Anxiety free lifestyle: Prayers and natural remedies
Author: Rownak Salam
Are you feeling anxious or stressed about starting a new job, exams, complexities of love life or any other type of new challenges in life? Anxiety is unpleasant, but it is a part of the process to achieve success, right? Some regular anxiety could only be a feeling that comes and goes, but some anxiety remains in the system for so long that it might leave a permanent dent in us, both physically and emotionally. Some anxieties may spike our blood pressure or cholesterol. Stress and anxiety are two sides of the same coin. Stress affects both the brain and body, and it can accumulate from an event or activity that makes anyone nervous, fearful or anxious.
Chronic anxiety can lead to a clinical or major depression. Likewise, worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety aids to build up chronic physical diseases such as cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and can affect anyone at any age. According to the American Psychiatric Association, women are more susceptible to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder than men.
Symptoms of general anxiety include:
- increased heart rate
- rapid breathing
- trouble concentrating
- difficulty falling asleep
- shortness of breath
- dry mouth
- chills or hot flashes
- apprehension and worry
- numbness or tingling
That’s a lot! One person’s anxiety symptom might be totally different from someone else’s. That’s why it’s important to know all the ways anxiety can present itself! I am quite positive that none of us would like to suffer from stress or anxiety, nor we like to visit doctors’ office for those early symptoms (unless it is severe). Most often doctors would rather prescribe antidepressants and sedatives to relieve anxiety instead of guiding patients towards using natural and herbal methods. Those medicines may cause people to feel drowsy and uncoordinated with other physical or emotional side effects. Truthfully, for some people, medical treatment isn’t even necessary if the precautions are taken from early on.
Anxiety prevents us from looking at life positively. A life of clarity, consciousness, vigor and energy may be on the horizon for us when we incorporate two basic things in our daily life. First, is seeking guidance from our loving Creator for wisdom and energy to combat troubles without feeling weak by it. And, then is to find the remedies in the nature that has been suggested in the Holy Book by the Creator. Remember, He is the only one who can provide support by giving us the necessary wisdom on how to keep calm under stress or anxiety and how to handle the problem(s) methodically. Patience is a virtue and stress are disease must be handled with patience. And, daily prayers guide us to be patient. Accepting that you cannot control everything is a major key to managing anxiety, which can be done more easily with the understanding that God has a greater plan and that He (SWT) knows what is best for us. In many verses of the Qur’an we find the guidance on how the Creator takes care of those who remain patient and unaffected by calamities only by relying on the Almighty God as our savior and protector. In Surah Luqman (verse 17) “and be patient over what befalls you”.[i] “But they plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners” (8:30)
Here I will cite few more examples from the Holy Qur’an which stresses upon keeping your faith in God Almighty when the problem encompasses a person.
“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest” (13:28)
Dhikr, prayer and meditation can help one feel calm.
O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient” (2:153). Patience is difficult, but it is important. Combined with prayer and remembrance of Allah, patience will help you get through the tough times to see that the pieces that were once all up in the air fell into place. “Allah is sufficient for us and He is an excellent trustee” (3:173) “Indeed, after hardship there is ease” (94:6)
Allah has spoken about being tested in the Quran; This world is for tests, and with these tests we will grow as people and grow closer to Him. He has also promised that there will be ease after every hardship. Look forward to that, know that the situation you are in won’t be forever, that you will get through it and that it will feel amazing when you do.
As they say, let go and let God. With that in mind, place your worries and fears with Him and see how He takes care of you.
This is true that Allah (God) puts us through various tests and also nothing is given to us without testing our patience and good work, so acknowledging that
The Holy Book does not only instruct us to follow those verses but also suggests the use of natural remedies found in plants, shrubs and fruits to cure both physical and emotional diseases. In the holy book (Al Qur’an) God mentions natural plants and their medicinal values. None of those have any harmful side effects when used properly, nor does it create any chemical dependency. A natural remedy is not geared to cure only a specific problem but adds more benefit to our overall health.
In the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah (prophet’s guidance), several botanical terms related to trees are mentioned, such as fruits, leaves, branches, roots and many more. In the Quran, many plants and trees are mentioned by name, such as figs, olives, pomegranates, grapes, date palms, bottle gourds, tamarisk, ginger, camphor, and others. For example, the following verse says, “Then let mankind look at his food. How We poured down water in torrents, Then We broke open the earth, splitting [it with sprouts], And caused to grow within it grain and grapes and herbage, And olive and palm trees, And gardens of dense shrubbery, And fruit and grass [As] enjoyment for you and your grazing livestock” (Aabasa: 25-32).[ii]
With all those being said, I am now focusing on using herbs and shrubs and fruits and veggies that actually are helpful to lift your mood and to give a happy feeling instead of feeling down. Most of those fruits and herbs are mentioned in the Qur’an as beneficial for our health and wellness. Those are: brown rice, couscous, kale, pomegranate, apple, grapes, dates, almond, basil, raisin, walnut, olive. olive oil, black seed oil, honey (organic), fish in shell- all those are energy deriving food. In the following paragraph I would like to bring up qualities of some beneficial fruits and herbs mentioned in both Qur’an and Bible.
