Be honest sis…

At any time of the day, if I would tell you to track ten thoughts, how many of those ten thoughts are thoughts that are negative in nature? No judgment here, friend! I teach what I teach, not because I was born with a perfectly, positive mindset. Quite the opposite! I do this work, because with the help of Allah(swt), I have managed to discipline my mind into positivity.

The 5-1 ratio

You see, our minds are drawn more to negativity, than to positivity. In fact, research has shown that the human mind has a tendency to gravitate towards negativity five times more than towards positivity!

But as Muslims, Allah(swt) created us with a purpose – to serve and worship Him(swt). And in order to fulfill this purpose, we must take care of all aspects of ourselves: our bodies, our souls, and our minds.

Like a child…

Subhan Allah, the mind is a powerful tool, but it can also be a source of distraction and turmoil if we leave it unchecked. Much like a child… in the lack of discipline, a child will feel lost, confused, and ends up acquiring some very unhelpful and negative habits.

However, raising a child with a framework of discipline: gentle and respectful guidance and treatment, and firm boundary setting, will lead to a child who might not be very happy and co-operative in the moment, but it almost guarantees an adult who will be well-rounded, well-mannered, and able to control himself or herself.

In the same way, it’s important to discipline our minds. This means being present and aware of our thoughts, rather than letting them control us. It means keeping our minds in check, and not allowing negative or harmful thoughts to take over. It also means setting firm boundaries for our minds. Places that you just won’t allow it to go. And if it does, you are right there, present and ready to re-direct the thoughts towards a more positive and constructive place. Isn’t self-control exactly that, after all?

But how do you discipline your mind?

Here are some tips:

1. Start with self-reflection: Take some time each day to sit down and reflect on your thoughts and emotions. What are the negative patterns that you tend to fall into? How do these thoughts make you feel? By becoming more aware of our thoughts, we can begin to take control of them and re-direct them towards positivity.

2. Practice mindfulness, meaning stay present in the moment. Our Deen is full of opportunities for this practice. Just our five daily prayers alone are an incredible opportunity to continuously practice mindfulness: Focus your thoughts on your meeting with Allah(swt) only. Do not worry about anything else at that moment. Learning to be mindful in salah, will translate over to other areas of your life, insha Allah!

3. Surround yourself with like-minded people. People who just like you, are continuously striving to discipline their mindset. Like the Prophet(saw) has told us: “A man will follow the way of his close friends, so let each one of you look at who he takes as a close friend.”

Disciplining our minds may not be an easy task, but it’s crucial to our success in this life and in the next. By disciplining our mind, we can better serve and worship Allah(swt), be kinder to our own being, better fulfil our other roles in life, and ultimately find true peace and fulfillment.

I pray to Allah, sis, that you are able to discipline your mind for His sake and enjoy the blessings of this life.