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The Mindful Muslim is an Inspirited Minds platform that hosts raw, open, and honest conversations on various topics within the sphere of mental health, psychology, Islam and spirituality.

This month we are meeting Hajer. Our host, Sivan Kader, has a thought-provoking discussion with Hajer about her studies in the field of neuroscience (for which she has an MSc qualification), her interest in self-compassion, mental health stigma, Islamic philosophy and psychology. She also talks about her expertise on the many layers of mental wellbeing, how there are multiple barriers that exist with identifying, seeking help and dealing with mental health issues and what we can do on a self, social and societal level to benefit ourselves and others.

Currently she is a journal specialist in scientific research, and she approaches every project with an awareness of how our brain links to our mental health and behaviour. Her research into the concept of neurogenesis explored how our brain cells (called neurons) are encouraged to grow and develop, and are inter-related to the alleviation of mood disorders, such as depression.

Here are some of the other topics Hajer discusses in this episode:

  • The benefits of neurogenesis and how it’s related to intermittent fasting and an antioxidant rich diet
  • The bubble of stigma of ‘mental health’ in the Muslim community, and how it’s often seen (incorrectly) as a sign of weak faith, shame or weakness
  • How loving yourself is a very extreme form of self-care, and what we can do to balance our self-care with being more compassionate towards ourselves
  • The concept of gratitude, future-journaling, reflections on death and other tools that we can use to encourage emotional reasoning, compassionate empathy and mental wellbeing
  • The key character traits and practices that we can all practice in-order to help ourselves and supports others
  • The role of the Muslim community towards creating a conducive environment for those struggling and suffering, and what more we can do to play our part

We offer advice and support by our team of qualified and trained support workers for a range of mental health-related problems, including listening support, counselling and our anonymised Ask IM advice service. If you would like to ask us a question, suggest a topic you would like us to discuss on the podcast or if you would like to feature on the podcast as a guest, then please get in touch with the Mindful Muslim Podcast Team at

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