Haleh Banani – Managing Anxiety and Depression

Haleh Banani
AI: Summary © The host of a virtual news show discusses the mental health crisis affecting millions of people, including mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, mental health issues such as mental health problems, and uncertainty. They emphasize the importance of controlling one's thoughts and emotions to manage the crisis and offer advice on breathing, building one's immune system, and staying present in the present moment to avoid overwhelming emotions. They also mention a NASA organization that helps women with domestic violence and encourage others to take advantage of the time to choose to work on themselves and improve their relationships with Allah.
AI: Transcript ©
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Salam Alikum thank you for joining me today. I'm just going to give a few minutes to let everyone sign on. While you're here to let me know where you're tuning in from I know this is going to be short law, a global discussion, we're getting going to get started. And

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let's see smilla Bismillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah. Now we are coping with a pandemic that is affecting millions of people worldwide. And not only are we facing a pandemic on this front on the with the Coronavirus, we are dealing with a mental health pandemic as well. This is affecting the anxiety and depression of people globally. And we need to address it because if we are not, you know, with all the changes that have been happening, whether it is the staying at home, not being able to work, not being able to go to school, and facing all the challenges, if we don't know if we don't learn how to deal with this in the proper way. And in a in a way that is empowering, then

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we're going to face a lot of other challenges, we're going to see marriages falling apart, there's going to be more of a rift between the parents and the children and individuals experiencing more mental health issues. So we definitely need to face this head on. And we are going through this crisis together, I mean, globally, and we have never experienced going through so much initially. And together and many of you, you know, you're not used to this level of uncertainty, you're not used to this level of anxiety and depression and being emotionally unstable. Now, for those of you who already have the anxiety, you've been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, this is a very

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familiar feeling. You have been struggling with this probably for years. And now it's exponentially harder, it's exponentially harder for you to deal with some of the some of the challenges that are going on. And we see that today we're going to talk about how to how to cope with this in a way that will ease your mind that will help you and will put you in the right direction. inshallah, and I'm going to share with you a lot of the strategies that I use with with my clients on a daily basis, I have clients that are struggling with some of the same challenges, right, these are individuals who are diagnosed with depression and anxiety, or individuals who are finding themselves stuck at home,

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they are, you know, spending so much time with their children and their spouse and so many things are coming up and they're not sure how to cope with it. And so I will be sharing with you some of the same strategies that I work with them and it's being really it is calming the nerves and hummed a lot. And if you learn how to cope with this in a way that is that that is effective, you're going to be empowered beyond your belief because it really makes a difference how you deal with a crisis, right? Most people either they they crumble, they they give in to the panic, they just feel so overwhelmed. And then there are those individuals who actually rise to the occasion and they are you

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know, embracing some of the challenges and you see the difference in in their attitude and in the results. So, I want to give you that all those tools that will help you inshallah to get there. Now.

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We have six human needs, there are six human needs and the number one human need that we have is the need for certainty that need for certainty makes us feel like that need to want to know we are in control, we are in a safe place we have a job to go to we have people who love us and we have that feeling of certainty. And this is actually it is a survival mechanism. Right? And if we think about it, that if we are feeling that this is being attacked, right, our sense of certainty, where are we are we going to be healthy? Is our you know, our family is our family members going to be healthy, are we going to manage financially how are we going to cope with all of this So, there are so many

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uncertainties and that makes perfect sense why we are feeling like we are not in a state of equilibrium. We are facing

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A lot of anxiety, because our basic human need of certainty is right now it is under attack, right. And so we need to focus on what we can do. Right? When there is a lack of certainty, you got to understand that there are certain things you can still control, right, there are certain things you can control. And that is you can control your, your thoughts, you can control your emotions, you can control your behavior. Now, initially, most people will tell me, you know, it is not in my hand, my thoughts are automatic, this just happens. And it's not, it is not something I can control. But really, you can control it if you learn how it works, right. So being in control of the things that

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you do have control over, making sure that you have some level of predictability in this very unpredictable life that we are living right now, that's going to be crucial. If you choose to apply certain ways of looking at this happening, that right mindset, having the right strategies, and looking at this as an opportunity, then you're going to be in a much better state of mind, you're going to deal with this much better inshallah. So one is controlling your thoughts. Right, right now, one of the things that I'm sure you're struggling with is just all the things that are passing through your mind and thinking about what is going to happen, am I going to be saved? And there's so

