The world is sometimes a very tough place to live in, with all the ups and downs in life it sometimes feels that we are in some sort of never ending roller coaster ride. There is so much going on around us, positive and negative, good or bad which can lead us to experience many different emotions ranging from happiness to sadness.
At times we take all the good things we have for granted and focus on being pessimistic, we forget whatever emotion or experience we are going through is temporary and we will eventually have to face something different. Many people find it difficult to deal with emotions and let negativity overcome them, however as Muslims we should have a positive outlook all the time. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said “How amazing is the case of the believer; there is good for him in everything, and this characteristic is exclusively for him alone. If he experiences something pleasant, he is thankful, and that is good for him; and if he comes across some diversity, he is patient, and that is good for him.” [Muslim]
We need to understand that it part and parcel of life to have difficulties and challenges, and each and every one of us is going to go through some hardships in life at one time or the other. The key here is to remain positive and not let adverse situations affect the productivity and quality of our lives.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went to visit a sick bedouin. Whenever the Prophet went to a patient, he used to say to him: ”Don’t worry, if Allah Wills, it will be expiation (for your sins).” The bedouin said: “You say expiation? No, it is but a fever that is boiling or harassing an old man and will lead him to his grave without his will.” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Then, yes, it is so.” [Sahih Bukhari]
The bottom line then is to have a positive mindset and optimistic view on life no matter what the situation. Important to keep in mind is that the only thing we can control in our lives is our own attitude and how we react to various situations whilst Allah controls all affairs.
Once we are able to alter our attitude positively, the world all of a sudden looks a bearable place to live in and everything seems to fall into place. Here are a few ways through which we can program our minds to be more positive towards life.
1. Remember Allah
The most important virtue of a Muslim is to remember Allah at all times. In difficult times, when ones morale is low and you are feeling down, the best thing you can do is remembrance of Allah. The Muslim is blessed with so many duas and supplications that help in overcoming any negative feelings that one may have. Remembering Allah will take away the ill feelings, give mental relief and give you the strength to move on with a positive attitude.
2. Give thanks
Always be thankful to ALLAH for all the blessings that you have. If you look around, you will notice that you are blessed with so much that the little things we lose our sleep over do not really matter at all. Islam as a religion does not support the idea of being depressed because it makes a person ungrateful which is a virtue furthest away from a faithful and devout Muslim. Instead, look at those who are not as blessed as you are and have gratitude.
3. Look for the positives
Every situation has its positives and negatives or its pros and cons. Our effort should always be to look for the positive side of things no matter what situation or condition we may find ourselves in. This depends on our mindset. If we are determined on finding all the negatives, then you will see all the negatives.
However, if your outlook is positive, you will see the benefits of a particular situation. Look at the half glass full instead of the half glass empty and have faith that Allah can open ways for you. Once you see the positive side, it will become much easier to accept the situation and work towards improving it.
4. Be patient
Learn to always be patient in all circumstances. Many things happen in life, good and bad and we need to be brave in the face of adversity. What we need to remember is that no situation in life remains the same for a long time. Whatever circumstances you may find yourself it will eventually change, being patient is also the ingredient of successful people.
5. Never give up, have faith
One of the most essential qualities of a Muslim should be to never give up. Be brave, be patient and have faith. You will face difficulties on every step and corner of life and all you need to do is to keep your head held high. Keep trying with the faith that there are better things in store for you and that with your will power and dedication will pull through.
This means that you have not lost hope and are positive about achieving a task in the near future.
Implement these above steps and remain positive at all times simply because negativity hampers progress and productivity, whereas, positivity breeds productivity! Share other ways you develop a positive outlook below.
Talha Tashfeen Qayyum is a freelance writer who intends to contribute back to life, society and Islam through his writings on self-improvement and personal development with the vision of serving humanity and positively affecting other people’s lives. His articles are published in newsletters, websites, online magazines & blogs and have also been translated into the Russian, Taiwanese & Indonesian languages.