Olive (Oil): Olives have been mentioned seven times in the Qur’an and their health benefits have been propounded in Prophetic medicine. The Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said: Take oil of olive and massage with it – it is a blessed tree. (Darimi, 69:103).[iii] The fruit and the leaf of Olive tree are both considered as a very good source of energy. The olive tree has a long history of medicinal and nutritional values. The fruits contain good amounts of minerals like calcium, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc. Oil expressed from these fruits is recognized as one of the healthiest edible oils since it contains less saturated fat and composes linoleic (omega6) and linolenic acid (omega-3) essential fatty acids.
Black seed oil: While it is not mentioned in the Qur'an, there are two authorative hadiths which mention it as a universal cure: that of Abu Hurairah (Radhiallahu Anhu) and that of Khalid bin Sa’d. They both say the Messenger of Allah recommended it as a cure for every illness.
Dates: The Prophet said: “Break your fast by eating dates as it is purifying,” (Ahmad).[iv] This fruit provides energy and strength both. Dates contain a high percentage of carbohydrate (total sugars, 44-88%), fat (0.2-0.5%), 15 salts and minerals, protein(2.3-5.6%), vitamins and a high percentage of dietary fibre (6.4-11.5%). Dates are great energy boosters as they contain natural sugars like glucose, sucrose and fructose. Cures abdominal cancer. The best thing is that it does not have any side effect. on the body. It also helps in improving eye sight and helps in curing night blindness as well
Pomegranates: It is mentioned thrice in the Qur’an – in Surah VI: 99, Surah VI: 141 and in Surah LV: 68.One of the oldest semitic representation of life and abundance was the multi-seeded fruit of pomegranates. Centuries later, Prophet Muhammad (saws) claimed another virtue for the pomegranate. He said that eating the fruit would banish envy and hatred.[v] Pomegranate is considered as an aphrodisiac, it wipes away sorrows and positively balances mood. It contains a plentiful supply of potassium as well as such minerals as phosphorus, calcium, iron, and sodium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C. Acting together with sodium, potassium regulates the body's water equilibrium and ensures that the heart beats normally. By maintaining the body's potassium-sodium balance, it also helps the nervous and muscular senses to function regularly.
Banana: Elevate mood by cleansing the bodymind. Bananas are also has mentioned in the Quran as one of the fruits of Paradise: Allah Almighty says in Quran: "Amid thornless lote-trees, and banana-trees (with fruits), one above another, and extended shade, and water flowing constantly, and abundant fruit, neither intercepted nor forbidden” (43). This ayah of the holy Quran mentions the blessings that the dwellers of heaven will enjoy. Banana fruit is one of such blessings, therefore, the availability of banana fruit in the world should also be considered a blessing.
The Creator did not create flowers without reasons as well. We get attracted to the flowers mainly because they look pretty and also because the aroma reaches through the nostrils to the brain thus by working as a medicine. Centuries ago, the Egyptians started extracted the flowers, barks and roots to make essential oils. Oils that work as a therapy for emotional uplifting and to cure physical ailments. The following are a few of those examples on the purpose those serves in human lives.
Anxiety and Essential oil (pure plant and flower extract)
Lavender: Aids neurological issues such as anxiety, migraines and depression.
Roman Chamomile: May ease feelings of paranoia and aggression.
Rose: Pure rose oil is found to be a very nourishing for curing anxiety (great for the skin,too).
Vetiver: Used for relaxation, helps to alleviate anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Frankincense: Shown to help reduce heart rate and high blood pressure and cleanse air.
Those above are just few examples of thousands of flowers and plants those can heal. There are many more natural cures that an aromatherapist or herbalist can fully explain depending on the cause of the problem.
If you feel that you are struggling with anxiety, try the self-care method, consult with an herbalist or aromatherapist. However, prolonged anxiety should be consulted with medical doctor to get medicinal help if need.
So, by now, we find an understanding that religion of Islam suggests that stresses are cured in two ways, first the cure of soul through prayers and second the cure of ailments through (natural) medicines (Marwat et al., 2009b). Accordingly, in addition to prayers we are in need to follow a healthy lifestyle. We need to incorporate a habit of healthy eating and self-caring. Self-care includes a healthy eating habit as well as to create a happy and healthy environment that provide clean energy to uplift the bodymind.
With those two healing ideas in mind, I as an aromatherapist and a promoter of natural healer would like to suggest that get into a regular habit of practicing prayers few times (for less than 5 minutes each time) every day to pacify or calm your innerself. Use aromatherapy or natural healing as a precaution to stay away from being stressed. Incorporate healthy eating In conjunction with aromatherapy. Also, you may like to get into the habits of getting enough sleep, meditating more, including physical exercise in daily life, healthy diet, and also by avoiding alcohol and tobacco. By following a proper routine and a regimented prayer habit you will avoid being stressed and stress related issues that I mentioned beforehand. Creating a circle of likeminded people around you also keep anxiety attacks away.
Stay naturally blessed and happy.