Sunday, 1 December 2019

7 Ways to Practice Gratitude (+ Journal)


Gratitude is free, enjoyable, and effective. Below are 7 ways to get you started, of which gratitude journaling is one. Check out my gratitude journal and download the sample prompt page.

Be grateful for everything you have. No matter what your situation is, there is always something that Allah has given you. Allah is the Most Merciful so He would not leave you without anything to be grateful for.  Allah affirms that He has given us countless blessings:
And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (Quran, an-Nahl 16:18)
We often take things for granted that, when they are lost, we can feel its absence. For example, most of us can see but if we were to go blind then we would be devastated. Imagine how grateful we'd feel if we could see again! But then it would be too late. The time to practice gratefulness is when you have it.

When you practice gratitude your mood and perspective will be lifted. Your opportunities for success will increase. And you’ll receive even more good things to be grateful for! Allah tells us in the Quran:
And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.' " (Quran, Ibrahim 14:7)

Practice gratitude each day with these actions:

1. Be grateful for everything. There are plenty of things in your daily life that you can be grateful for. The company of your children, the car to drive them around in, or having food to prepare for the family.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the first thing a servant will be asked about on the Day of Resurrection will be his blessings. It will be said to him: Have We not given you health in your body and nourished you with cool water to drink?” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī)

Try to put your focus and attention on these things to develop an appreciation for them.

2. Look to yourself. What are you impressed by when you take a long, hard look at yourself? There are so many things that you are able to do, with the permission of Allah, for He says:
And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful. (Quran, an-Nahl 16:78)
3. Compare yourself to someone who has less. When you compare yourself to someone who seems to have more than you, you will think that you have nothing. So avoid comparing yourself or your family to other mothers or families that seem to have it all. Instead, compare yourself to someone who has less. Look at the family without children or the poor families that are struggling to feed themselves. When you do this you'll see how much you really have. You will also help yourself and your family to empathize with others and maybe even be moved to help others who are less fortunate.

Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ”Look at those who are below you and do not look at those above you, for it is more suitable lest you look down on Allah’s blessings (bestowed upon) you.” (Saheeh Muslim)

4. Thank people. Show people that you’re grateful by thanking them. Whether it’s your child for putting his plate in the sink or playing so nicely with others. Be thankful and let them know about it. 

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “He has not thanked Allah who has not thanked people.” (Sunan Abī Dāwūd)

5. Do something nice to show your gratitude. In addition to saying thank you, you can do something nice. Give your children a hug, take them to the park, make your spouse tea or a drink.

Write a positive review for a Muslim business you appreciate. Business owners love positive reviews. It makes them feel good and can boost their business. Be supportive and express your gratitude.

You can donate your time or money to a charity or other organisation. Give your resources to something that you think is valuable to the world. Time and money can have a great impact.

6. Take a gratitude walk. Go for a walk with your family and look for things that you can be grateful for. A beautiful tree, the ability to walk a sunny day, or a nice, cool breeze are all things you all could choose to feel gratitude about. 

For younger children, you can make it into a game. As you walk, ask them to spot something that they can be grateful to Allah for then spend some time to savour it. For older children, have conversations about these things such as why do you feel grateful for it, how does it make you feel, how would you feel it wasn't there, and so on. 

7. Write it down. Make a daily habit of writing down a few things that you can be grateful about. Ideally, you’ll do this early and late in the day. It gets your day off on the right foot and sets you up for a good night of sleep.

To help you to develop a gratitude habit, I've created this beautiful rose gratitude journal. It is in PDF format for immediate download and print out.
Alhamdulillah

It contains 7 prompts, 2 Quran quotes and 2 hadith quotes to help inspire you. There are also 6 beautiful blank pages for you to paste things in or draw and get creative about the things that you're grateful for. Included is 5 weekly gratitude pages that you can fill in each day for what you're grateful for.


To start you off, download this prompt page relating to point number 2 above. 


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