And there are many more stories like these…..
What actually gratitude means
Now lets define gratitude, it literally means the “increment”. Scholars define it as mentioning and thinking in heart about blessings.
It is the recognition of getting a favor that is not ones legal right, the acceptance that one is getting benefit free of cost and his acknowledgement.
Gratitude and Productivity
As we grow old, we get more tuned to be unhappy for deprivations and not to see the blessings we have. We consume our energy and focus our attention towards finding out what we lack. This is ironic but the more we focus on the scarcity, the more we attract to it.
We tend to get what we think about. Being ungrateful to everything affects our productivity and the mind which is in negative state can hardly think about productivity in life. It is said that a mind that is always looking shortcomings is not the best tool for productivity.
Research and the message in Quran
It is proved in research that through our emotions and thoughts, we emit powerful signals; and these signals have the power to attract other signals of same frequency. So, our positive signals attract all the other positive signals and same goes for the negative signals.
When we are being ungrateful, we are in the negative state, allowing self-defeating thoughts to emit all sorts of negative energy from us. E.g “I can never me that much wealthy. Or I can never find the man of my dreams.” It will ultimately lead us to attract more negative energy as all the frustration and worries lead to the same.
Contrary to this, if we want to attract more signals of what we desire for example, happiness, ease, prosperity and peace then why do we not choose our thoughts consciously? The more grateful you become, the more Allah(SWT) will bless you.
Allah (SWT) promises that the grateful will be blessed with more:
“And 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: Surah 14 , verse 7]
A long term search was conducted to study the effects of gratitude. Here are some findings:
- In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals regularly , felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the future compared to those recorded common life events.
- Groups of people who kept gratitude list were more likely to have made progress towards personal goals than others.
- People with grateful emotions reported higher levels of positive emotions, satisfaction, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress.
Gratefulness helps us making the shift. Consequently, we are able to attract more positivity, love, joy, happiness, money as well as better health and blissful relationships in you life. It is the easiest way to alter signals one is emitting. What we need is just mastering the attitude of appreciating everything in life.
Benefits of Gratitude
Gratitude and Focus
Gratitude is one of the quickest ways to regain our focus. When we are stuck, it means we are giving too much attention to something that does not really deserve our attention. Most so-called problems are usually mundane preoccupations and mental obsessions. We focus so much on one area to the exclusion of everything else that we create and then magnify our problems. Guess what? When we focus so much on what is not working, we cannot even access the part of our brain that provides us solutions. Surprised?
When something is not working, focus on what is working and say, “Alhamdulillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen” (All praise to the Lord of the Universe) aloud. What do you think you are doing by saying this? It reminds us of the power of the Creator and reminds us to be thankful for all the good things that is happening without our knowledge. You are freeing your mind from those thoughts that bog you down and you are reinforcing strong positive beliefs that even if some areas are not working in life, others definitely are. In this way, you are able to think in a quicker and better way to resolve what is not working in life. Try it out yourself.
A Miraculous Phenomenon
Being grateful to Allah does wonders. When you acknowledge His Hand in your life, miracles happen. You may be in the middle of a problem and not have the least bit of knowledge about what would happen next, then suddenly the solution will dawn upon you. It is like when someone would return you an old loan that you completely forgot about, when you are in dire need of money; or when you are thinking about your loved ones and they give you a call right then. And when something you are longing to happen, finally happens.
Appreciate the Small to get Big
We usually ignore many things that are readily available to us; they are incredible reasons to be grateful. Our family, friends, body, health, job, leisure time, education, food, wisdom, smiles, children and even the painful lessons that life teaches us (and the list goes on) are tremendous blessings to be grateful for. If you do not have the same feeling, just close your eyes and imagine one of these blessings vanishing from your life. Take a break from reading this and do it, seriously. How does that feel? This is exactly why you need to be thankful every moment, each day.
How to practically express gratitude.
- Keep a journal: Get a small notebook or use the notepad in your cell phone.Take a few minutes each day to jot down one or more positive experiences or alternatively write down the things you are grateful for at the end of each day/ weak.
- Express gratitude in person: When a person helps you in anything and goes beyond or above, make sure to verbalize appreciation and mean it for example, when you say JazakAllah Khair (May Allah reward you the best) to someone, does it come from heart?
Be a little creative and say it with a thank you card, accompany it with a genuine smile, charge it with meal or a meaningful gift, try to help that person in return.
- Care for the things you are grateful for: Treat all gifts of Allah (in form of health, wealth, time and relations) with great care and respect. Use all the blessings moderately and never consider anything small
- Be grateful and patient when some disaster strikes: The strength and depth of gratefulness is tested during the difficult times. He(Almighty) wants to see how much thankful you truly are when you loose a loved one or job or got injured of fell ill.
It helps to understand that in times of distress, there is some good for you.
- Respect Others time : Wastage of time is ungratefulness itself. Time is not just money, it is more important than gold, diamonds and pearls. Time is life itself. Arriving late at meeting or in class, cancelling appointments last minute are not only big wastage of time but disrespect and lack of appreciation of other’s time.
In a nutshell, adopting the attitude of gratitude will do wonders in your life. Recognize those wonders and be grateful for them so you can have more. May Allah(SWT) make us among His truly grateful slaves.