeling that we all experience such as always being uptight, nervous, tense or irritable. It may affect how we think and behave as excessive worry may prevent us from doing things that we need and want to do. Anxiety causes us to feel worried for a long period of time even if the worry doesn’t have any basis.

But it’s normal to worry or feel anxious about some things in life. In fact, it can often be helpful. For example, worrying about how you’ll pass your exam, driving test,  acing that interview, you then prepare yourself by studying and as a result of being motivated by that concern is good. How do you know if it is good or bad anxiety? Well according to research It’s been found that symptoms of anxiety are much more frequent when the condition known as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is present. General worriers tend to spend an average of 56 minutes a day worrying, while people with GAD often spend over 300 minutes a day worrying — over five times as much.

Another thing to know about anxiety is that it goes hand in hand with depression. They are two very different conditions but are often seen in tandem with each other. If you want to know how to cope with anxiety and depression, then you need to understand how one relates to the other.

Sometimes having anxiety may lead to depression because being constantly worried will drag you down, filling you with negative thoughts that eventually lead to depression. Having depression may also lead to anxiety because depression slows productivity which eventually leads to long-term worries and anxiety. Once you know how to cope with anxiety and depression, you can relax without having to worry about one condition breeding the other.

Symptoms of Anxiety

For symptoms, there are four categories of symptoms to know whether you have anxiety or not, namely: physical, thoughts, emotions, and behavior.

  • Let’s start with the physical symptoms that you may have. Some symptoms would include tension, muscular pain, dizziness, chest pain, trembling, shaking, and palpitations.
  • For thoughts, you would often ask to worry about if something bad happens, you would always look at the worst case scenario, your mind is always on alert, and you often worry all the time.
  • For emotional symptoms, you would often feel nervous, panicky, or stressed. You’d also feel very irritable and would have a short temper.
  • Lastly, you would have behavioral symptoms. If you feel like wanting not to do things you like, often pace around, get spooked easily, talk too fast, and get angry at people too fast.

Self-Help Tips for Anxiety

Now that we know more about anxiety and its links to depression, let’s go deeper into knowing the tips on how to cope with anxiety and depression. In the next two sections, we’ll be learning effective and proven methods on how to cope with anxiety and depression.

The prevention tips are split into two kinds, the mental tips, which are tips that are focused on trying to change our state of mind and the lifestyle tips which focus on lifestyle changes that may affect our mental state.

Mental Tips

  1. Understanding more about anxiety

If you want to know how to cope with anxiety and depression, you have to understand them. Let’s start with anxiety.

One thing that we should understand is that anxiety is a daily part of our lives. We experience anxiety every day when we look at our unpaid bills, when we are called to the boss’ office or before we receive our report card. The anxiety that is caused by adverse situations is known as a fight or flight response that we develop in order to help fight away the danger. This is actually an evolutionary response that our ancestors used back in the days of primal survival. However, our minds have already been accustomed or used to the fight or flight response, so even if there is no need to turn on our “survival mode,” the mind still turns it on. It is because of this that we still experience anxiety even if there is no danger but just some small adversity. In a sense, anxiety is our fight or flight response which is kicked into auto-pilot.

  1. Control Unhelpful Thoughts

What makes anxiety a danger to our mental state is the fact that when we worry about adverse situations that can be rather unrealistic. When this happens, it’s very important to know how to control these unhelpful thoughts. For example, a person with social anxiety who is about going into a room full of people may think that no one will like him or her. This is an example of a ‘worry’ feeling that really has no basis. To control unhelpful thoughts, we must first identify it.

Below are the cues to show what an unhealthy thought is:

◻ Predicting the Future

◻ Assuming What Another Person is Thinking about You

◻ Exaggerating or Blowing Situations Out of Proportion

◻ Pressuring Yourself to Follow a Societal Standard

◻Using the Outcome of One Situation as a Generalization for the Outcome of All Other Situations

◻ Labeling Yourself

When you are thinking thoughts that fall into any of these categories, it will help if you list them down. After you do, ask the following questions:

  • Does My Thought Have Any Basis?




  • What Category Does My Unhelpful Thought Fall In?




  • What Would I Tell a Friend If He or She Have This Unhealthy Thoughts?





  • What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Harboring this Thought?







  • Is There Any Way to Perceive the Situation?







  1. Improving your problem-solving skills

Beefing up on your problem-solving skills is one very good way to help your anxiety problems. We would generally develop anxiety whenever we have problems piled in our thoughts. When these unresolved problems just pile up and pile up, we would drown in them and not solve any of them. Just think of it like getting a credit card loan– if you don’t pay the principal amount, the interest just piles up until we drown in it. In order to fix this, we have to create a system on how we can fix our unresolved issues one by one until they’re totally wiped out.

Here is a systematic outline on how to approach problems one by one:

  • Make a List of Your Problems and List them in Order of Priority
  • Identify the Problem (What exactly is the problem?)
  • Make a List of Possible Solutions for the Problem
  • Choose the Best Solution from the List
  • Create the Steps on How to Carry Out the Solution
  • Carry Out the Solution and Evaluate Whether it Worked
  • Choose a Different Solution if it Didn’t Work

With these steps, you can systematically solve each of your problems one by one.

  1. Learning how to reduce the amount of time you spend worrying

Lastly, you have to learn how to decrease your worry time. One technique to do this would be to create a “worry time”. Outside of your worry time, probably for just 20 minutes, try to take out all thoughts in your head. When you’re in your worry time, time yourself with a timer so that you can limit it. While you’re in your “worry time,” try to make up as many solutions as possible and list them down. Try to solve them again in the next worry time.


Lifestyle Tips

Those are some mental tips on how to curb your anxiety. However, for you to overcome anxiety and depression fully, there are some lifestyle changes that you need to obey, such as:

  1. Eat Well

Always eat a balanced meal curbing unhealthy processed foods, too much sweets, and too much carbs.

  1. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise helps you emit happy hormones and create a “high” that can curb anxiety.

  1. Learn to Relax

Pick up some activities that can help you relax like sports, yoga, or meditation.

  1. Do Something You Like

One of the symptoms of anxiety is that you stop doing things that like to do. Try going back to doing what you like to do so that you can be happy.

  1. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

Whatever you do, avoid drugs and alcohol because it won’t make your anxiety go away. It would make you even more destructive.

  1. Talk to a Loved One

Lastly, talk to a loved one. Opening up to a trusted family member or friend will help you, not only to vent out your worries but also to make you feel that there is someone there for you.

Read our next article on depression