In this series of very short articles, I’ll be sharing very practical tips that yield tremendous results if done properly. The tips are meant to increase your level of optimism and subjective well-being, which is more commonly known as happiness. One’s sense of happiness can be increased in many ways, mainly by taking due care of one’s soul according to the guidance we have from Allah and His Messenger (PBUH). And since the make up of humans is rather complex, fair handling of any of the aspects of human nature can greatly boost our sense of well-being. Mental, social, intellectual, bodily aspects of our being, when handled well can be a source of pleasure and happiness. Therefore, you will find this series of tips rotating over all aspects of the human composition.
Today’s tip is about genuinely feeling and expressing gratitude to Allah. Allah’s blessings on us are countless; they come in every shape and form. However, most of us grow heedless of the ocean of blessing we live in and fixate our attention on what’s missing. In a sense, this is one of the main reasons for our misery. I invite you to try something simple, yet powerful. This very practice has changed my life in many respects and the people I shared it with experienced unexpected results. The simplicity of this tip is deceptive, yet the psychological mechanism behind it is profound and powerful.
When you wake up in the morning, or just before you go to bed, write down 3-5 blessings Allah has blessed you with on that day. Write them down and take a moment to feel their positive impact on you, then express your genuine gratitude to Allah for them. Do this every day and try not to miss any day especially in the early stages. I promise if you do it right, you’ll find it addictive and the results will be next level!
This will create wonders! As our thought process runs according to patterns, we often pick up the negative patterns and allow them to govern our thinking. We’ve learnt to focus on what’s missing rather than what’s available, thinking this is smart! We’ve learnt to ruminate over our pains rather than count our blessings. And we let those destructive patterns control our navigation system in this life. I’m not saying don’t deal with problems; I’m actually urging you to deal with them rather than let them deal with you and ruin your brain and heart.
This seemingly simple act, if done regularly, will create new thinking patterns in your mind, and soon you’ll start to notice that the world becomes nicer. What actually happens is that the new patterns will allow you to focus on what’s good, which means you’ll start to notice it. When this is the case your attention will capture more good and you’ll realize ‘actually the world is not really that bad, but we make it seem so’.
The feedback I got from my friends when they tried it was beyond their wildest dreams.
Invest five minutes, make it a daily practice and share your experience with us on this blog. JZk
This practice is based on the general Islamic principle of thankfulness to Allah. It is also based on hard evidence from many psychologists including one of the world’s most renowned psychologists Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania.
I pray you benefit from this tip and practice it daily. May Allah bless you…peace!