I get an extraordinary amount of peace from the Quran these days. I've been fortunate enough to have access to a Teacher who takes me weekly for Quran lessons where I'm slowly learning how to recite the Arabic words with correct pronounciation, in the same way the Prophet (peace be upon him) recited the words that the Angel Gabriel revealed to him.
In the past few months something has clicked for me. My fluency has improved and I'm no longer stumbling over the letters like I used to. I can hear the melody in my voice when I recite, and I'm appreciating the sounds so much more.
I don't understand the majority of what I am reciting (I read the translation in English afterwards) but I still find peace in it.
When I recite I concentrate on each letter. I recite slowly, paying attention to the sounds, the rhythm, the melody. It's this focus that relaxes me - it calms me down.
I've struggled for years with managing my emotions, and I admit that I've had some unhealthy ways of dealing with them.
But since I've made the practice of Quran a higher priority in my daily life I've discovered that I'm better handling my more intense emotions. When I get sad or angry or overwhelmed, it's easier now for me to slow myself down and breathe.
I have a Quran app on my phone that I use regularly throughout the day, just to recite a few verses when I have some spare moments. The simple act of stopping everything and focusing for a few minutes has become so helpful to me. I can feel the effects of those few moments lasting longer and longer, even after I've put away my Quran and gone back to work.
I'm working hard to keep up this habit by committing to short but consistent moments of recitation. I want this serenity to stay.