Eeeeek. EXAMS. Stressed.

>> Saturday, April 13, 2013

Okay, so I am 16 years old and I think I have really weird problems.
I don't know how to calm down, stress less and be a little more self-confident because it jeopardises my school work. For example, I am a very anxious and worrying person. I could stress over everything and I don't believe in myself- or so all my teachers tell me. My history teacher said that if I don't calm down and panic less in my exam then I could seriously mess up because I could misread the question and blank out- which has happened to me in a MOCK exam- what's gna happen in the real exam? He said you can't stress like this in your exam because then you're going to mess up. Also he says I don't believe in my intelligence and that I doubt myself- but I feel if I believe in myself then I could get proud- which is obviously very problematic especially in Islam!                                      The other thing is that lately, my skin is not the best. I have spots and hyper pigmentation on my cheeks and forehead and people- like my family just are like 'what happened to your skin' like my auntie said this to me then repeated it to my mum infront of me as if I had a disease and I went home and just CRIED my eyes out. Like its not nearly as bad compared to others but it is pretty bad. And my little cousins are like 'have you got teenage spots' or 'your spotty' and I'm just don't strong enough to deal with that because I honestly could cry. I get really defensive and angry about it whenever anyone says anything. But my mum and dad are obviously like you can't take these things to heart an you have to be a stronger person.

wa'alykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo,

I'm so sorry, hun, to read about your stress. When you're going through a stressful time, it's so hard to be able to enjoy anything: in every corner, there's a shadow..a glimpse of stress 'lurking'....
It's even worse when your teacher is telling you that you CAN'T STRESS because stressing out is going to make you do even worse in your exam. Then, you're stuck stressed out about stressing out..and it's like..


So yeah...I totally feel for you, sweets. 

Here's a big hug for you.

But, now, let's take this one step at a time.

You said that you don't want to be "confident" because then you could become arrogant/ proud and that has big serious consequences in Islam. Well, hunny, it's really admirable that you don't want to fall into the trap of arrogance (which is basically the major sin Shaytaan fell into), but at the same time, as we mentioned before...there is a huge difference between self-esteem and arrogance. 

Take a look at our link here:
I'll just put one sentence here: 

Good self esteem is when you can recognize the gifts and opportunities Allah gave you and be grateful for them and ask Allah to keep blessing you.

Basically sis, good self esteem comes from our Islamic knowledge that we were perfectly fashioned by Allah. 

So first thing's first:
- trust in Allah
- appreciate your special abilities that you have been given
- work on improving the areas you need to improve

Second, let's talk about how to calm down =)
Sis, the thing to keep in mind is that life is full of troubles. We can't escape the fact that this world is a test and that it is, in many ways, a series of problems after problems. 

The Qur'an tells us: 
We have certainly created man into hardship. (90: 4)

What matters then is how we DEAL with those we cope with them.

Alhamdulillah, as Muslims, Allah has given us special ways to help us deal with stress. Since we've talked before about 'exams' and how to study for them, I'm going to focus this time on stress in general and how to deal with it...


First of all, just remember that you have a Loving Lord, who answers your CALL :)

And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [al-Baqarah 2:186]

Second, there are authentic duas you can recite to help ward off stress/ anxiety, including: 

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no-one who is afflicted by distress and grief, and says: ‘Allaahumma inni ‘abduka ibn ‘abdika ibn amatika naasyati bi yadika, maada fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka. As’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghayb ‘indaka an taj’al al-Qur’aana rabee’ qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa’ huzni wa dhihaab hammi

 (O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your maidservant; my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety),’ but Allaah will take away his distress and grief, and replace it with joy.” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allaah, should we learn this?” He said: “Of course; everyone who hears it should learn it.”

Ibn ‘Abbaas reported that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) felt distressed, he would say: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah al-‘Azeem al-Haleem, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb al-‘Arsh al-‘azeem, la ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb al-samawaat wa Rabb al-ard wa Rabb al-‘Arsh al-kareem
 (There is no god but Allaah, the All-Powerful, the Forbearing; there is no god but Allaah, Lord of the mighty Throne; there is no god but Allaah, Lord of heaven, Lord of earth, and Lord of the noble Throne).
Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was distressed by something, he would say: “Yaa Hayyu yaa Qayyoom bi rahmatika astagheeth
 (O Ever-Living, O Eternal, by Your mercy I seek help).”

Another of the beneficial du’aa’s which the Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us is the one he told us about when he said: “The du’aa’ of the person who is in distress is: ‘Allaahumma rahmataka arjoo fa laa takilni ilaa nafsi tarfat ‘ayn w’aslih li sha’ni kullahu laa ilaaha illa anta (O Allaah, for Your mercy I hope, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs for the blink of an eye. There is no god but You.

B. Prayer:

Work on perfecting your prayer. Trust me, there is nothing that is as soothing as bowing your head all the way down and turning all your troubles over to Allah. 
Instead of rushing in your prayer, take extra time in your sujood. Let all the troubles fall down off your shoulders...
Try also to wake up for the third of the night and both do extra prayers and duas. :)

C. Listen to/ Read Qur'an

D. Be Grateful. Focus on positive things and what is going on right. Tell Allah "Thank you". And remember this:
“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.'”

Besides these Islamic ways, there are also other ways to help reduce your tension and stress :) 
Things like:
  •  breathe in and breathe out, deeply and slowly
  • pamper yourself with a bubble bath
  • give yourself a soothing foot massage
  •  maybe you find baking relaxing? putting on nail polish?
  • listen to some soothing nasheeds
  • Think about a really good memory or a time when things were going right. Relive that moment
  • Exercise. Hit the gym :D
  • Go to a nice quiet park and relax
It's important that you eat good healthy foods, as well...and that you sleep well :) 

Here are some other ways for you, as well: 

As for the issue about your skin, you might want to discuss the matter with a doctor. It's pretty normal at that age for pimples and such to come out, but it doesn't hurt to get a doctor's opinion/ help. They might be able to recommend you a good cleanser or face wash...

Let's also get the sisters' opinions on how they manage their stress :D Share with us your ways to get rid of stress :)

May Allah make things easier for you, sweetie,

Little Auntie

1 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Aziza April 23, 2013 at 7:26 AM  

Wonderful advice MashaAllah. I have exams round the corner as well, so I truly appreciated it.
I pray that you can overcome your stress dearest sister and your skin issue as well. One thing that helps me cope with studying and school work is to focus on a little bit at a time. Start studying early on and try not to let things pile up at the end. Also try to keep a comfortable pace, study a certain amount of material each day and space it out. That helps me not to feel overwhelmed.
Hope that helps you InshaAllah. Trust Allah, do the best you can, and leave the rest in His hands. He will never, ever, ever let you down! :) <3

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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