How to Deal with Overwhelm and Difficulty

Apr 19, 2011 | Sufism

Question:  When you are going through a stressful or difficult time, how do you manage the strong emotions so that you don’t go into despair or overwhelm?

This question was posed to Dean of Education, Salima Adelstein.  Here is a summary of her response.

“When faced with challenging situations, this is when we rely upon Allah.  What this means is to feel the place where things depend upon God and not upon one’s self.

In your prayers, ask Allah to help you focus on what Allah is making with the situation and for a divine quality to help you open to the divine truth.

Watch how you set your priorities of what is important.  Do you set your priorities from a place of concern or fear?  It’s that place where you aren’t breathing or breathing in because you are short of breath.  Remember that God made us to breathe in and breathe out.  When you notice how you are breathing, or aren’t breathing, this can be an indicator of whether or not you are in a state of concern or fear.

In your prayers also ask for guidance to know the actions that Allah asks you to make.  This will help you to stay present with the ‘important’ items.

And allow yourself to open to the realization that wherever you are today is where you are and Allah knows.  Allah gives us optimism and moves in goodness.  As you rest in the idea that Allah knows, let yourself be in the arms of the goodness of the One.”