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  • Wahidah Fervin

When $hi# hits the fan!!


You may have heard of the phrase, “when $h#t hits the fan.” (sorry do not mind my language, but we may have come across such intense moments). When things go bad, more and more things go bad too. Then we end up feeling distressed and not believing in seeing light to better path. It can be pretty lonely and miserable to go through such. Have you ever wondered, how some people go through bad events after bad events yet have the strength to smile and believe it is just a phase. It is easier said than done. Some may not even be able to take the slightest test of life.

So let’s look at this theory by Barbara Fredrickson called Broaden-and-build. She hypothesized that positive emotions have a “broadening effect” on the momentary thought-action repertoire: They allow us to discard automatic responses and instead look for creative, flexible, and unpredictable new ways of thinking and acting (Fredrickson 2004). Yes, when you have positive emotions, you will be able to build more mental resources to cope with life’s challenging moments. When you lack such mental resources, that’s when the trouble begins.


So, how do we build on such positive mental resources? We may have challenges handling life events. Hence, it is important for us to take a step back, take care of ourselves by spending on things that help create positive emotions. This can be even something so simple as smiling, praying, meditating, exercising, etc. Things you have always enjoyed but due to life’s routine and hectic schedule, it could have taken a back stand. It is important you bring such positive events to the foreground and prioritising them. Cook up some dishes you enjoy or get to a nearby badminton court and play a match with a friend or family member.


These will fuel your healthy positive resources, so that when life challenges come by, you will be able to cope with them. Taking time to do that prayer without rushing it, and sitting for a few more minutes talking to your Rabb will go a long way. Try this broaden and build theory and see how your mind opens up like a parachute and you will be able to land gracefully even if you were thrown off from a height.

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