Mar 6, 2013


By Yasmin Ahmed


I thought I would write about this topic as I often go through the peaks and troughs of emotions, alhamdulillah, not as much as I used to as I have learnt to listen to my body but there are times when something might happen and WHAM! I hit rock bottom. There is that feeling of doom and gloom, as if you are in the bottom of a well and the light is nowhere to be seen, wave upon wave of sadness ascends with no hope of it ever clearing. Alhamdulillah these feeling are very rare, yet when it does descend all I want to do is to quickly get rid of the grey cloud and get back to normality. Here is a list of things I have put together to help you to get rid of your grey cloud and get back to seeing the light again.

Note 1: I am not talking about severe depression, for severe depression it is best to see a professional (and if you want to try out these tips as well).

Note 2: Depression or deep sadness affects us all at some point in our lives and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Depression affects the young as well as the old so it is a must that parents look out for any change in their children’s behaviour as they will not know what is happening to them.

Am I depressed?

When you feel sad or depressed think about whether it is actually depression, PMT or just sadness. (If it is PMT it could be hormonal imbalance for which there are vitamins and minerals such as Magnesium etc. and a healthy diet which can usually sort this out[i]).

You might also want to think about whether you have a right to be depressed especially if you have a warm bed, regular meals and a roof over your head. You might just want to think about that poor soul in the far distant land who does not have the comforts you do and therefore they have a right to feel depressed more so than you. In which case it is better for you to begin counting your blessings and thank your Creator for all the blessings He has bestowed upon you. Take out a large sheet of paper and write down the blessings you have, it might just be the mental jump start you need. When doing this activity really think carefully about each blessing in your heart and think how life would be without it. Think about how many blessings do you have that are not actually necessary for your survival? How many blessings are just luxuries? Etc.

If you are prone to depression then prepare for it. Why not make a Happy Box, get a big box and fill it with things that make you smile as you look at them. A few years ago my nephew in his very first year secondary school worked on a cushion for months and made it with the intention of giving it to me for my birthday. When he gave it to me I was so taken aback and it means so much to me, more than any other expensive gift. So in your Happy Box you do not need to put in expensive things put in things that give you that warm, fuzzy, glow inside.

In the box put in textures that you like and colours that give you a lift.

Tip: Try this – First relax your body, to enable you to do this tighten each area of your body for 10 seconds, start from your feet - tighten 10 sec – relax, shins – tighten 10 sec relax, knees, thighs etc. all the way up to your face (remember your hands and arms). Concentrate on your breathing.

Think of a time when you were really, really happy. What were you doing? Make the picture really, really big and vivid, feel the happiness bubbling inside you. Listen to the sounds etc. Enjoy it! Give the emotion a colour, once you have done this, and then give it a taste and even a smell. When you are ready come back to the present. (This is best done with somebody reading this to you). Record the colour, taste and smell, these will now be triggers for lifting your mood.

Put anything that is your mood enhancing colour into the box. (You might even want to put in the taste trigger especially if it is a bar of chocolate, try this food a few days later and see how you feel).

You might want to keep a Happy Journal and write in it all the pleasant things that have happened to you in your life. There might be events that you had forgotten. When you get into the habit of writing happy events, you start to make more happy events because you start producing positive vibes. As you physically start to look for the positive you actually begin to create more positive moments, moments you might normally have missed.

The more you look for and record positivity the more positive you become. Repetition is the key to learning, thoughts that are repeated actually restructure your physical brain (I repeat actually restructure your physical brain!). You become what you consistently think about.

Shaykh Yassir Fazaga said the following in his lecture:

Watch your thoughts, they become your words,

Watch your words, they become your Actions.

Watch your actions, it becomes your habit,

Watch your habit, it becomes your character.

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny!

Self Image Psychology – Sh. Yassir Fazaga[ii]

Now you can see how this works – Subhanallah!

For this very reason you have to cut negative thoughts out of the thinking process. If a thought comes let it just be a thought. Do not give it any attention. Do the same for wasawis (that horrid voice that sneers at you in your head). When you are being attacked by wasawis and you feel you cannot stop it, really shout at it, really give it as good as you get, do not let it win. Really muster up all your strength and fight it, wasawis is only there to put you down. If you cannot think of anything to say then pray, chant something over and over again say ‘Astaghfirullah’ again and again.

Depressed Days

When you actually feel down and depressed, and getting out of bed is a real struggle, be really gentle with yourself do not demean yourself, your body is telling you something it might want some attention from yourself.

Power Shower

Start your day with a shower as the negative ions help rejuvenate the body. In the middle of a warm shower I quickly turn it to cold, it makes me scream and at the same time it gives me such a boost that I just have to giggle at the shock, I always turn it to warm and sometimes repeat it 2 or 3 times, and the happy mood stays with me all day.