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many things that come up, and we really have to focus on? How are we looking at this and choosing thoughts that are empowering, that are going that's going to calm us more than anything, even if you can't be positive right now, because a lot of my clients will tell me, you know, I just I can't be positive, I mean, I am really feeling a lot of stress, I am feeling a lot of uncertainty. And it's really not possible to be positive, positive right now. And I understand that. So the first step is becoming aware of a lot of the negative thoughts and stopping the negativity, okay, so I understand it comes in stages, right? First is, is recognizing that we do have this dialogue going on. And once

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you recognize that, then stopping a lot of the negative thoughts, the things that don't serve you the thoughts that come in and tell you, oh, my God, I'm doomed. And this is going to destroy me and I am overwhelmed all of these thoughts, they're not serving you. So at least Stop it, if you can't replace it with thoughts that are empowering, or thoughts that are positive, at least do your best to stop any form of the negative thought, Okay. And then the emotions, right, the emotions that we have, we do have control over them. I know that many people feel that they are just feeling these emotions as if it's just like a wave, or they feel like they are a leaf, and they are, you know,

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floating through. And they don't really recognize how much control they have over the emotions. And what's amazing that what's amazing in the line of work that I do is teaching people that you can choose your reaction you can and that is so empowering at a time like this, because we feel like everything is falling apart and everything has changed. And if you learn to control the way that you are reacting to the situation, then that is definitely going to give you that sense of empowerment, right? So we need to feel like we do have control over the thoughts, at least stopping the negative thoughts over the emotions. If you do have this sense of fear, if you do have this sense of anxiety,

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I'm going to share with you specific tips on how to manage that so that you won't feel so overwhelmed. Because if you are in tune, you know, if you're in tune with the thoughts and the emotions, then what happens is that first of all your thoughts lead to your emotions, and then your emotions lead to your actions and your actions actually lead to the events of your life. So it is really critical to be aware of this pattern, right? And it's no wonder that a lot of people are overreacting, they're feeling very overwhelmed because they're not taking it they're not taking control at the root of the problem. And is what is it that you're allowing your mind and you know,

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we have that choice. And if you take control of it, you're going to feel so much more calm. Because the goal right now, okay, I know. Many people have a hard time feeling feeling happy or feeling joy at this time. And the goal is right now to feel calm, okay, just feel calm, and it's very effective when you focus when you focus on your breathing. Okay.

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When you have the, you know, whenever there is fear, your amygdala is fired, and you have that fight and flight and freeze mode. And that will lead you to just shut down mentally, and, and it's really debilitating. So what we need to do is make sure that we shut that off, we have to get the parasympathetic mode on where we are feeling calm, okay, so your body is either in a state of stress, and it's either very tense, or it is calm, right? It can't be both at the same time. And one of the ways to trigger right one of the ways to trigger the parasympathetic system is that by breathing, okay, we got to do some deep breathing. And if you do this with me right now,

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you will see how effective it is. Okay? When I was in graduate school, there was a course that I took on stress management, okay, a whole semester on stress management. And one of the things that was, you know, the bottom line was basically all the things that we studied about whether whether it is exercise, whether it's Tai Chi, whether it is yoga, the reason it's so effective, the reason that we are able to relax, and even with smoking these because they're taking a deep breath, it all has to do with our breathing, right? So try doing the deep breath without the cigarettes without anything other than focusing on your breathing, right? So you find that right now I'm going to teach

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you if you take a deep breath in,

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and you hold it

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and breathe out.

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Okay, do it again, take a deep breath in,

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hold it

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and breather.

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Okay, you see how calming that is? Okay, so this is going to be a power a powerful tool for you to apply as soon as you start feeling that you're tense that your mind is going, you know, just 90 miles an hour, I want you to just stop and start breathing and start focusing on just calming yourself down because the the focal point today is to be calm, okay, we're going to get calm so you do the deep breathing. And as you say that, okay, I want you to do some thicker, okay? Because Allah, the Quran, Allah, He tats, Matt in Polo, verily it is with the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace. So we know that as soon as we start doing the kid, as soon as we are remembering a lot,

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our hearts calm down. So as you're doing the deep breathing, tried with me, this time, you start doing the record, okay? So take a deep breath and

