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What is resilience

Resilience is the ability to handle life challenges with strength and grace so you don’t lose yourself in the aftermath of grief and tragedy. 

It’s the way you adjust your mindset and thought patterns to not just survive, but thrive, during rough times.

Resilience means to keep going and to keep pushing forward with faith in yourself and faith in better days ahead.

Resilience is the key trait that can help you overcome life’s challenges. Like any skill that gets better with guidance and training, resilience is something that can be learnt and mastered with time, dedication, and practice.

So how can you develop resilience to get through hardships in life?

  1. Remember that you’re not alone.
  2. Believe in yourself.
  3. Have positive expectations from Allah ﷻ.
  4. See challenges as an opportunity for growth.
  5. Adopt healthy coping strategies.
  6. Keep Dunya in your hand, not in your heart.
  7. Ask yourself if what you’re doing is helping or harming you.

1. Remember that you’re not alone.

When hard times hit, the very first thing to remember is that you haven’t been singled out for misfortune.

Whether it’s a physical illness, a loved one’s death, betrayal, divorce, unemployment, or any other adversity – every single person out there has their own set of challenges. This doesn’t in any way invalidate your struggle. It just helps you feel less isolated in your pain.

As long as you’re alive, rough times are bound to occur. And there’s nothing to fear in that, because this world is never going to be perfect. When you accept this reality, you’re able to face challenges with faith and resilience.

2. Believe in yourself.

Remind yourself of all the times in the past that you’ve gotten through even worse hardships. You didn’t think you could survive them at the time, but look at where you are now. 

So believe in your ability to cope with anything life throws at you! Have faith in yourself. 

Accept what you can’t control and focus your attention on what you can control instead. This shift in perspective is absolutely vital to endure even the hardest phases of life.

3. Have positive expectations from Allah ﷻ.

Your relationship with Allah ﷻ is like the ark of Nuh (as) in helping you navigate the ups and downs of this life. When you submit to His will and decree, you’re at peace because you know He is watching over your affairs.

Prioritize your relationship with Allah ﷻ in both good times and bad. Spend time in reflection, Dhikr, and Dua. These are the tools that will help you weather even the roughest storms.

Are you struggling with your faith and trying to find purpose, meaning, and fulfillment in life? Click here to find out how I can help you as your spiritual and personal development coach.

4. See challenges as an opportunity for growth.

The only thing permanent in life is change. This reality is described in the Quran in the following manner:

لَتَرْكَبُنَّ طَبَقًا عَن طَبَقٍ
You shall certainly ascend from stage to stage. [84:19]

So rather than fearing change, embrace it. Use obstacles to better yourself. Whatever challenges are placed in your path, they’re enhancing your strengths and capabilities.

5. Adopt healthy coping strategies.

Whether it’s going for a walk, writing in a journal, or talking to a friend, learn and practice the healthy self-care habits that work best for you in nurturing you and helping you recharge. 

When we get caught up in our routine responsibilities as a student, wife, mom, or working woman, our own personal self-care can start to slip down our priority list until it’s completely gone from our lives. 

This is extremely harmful to our mental wellbeing because we need to learn how to manage stress and anxiety on a day-to-day basis. Taking out regular time for self-care and healthy activities is essential so you don’t burn out.


6. Keep Dunya in your hand, not in your heart.

When you hold on too tight to the Dunya, your heart breaks every time something goes wrong. 

When you learn to let go of the Dunya, when you realize how ephemeral and temporary this life is, you become at peace with whatever happens. 

As the Prophet ﷺ said, 

 كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّكَ غَرِيبٌ، أَوْ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ

Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler. [Sahih Bukhari]

7. Ask yourself if what you’re doing is helping or harming you.

As suggested by a prominent resilience researcher, Lucy Hone, you should ask yourself the following question when going through a difficult time:

“Is what I’m doing harming or helping me?”

So the activity in question can be stalking an ex’s social media account. It can be spending hours ruminating over the past. It can be engaging in destructive behaviors. 

It can also be something positive, like exercising, journaling, talking to a mental health professional, etc.

If what you’re doing is harming you, it needs to stop so you can move on and let go. 

If what you’re doing is helping you, do more of it so you can get through this difficult period of your life.

I hope you found these tips useful! How do you cope with life’s challenges? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below to let me know.

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Khadija Khan

Khadija Khan is a mental health and spiritual wellness coach. With over 5 years of experience, she is passionate about helping Muslim women heal from depression and anxiety to find joy and fulfilment in their lives. She writes on the topics of Islamic spirituality, relationships, parenting, and personal development. Continue Reading...


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