Eat the Blues Away

Although you may not feel like eating, do NOT go hungry. Sometimes just having a filling meal does wonders and your mood changes, try and eat natural foods. On a recent course our trainer suggested we drink green smoothies first thing in the morning. This is so easy to do. You do not even have to think about it. You put anything that is green and raw into a blender, whizz it and drink it, it is so easy and filling. There is something uplifting and comforting about the green colour. It can only be healthy and do you good. Try to cut down on sweet processed food and sugar as it gives you sudden highs and lows so stick to natural food.

Stay Hydrated

Another must is to stay hydrated, drink 7 to 8 glasses of water every day and squeeze in a little lemon. Water keeps you hydrated and alert whereas dehydration makes you tired, so stock up on water, normal tap water is fine.

Colour Your Way Happy

Wear nice uplifting colours, if you have done the work on visualising your happy moment you will know which colour uplifts you (you could also look at my previous article Colour Your Way Happy[iii] for more information on colour). You might want to try wearing clothes that change your mood like a work suit or a party dress. Do not think about the fact that you sat at home with no one so why dress up? Just do it!

Pick Me Up

Wear uplifting rejuvenating scents, lemon, lime and green tea are all uplifting scents. You might even want to invest in an uplifting scent, I found a scent a few years ago called ‘Smiley’ which was meant to activate happiness.

Soak in the Sun

If it is a sunny day try and sit in the sun. The sun naturally gives your body a boost. Soak in the sun, let it gently warm you and uplift you. Close your eyes and let it shine away. If you can strip naked even better, strip away and let the sun do its work, but do be careful in very hot weather.

Bring out the Artist

Rather than doing nothing look through the Happy Box you made. Read through the journal or write down how you feel. It does not have to be in sentences, just words is enough. Find yours or your children’s crayons and paint, draw, doodle do whatever you feel like. You might not feel like creating a masterpiece. Just get a roll of old wall paper and on the back of it just let yourself go. Do not restrict yourself scribble in black if you have to. If you are afraid of white paper try Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith you will be doing the strangest things.


If you really feel you cannot do anything creative and just want to sit there then move. Do exercise. Try Zumba or any other exercise videos. You will soon be lost in the moves. Exercise helps to release natural chemicals that improve your mood and make you feel happier.

Still do not feel like doing anything? Then just go out for a walk, (even in your party dress if you have to – so what if people will look at you – Do you really care what other people think of you at this moment in time?). Whilst walking play the naming game, where you look at everything and you name it – stone, tree, leaf, grass etc. I had a friend whose ten year old daughter decided she wanted to invent a new language so she gave everything new names – I have adopted her idea and give each object its new name. This gets me thinking about its colour, texture, purpose etc. Try it! Post your new names at the bottom. On your walk, try not to look down all the time, look up.

Look Up

When we are sad we tend to look down physically looking up does help. When you cry, if you physically look up you find you cannot cry at the same time. Try it with a baby or child when they are crying. When the child is crying try to coax them to look up and see if they can cry at the same time (please do not make your children cry just so that you can test this theory).

Once on a counselling course our lecturer told us about a person who had depression. His counsellor told him to take photographs of chimneys. He said after three months the depression had gone just from looking up all the time.

Study and Listen

Finally try and listen to uplifting talks, lectures. My favourite is listening to the lessons of Surah Yusuf – here is a Prophet alayhisalaam who went through so much. Study and read the Quran think about the hardships of all the Prophets alayhisalaam. Think about Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and his hardships – think about his duaa at Taif.

O Allah! Unto You do I complain of my weakness, of my helplessness and of my lowliness before men. O most Merciful of the merciful. O Lord of the weak and my Lord too. Into whose hands have you entrusted me? Unto some far off stranger who receives me with hostility? Or unto a foe whom you have empowered against me? I care not, so long as You are not angry with me. But Your favouring help, that were for me the broader way and the wider scope. I take refuge in the light of Your countenance whereby all darknesses are illuminated and all things of this world and the next are rightly ordered, lest You make descend Your anger upon me or lest Your wrath beset me. Yet it is Yours to reproach until You are well pleased. There is no power and no might except through Thee.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)[iv]

Find the Ultimate Counselor

Last and foremost remember we always have a Counselor who is closer than our jugular vein. Pray and really humble yourself before Him, do not get off your prayer mat but really contemplate Allah subhaana wa ta'aala being near and listening to you. Remember, He created you so He knows you better than you know yourself. Let your emotions go, cry like a child before Him, He does not mind. Really open up, tell the Most Mighty your problems. Ask Him questions and listen for the answers within (write it down if you have to). Make an appointment every week to really spend time with the Ultimate Counsellor and keep to it. You will feel much better.


I'd love to hear your opinions on this topic.  Please post in the comments section below :)


MashaAllah shukran very very beneficial shukran shukran for sharing InshaAllah I will definitely try this and share with my children may Allah reward you in this life and the next Ameen<3

Assalam sorry to be a bit abrupt but there was a few things which you had mentioned in this article which I found quite disturbing first you mentioned something about birthdays which we as Muslims don't celebrate and then you said about sitting in the sun naked if possible which is forbidden and wearing party dresses outside etc please could you explain what you meant and next time re-phrase and proof read your work before posing because some sisters might get the wrong idea jazarkhAllah

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