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hold it

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and breathe out. And you're doing supine on law handed in law staffer, or whatever it is that you want to focus on. And as you are doing the thicket, I want you to visualize visualize what it is that you're grateful for visualize what it is that you are amazed at, when you say sapana law, think about the amazing mountains, think about the universe, think about, you know, the digestive system of an ant, and how amazing everything that Allah has created. Focus on that. Okay, so you're diverting your attention, okay, and this is a form of pattern interrupt, because you can get into the cycle of being very negative, and being very stressed. And, and if you don't stop that pattern,

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then you're going to just, you know, lead yourself into a panic attack, right. So we need to stop the pattern pattern interrupt, you start doing the deep breathing, you do the Vicodin, and you start visualizing all the things that you are, you are amazed about with what Allah has created, you think about all the things you're grateful for. And that will calm your nerves. So the breathing will have a profound impact on calming your nerves out, then it's going to be really critical to think about the end result know that this is temporary, I know that it seems when you're in the midst of a problem, whether you know whether that is a marital problem, whether it's an issue, you have a

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health issue, or you have a financial crisis, it's really easy to feel so overwhelmed and you feel like this is it and you can't see beyond the problem, right? So I want you to focus on the fact that this is temporary. Okay, we're going to get through this. And that's going to be very critical. If you start with the end in mind, right? That is one of the strategies that high performance individuals teach us as far as achieving our goals, right. So I teach my clients all the time, whatever it is that they want to achieve. They have to see it first right you have to see it with

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Whatever the mind can perceive, and believe it can achieve, right? I think it's Napoleon Hill who said that. And so we have to be able to actually see ourselves get through this, we have to see that we can be at peace at home, and we can get through this and we are going to be healthy and our life is going to go back to normal. If we feed our mind that what is that going to do? It's going to instill hope, right? It's going to make us feel like you know what, it's kind of like, I'm going to, I'm going to make it through, you see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I know, maybe, maybe right now you don't see the light, because all we're hearing is, you know, the numbers, numbers of

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people infected a number of deaths, and it's, you know, how medical supplies are, are limited, and we get overwhelmed, we get overwhelmed. And if you expose yourself to all that day in, day out, day in day out, then you are going to be very gloomy, and you will feel like no, there's no hope. But I want you to really muster up the strength to think about the fact that we are going to get through this, and we are going to inshallah, look back on this, right. And let's say in 10 years, 10 years, you think back to the pandemic 2020, right. And I want you to be proud of the way you handled it, right. Because you could either look back and just be really embarrassed about the way you coped,

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you can be very, like ashamed of it. Or you can look back and be proud of it, right. And this is our choice right now. So instead of instead of waiting, and then feeling like Oh, I wish I hadn't done that, Oh, I wish I could have handled it better, because there's nothing worse than remorse, right? The individuals that come in and they are remorseful about a mistake they made about a whether they, you know, messed up a relationship, they, you know, they set that fatal statement, they have made some really harsh, they've made harsh statements whether to loved ones, there's nothing worse than feeling remorseful. So we don't want to feel remorseful, we want to set ourself up for for success.

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We want to set ourself up for feeling at peace for the decision. So 10 years from now we can look back, we can look back and feel like you know what, I've hunted a lot hamdulillah that I dealt with this in the best way possible. This is our global test, and we're going to get through it. So visualize that because if you can't even visualize it, then you're not going to be able to put all the actions into motion, right? So inshallah together we can get through this by visualizing the end result and knowing that this is a temporary situation that we're going through. And you know, the questions that we ask ourselves, are the questions that we fail to ask shape our lives. Now what do

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I mean by that? A lot of times when things happen, what do people end up saying, what do they end up asking? Many times people are saying, Why did this happen to me? Why am I Why am I in this situation? Right? And a lot of people actually start questioning their faith, they start feeling very gloomy, because these questions are very, very disempowering. They start feeling like what is you know, why am I going through this? And that why question is not it's not empowering. So how do we state a question? How can we ask a question that will actually empower us? So you can ask, you know, in this situation, what am I really grateful for? What is it that I can focus on, that will

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shift my mindset because you're either looking at the problems or the solutions, you're either part of the problem, or you're part of the solution. And right now, I want us to be all all of us, we have to have the right mindset, we have to have the right energy, we have to have the right tawakkol in order to be part of the solution, right? We don't want to be part of that problem. So if you're choosing to have that right mindset, then that is

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that is going to be extremely empowering to asking empowering questions you can say, you know, how can I How can I have the right mindset? What is what is what is good about my situation? What can I learn? I think that is one of the most powerful things that we can ask right now. What can I learn from this right? There are so many powerful lessons and you hear my solid the shoe, and so many people speaking about the lessons that we're learning through this is the lessons of patience is the lesson of gratitude. It is the lesson of knowing that we have to surrender right? I mean, one of the biggest concepts in Islam is to surrender to surrender Islam and you know when you Aslam it's, it's

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that you surrender to the world.

