Motivational speaker and author of several self-help books, Denis Waitley has said, “Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present towards the future.” We can develop a positive attitude towards our future by refusing to dwell on past hardships, realising that they cannot be changed, and knowing that stressing oneself over them is useless as well as foolish. We must train ourselves to shun depressing thoughts and reject feelings of fear and anxiety over what might happen in the future.
All future events and circumstances, whether good, pleasant, evil or difficult are impossible to predict and are totally under the control of The Almighty and All-Wise; none of the slaves of Allah The Almighty have any control over them. All we can do is to strive hard to achieve virtuousness and prevent harm from befalling us.
A believer should rely on Allah The Almighty for favours and wellbeing and be content with his lot in life. This makes the heart tranquil, improves his general circumstances and removes anxiety and grief.
A beneficial way of dealing with anxiety about the future is to use the supplication of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) , in which he used to say:
“O Allah! make my religion easy for me by virtue of which all my affairs are protected, set right for me my world in which I live, make good for me my Hereafter which is the resort to which I must return, make my life a means of increase in achieving all types of good, and make death a relief for me from every evil.”
Also, his saying, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) :
“O Allah! I hope for Your mercy, so do not leave me to myself even for (as short a time as) the blinking of an eye and rectify for me all my affairs. Nothing is worthy of being worshipped except You alone.”
If one repeatedly utters these supplications with a sincere and attentive heart, while simultaneously striving to improve his future, Allah The Almighty will certainly respond to the supplications and grant success.
On the other hand, being emotionally prepared for hardships reduces the harms that result from sudden afflictions. Being in a state of preparedness also reduces anxiety, since the anxiety will be replaced by enthusiasm to get the very best out of the situation in a manner that minimises harm as far as possible. The best way to handle a situation that causes fear, sickness, poverty, or loss of cherished items, is to stay calm and then prepare to face the worst of it, because expecting hardship and acquainting oneself with it reduces its impact, especially if at the same time one keeps himself busy by striving to prevent it as much as possible.
Of course, this is only in addition to completely relying on and putting one’s trust in Allah The Almighty. Complete reliance on Allah The Almighty is the primary source of strength that helps one face afflictions and helps to gain the reward from Allah The Almighty for his perseverance.
One of the most effective cures for the diseases of the heart (whether physical or emotional) is having a strong, resilient heart that is free from anxiety and imaginary illusions brought on by evil thoughts. This is because when a person succumbs to his imagination, his heart begins reacting to it. Therefore, if one is unduly worried about sickness, anger, harm, evil and the loss of loved ones, this will affect the heart and make a person more anxious and fearful, and result in physical and emotional diseases of the heart. These thoughts may even lead to a person having a nervous breakdown, which has serious health repercussions.
Hospitals are filled with people who suffer from delusions and morbid imaginations; even strong-hearted people have been affected by this, let alone the weak-hearted, and this has led many of those who have been affected by this to do countless foolish and ridiculous things. However, the one who is safe from all this is the one whom Allah The Almighty has granted the ability to struggle against his desires and engage in beneficial acts which strengthen his heart and expel anxiety and grief. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
“And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him.”
(Quran, 65: 3).
Meaning He will suffice him in all that concerns him, in worldly matters as well as those of the Hereafter.