Happiness is a fuzzy concept, i.e. its is relative and has different definitions depending on the are of application.
In philosophy and (western) religion, happiness may be defined in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this sense was used to translate the Greek eudaimonia , and is still used in virtue ethics .
In psychology, happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
No matter how relative the definition of happiness and its pursuit may be, the general agreement is on the fact that if one is able to reduce stress and the factors that cause it, then one can actually have a shot at achieving happiness. Therefore, the pursuit of happiness and the refraining from stress go hand in hand.
People employ different methods, including reading helpful books to deal and cope with stress, however, for muslim, the simple and easiest way of combating this instrument of depression is by following the sunnah and the Qur’an. Listed below are ways and acts that reliefs stress and give hapinness.
#Seeking the pleasure Of Allah:
One of the major reason behind stress is that humans do thing for pleasing others. All we ever want to do is to go for things that we think could please others and when they aren’t pleased as we expect them to be, it brings disappointment which then leads to stress and keeps the happiness. The approach of a Muslim should be that of pleasing Allah Almighty. The reason why one should strive to seek the pleasure of Allah is the fact that only He is the One who returns exponentially and any effort done in His way does not go unrewarded. In Quran, Allah Almighty says:
“The believers, men and women, are Auliya of one another; they enjoin Al-Maruf, and forbid from Al-Munkar; they perform As-Salat, and give the Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. Allah has promised the believers – men and women, – Gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein forever, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of Adn. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah. That is the supreme success.” (9:71-72)
In these ayah, Allah Almighty calls His pleasure as the supreme success. Therefore, if a Muslim strives on the way of Allah, lives Islamic way of life, then the supreme success or the true happiness will befall upon Him and all the worries will definitely keep away. Hence, striving for the pleasure of Allah is far better than striving for worldly pleasures that bring stress and depression.
#Show Gratitude and stop looking for faults
The other and perhaps the most subtle element that keeps happiness away is being ungrateful for what we have and prying on other people and always being contemptuous and jealous of what they have. When we are not grateful for what we have then actually we are not appreciating what we have and if one cannot appreciate what he or she has then how possibly can they think of having more. Regarding being grateful, Allah Almighty says in Quran:
“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks, I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless, verily! My punishment is indeed severe.” (14:7)
From this ayah of Quran it is clear that those who are grateful for what they have are the ones who get more from Allah Almighty. Moreover, being grateful shows contentment in a person, which is the greatest ally one can have in achieving happiness and defeating stress. Therefore, being grateful is what can make a person happy in both present and future. As Muslims we should also strive to conceal the faults of our brothers, so Allah can cover ours, thereby keeping the mind at peace.
“O You who have accepted Islam with your tongues, but in whose heart faith has not yet entered! Do not annoy the Muslims nor revile them, nor seek out their faults. For whosoever seeks out the fault of his brother Muslim, Allah will seek out his faults. He whose faults are sought out by Allah, then Allah will expose him, even if he is inside his house” (Muslim)
“No man blames another for wickedness and unbelief, but it will return upon him” (Bukhari).
“…And whoever hides the faults of a Muslim, Allah will hide his faults on the Day of Resurrection” (Bukhari).
Think Of Your Soul As Well And Desire the Next World’s rewards more:
The problem with the ideals of happiness that we have at present are primarily based upon material things. We presume that money could bring us happiness, or if we were rich we would have less stress. Similarly, the progression in career, better social standing and so on are some factors which we consider as factors that could bring us happiness. The real happiness comes from the soul, if you are satisfied within then you will be happy with the outside world as well. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in one of His hadiths:
“True enrichment does not come through possessing a lot of wealth, but true enrichment is the enrichment of the soul.”
Therefore, in addition to living the life of this world, a Muslim must also work upon enriching his or her soul so that the achievement of happiness could become easy and the worldly pursuits that cause stress should be avoided.
“Anyone who desires the reward in this world shall be given it here, and anyone who desires the reward in the hereafter shall be given it there. Soon We will reward the thankful.” (Holy Quran 3:145)
“So as for he who transgressed, and preferred the life of this world, then indeed hellfire will be his refuge.” (Holy Quran 79: 37-39)
# Don’t Compare:
One of the major stress inducing factors at present is comparing one’s self with others, especially with the ones who are above us. When we compare ourselves with others who are better than us, we go into a complex and instead of appreciating what we have we start fretting over the things that others have, thus causing depression and keeping us away from happiness. First of all a Muslim should never indulge in worldly comparisons as everyone has his or her own relation with Allah and the blessings also vary depending on the relation. However, if a Muslim is to make comparison then he should make the comparison with the ones who are below him or her in whatever entity the Muslim is comparing. Regarding this comparison, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in a hadith:
“Look at those below you (less fortunate than you), and don’t look at those above you, for this is better.” (Muslim)
When a Muslim will compare him or herself with the less fortunate ones, then they will surely develop a feeling of being grateful and would feel happy and content for what they have instead of being worried about what others have and they cant get.