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A lot And right now, right, we've always had that choice to, to surrender. And now it's like kind of forced, we are forced to surrender, because we can't do anything about this. And this is actually if we look at it as a training ground, we are training our nerves to surrender, we are training our nerves to do things that we don't like to do. It's kind of like, if you think about it at the time, you know, in during Ramadan, when we are training our knifes, you know, all the things we want to do, but we don't because we are, we are exercising discipline. So this is kind of like a boot camp, it is a training ground. Think of it as a training ground. And just like if you were in some kind of

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a boot camp, right? And you there would be no point in complaining, there would be no point in just saying that this is hard. And I don't like it. And as you know, why am I doing this? No, you focus on end result, I'm doing this boot camp, because I am going to strengthen my discipline, I'm going to you know, gain control over my mindset, I am going to be able to, you know, become like build my patience muscle build my endurance and resilience, right. So this is a training ground for all of us. And either we rise up and we like we seize this opportunity and really benefit from it. Or, you know, I know the natural tendency is to just kind of like, you know, you just give up, or you just

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you just cave in to all of those base desires and and just try to ignore the problem that's not going to help, we really have to be responsible right now, we really have to realize that this if we don't deal with it correctly, right now, then, in the future as as it gets worse than it's really going to affect us. So inshallah we can ask these empowering question, what is the wisdom behind this? What is the wisdom of all the massages being closed? What is the wisdom of us not being able to see one another? Right? I think we have taken so much for granted for so long, that we are actually being trained to be so much more grateful. And all the little things that we used to

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complain about all the things that we felt, you know, whoa, what a drag doing the school runs, What a drag, oh, it's Monday, I have to go to work off, you know, all these complaints that so many of I know, so many of my clients struggled with, right. And now what's happening is that everyone is wishing for those same things. So it is through deprivation, that we gain appreciation. So we're deprived from so many things. And yet, we're going to build our appreciation, but know that this deprivation is temporary. And when you focus on the fact that it's temporary deprivation, just like you know, when you're fasting, and you know, okay, I'm hungry, now I'm thirsty, but I'm going to

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wait it out, and inshallah I'm going to have my star, it's the same thing with within this, we're going to have temporary deprivation, from the things we love the things we're accustomed to, and then inshallah we can breathe and things are going to go back and, and having that trust and having that eloquent is so critical. And we need to make sure that we build our immune system. Okay, how do we build our immune system is that we have to do all the basic things, right? You have to make sure that you're getting up in the morning, those of you who are depressed, I know that that is the number one task that is overwhelming for many of you have had clients where when I was working at

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the VA hospital, where individuals their depression was so severe that I had to actually call them and say, Look, you have an appointment, you need to get up out of bed, you need to go get dressed, come on, you can do this, right. And I understand that it can be overwhelming. And your natural tendency is going to want to just go under the covers. And just you know, this is all a bad nightmare. And I want to wake up it's like a sci fi movie, right? But if you are going to get through this, you got it, you gotta get up, you've got to face it, it's not going to go away. And you can either deal with it in a mature, responsible way with God consciousness, or are you going to

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drown and I don't want you to drown, right? So in the morning, make sure you get up, get yourself up out of bed, get yourself to shower, get yourself to get your clothes on now for many of years, like what is this about? If you if you haven't experienced depression, then you can't you don't have that empathy. You may not understand how big of a deal this is, right? And for those of you who are new to all this, maybe you're feeling depressed for the first time and you find yourself in your pajamas all day long. And you're just you know, because depression is a downward spiral. And what ends up happening is that you stopped doing a

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A lot of activities, you stopped doing the things you usually enjoy. And then you get deeper and deeper into depression. And that's why we have to control it from right now. So wake up in the morning, you know, take your shower, get dressed, have a have a schedule, that's going to be so critical. And then make sure to have your, your balance meals eat correctly, because I know, the natural instinct is going to want to just, you know, have your half the junk food, half the cakes, half whatever it is that you want to junk out on, you want the comfort food, but make sure that you build your immune system, right. And when you do that, then you are going to, you're going to beat

