I’m sure that we’ve all heard about the positive impact that practising gratitude can have on our lives. In this article we’re going to look at the top 5 reasons for practising gratitude and how we can make it a part of our daily life. I’m not talking about practising gratitude only when something amazing or miraculous happens, but practising gratitude even for the mundane things, because that is where miracles truly live.
1. Increases Spirituality
Practising gratitude allows you to look at your life through a different lens. With it you are better able to recognise the small miracles that move you through your day – catching a bus that you thought you were going to miss, getting a call from a friend you have been meaning to speak to, or enjoying a healthy breakfast with your family.
These miracles happen every day and have a profound effect on our lives, but we don’t notice them unless we actively look for them. Imagine how much sweeter our days would be if we could recognise Al-Latif (The Subtle / The Gracious) in all our seemly mundane events. Once you begin to see this, it is difficult not to fall in love with the One Who guides our every move and only wants good for us
“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” [2:151]
2. Increases Happiness
“…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest” [13:28]
As well as increasing our spirituality, practising gratitude increases feelings of happiness. The very act of writing about things which you are grateful for, forces you to affirm and count the good things in your life. This positive mindset makes you feel happier even when life might not be perfect.
3. Builds Resilience
When things aren’t going to plan and you’re facing a crisis or a setback, it’s naturally more difficult to be grateful. However, our feelings are generated by our thoughts and the way we see the world. So, when we choose to practise gratitude, we are making an active choice to focus on the good. In this way, we anchor ourselves in the good, and we are less likely to overwhelmed by temporary setbacks or circumstances. This perspective is fortified through consistent practice of gratitude.
Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“I am amazed by the believer. If he is granted goodness, he praises Allah and is grateful. If he is afflicted with a calamity, he praises Allah and is patient. The believer is rewarded for every matter, even lifting a morsel of food to his wife’s mouth.”[Musnad Ahmad]
4. Stronger Social Connections
Practising gratitude makes people like us more. Think about it, who doesn’t like a person who is positive, happy and who thanks us when we do something for them? When we get a heartfelt thank you from someone, it makes us feel valued and in turn it makes us value them more. Put simply, people who practice and express gratitude benefit from stronger social connections which are very important for our physical and emotional well-being. They are better able to build and maintain lasting relationships whether with family, friends, colleagues or with their spouse.
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“He has not thanked Allah who has not thanked people.” [Abu Dawud]
5. Better Physical and Mental Health
Being more optimistic is related to better physical and mental health. One way to become more optimistic is by practising gratitude. Psychologists such as Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough have conducted extensive research on the concept of gratitude, and found that practising gratitude for 10 weeks increased overall feelings of optimism in several areas of people’s lives, including their health and fitness.
The Best Way to Practise Gratitude
And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]” (14:7)
Gratitude is an action that needs to be practised daily, so how can we do this?
The simplest and most consistent way I have found is by keeping a gratitude journal. Any notebook will do. You just have to commit to writing 3 or 5 things which you are grateful for every day either at the end of your day or first thing in the morning.
To help you get started, I have included a free downloadable cheat sheet featuring 30 gratitude prompts. Simply enter your details below to grab your copy.
Soon you won’t need a prompt, as you will begin to spot 3 or 5 things in your day which, would have been mundane before but will now become something to celebrate and appreciate.
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE LIST OF GRATITUDE PROMPTS
Enter your details to receive the list of gratitude prompts, designed to kick-start your personal journaling habits and to remind you of Allah's unlimited blessings.