How often are we grateful for the blessings in our life? We often tend to focus on things that are not working rather than focusing on all that is going great in our lives. Gratitude is a difficult trait to inculcate and doesn’t come naturally to all. That’s probably one of the reasons why gratitude has been repeatedly emphasized in the Quran, Allah(SWT) says in the Quran, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you (in favor).” [14:7].
Research has shown that the attitude of gratitude directly influences our emotional well being and also helps us to stay optimistic. The more we incorporate the attitude of gratitude into our daily lives the more well prepared we will be to face the curve-balls life throws at us.
So, gratitude sounds good but the next question that pops up is how could we practice more gratitude in our daily lives?
Well here are some ideas to instill the attitude of gratitude into our daily lives:
- Prayers– The key is to make gratitude a consistent practice and it can be easily achieved by integrating it into the daily prayers. You could convey heartfelt gratitude during the five daily prayers each day or spend extra five minutes after each prayer on the prayer mat to consciously and humbly thank Allah (SWT) for all the blessings. You could also revive a Sunnah and perform the prostration of gratitude or Sujood Al Shukr– to thank Allah(SWT) every time that your prayers are answered or when you are saved from an adversity.
- Journaling – Another way to practice gratitude daily is by maintaining a gratitude journal. Create an early morning or just before sleep ritual to reflect and review the day and pen down everything you are grateful for. You could habitually record every single blessing in the journal, and browse through the journal when you are feeling low. So, go ahead and get yourself an amazing journal such as this lovely one by Ayeina.
- Give a tight hug– Next time you want to say thank you, just give a big tight bear hug to your parents or siblings or your bestie from school for their relentless support and care and show them how much they matter to you. Sometimes we all need a hug, no big words or gifts will make people feel truly appreciated, as a warm bear hug does.
- Express Verbally – Make a conscious attempt to be grateful to all the wonderful people in the community. Thank the delivery boy who brings your delivery on time or the security guard in your building who reserves a special parking spot for you or the housekeeping staff at your office. Acknowledge these community helpers for their thankless service next time you encounter them, for they work so hard just to make our lives easy.
- A Visual Reminder– Put up a visual reminder, stick a gratitude list at your workstation or on the refrigerator at home and list three or five things you are most grateful for at that moment. You could make this a fun family activity and request your kids and spouse also to contribute to it.
- Meditate– Reserve at least ten minutes each day to slow down and reflect on all the accomplishments and blessings, spend some quiet time to relax and just breathe. Close your eyes, breathe in, acknowledge all the positives and all the beautiful things in life, express heartfelt gratitude to Allah (SWT) as you take a deep breath and let go all the negativity as you breathe out. Channel all your energy to the goodness within you and all around you and repeat this exercise a few times.
- JazakAllahu Khair Notes– Not all of us are good at expressing gratitude, most of us either end up thanking someone profusely until they get annoyed with us or just don’t do it at all and end up being considered as rude. So, the next time you want to offer someone earnest gratitude but you aren’t sure on how to go about it, simply leave a personal handwritten note of gratitude or appreciation. You could handover these beautiful JazakAllah Khair Notes and make someone feel special today.
The attitude of gratitude only attracts positivity and well being into our lives, it improves our relationship with Almighty, enhances our mood and also helps us become empathetic to the people around us. So it’s up to us, to foster the attitude of gratitude and be constantly grateful to Allah (SWT) through our words and our actions.
We cannot claim to be on the path of true faith until we are grateful to Allah (SWT), and the most grateful to Allah (SWT) are those who are grateful to other people.
Express gratitude more frequently with these awesome JazakAllah Khair Notes, download FREE printable here.
Access the wonderful Gratitude Journal from Ayeina here.