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this inshallah. And it's also about like stress, when you are stressed, and you're worried that is actually going to bring your immune system lower, it is going to make it much lower, the immune system likes calm, it likes serenity, that's why I want them to make the full focus is getting yourself to a place of peace, getting yourself at a place where you are calm, because that is going to affect your immune system and making sure that you do sleep, don't spend the whole night looking and watching and doing all that because then then you are lowering your immune system. And then it's about being mindful, right? Because many times what's happening is that people are either anxious

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about the future, there's a lot of anxiety about the future, my job, my finance, my family, my kids education, my education, my relationship, there's a lot of anxiety about that, or the depression, right is comes from remorseful about the past, oh, my God, I shouldn't have done this, I should have done this. And a lot of times people spend their time in these two places, either anxious about the future, or they are remorseful about the past. And this is what's causing a lot of the worry. So what we need to do is mindfulness, right, we have to be centered, we have to be in the here and now. And when you are present when you are mindful, and you take control of your present situation, you

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take control of what's going on right now you make a decision that from this moment, right now that you are going to handle this in a better way, you're going to handle it in a way that 10 years from now you're going to look back and say, You know what, I was happy with the way I dealt with this, I was strong, I was calm, I showed that I had tawakkol I showed that, you know, I inshallah I pass this test. So if you focus on that, then then you're going to, you're going to blossom inshallah, and it's about being in the present, okay, be in the present, don't allow yourself as soon as you see yourself, you know, thinking about the future and worried about the future future, pull yourself

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back. An analogy I like to use with a lot of my clients is that, you know, we are like this, imagine you have a two year old, okay, and you're in a small little house with the front door and the back door. And this two year old wants to run out the front door. Okay, what would you do, you would take them by the hand and bring them back in the middle of the house. And then if they're running out in the back door, what would you do you hold them and bring them back. And we're like that two year old who constantly wants to either go through the front door, which is like fearing the future, or go through the back door, which is like, you know, being remorseful about the past. So we need to

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literally pull ourselves back in the center. And be mindful about the here and now and make sure that we this is the only moment we have control of we don't know what's going to happen in the future. We don't we have no control of the past. But we do have control over our present we can be calm, we can choose tawakkol Trust, we can choose to be hopeful, right? Because having that hope actually will that will allow us to get through this. And our immune system loves that feeling of hope. Because we do release the good hormones, we are going to feel more relaxed when we feel that this is there is hope. Because if you are focused on just fear and you just think everything is

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going to be destroyed, that's that's not going to that is not going to empower you. So I pray that all of us can use this time as an opportunity, opportunity for growth, opportunity for service opportunity to work on ourselves right, and an opportunity to help other people. Now what we have the NASA helpline is an organization that helps the women who are survivors of domestic violence and imagined

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And, I mean, this is this is the hardest time for individuals who have domestic violence because they are at home, and they are facing a lot of fear, a lot of tragedies are happening. So we need to support this organization and you can donate a half my, I have the link to this organization, and they are based in Canada, and they're doing an amazing job. And I pray that all of us can, can really empathize, right, because one of the things that we need to be most grateful for is the fact that we are in peace, and we are not being attacked in our own homes. You know, there are a lot of women who have this, this fear, they are just, they can't be at peace in their own home. So we need

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to support them. And you know, we need to pull together, we need to pull together and help one another through this. And it is it is crucial. To have this I have it within my community, the mindful hearts, we get together and we support one another with lots of lots of positivity and lots of guidance. And it's just you can focus on this time to to choose to work on yourself as a self development, right? And we'd love for you to join us and get that source of strength and get that you know, just get on the right mindset. Because if we don't take advantage of this right now, we can just get sucked into all that's going on around us. So to Sokoloff fair for tuning in, thank you

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for, for being a part of this. And I do pray that Allah eases our hearts that May Allah give us the ability, the strength, the patience, the tawakkol the trust, to be able to pass our tests. Let us be a source of inspiration that has been a source of peace for our family. And let this be an opportunity for us to improve ourselves as an opportunity to improve our connection with Allah let this be a turning point, a wake up call something that really invigorates us and makes us make that change within ourselves and within our communities. And I pray that we can all take what we learn and apply it and have this knowledge be a witness for us and not against us. So just like a lot

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Hanan for tuning in as salaam alaikum

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doo doo, doo

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doo doo doo doo

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