What makes a person happy- his money, his family or entertainment? If looked deeply- none of these things really matter. People live on soft beds, eat the best food, have the most loving and compassionate family and friends- but still end up claiming that they are not happy; or just do not have enough of what they want.
While, on the other hand, there are people who regardless of having no such luxuries in their life- shun smiles that reflect the light of happiness in their hearts. Well, psychologists have scientifically proven that our overall happiness in life doesn’t depends on how much we have in terms of material things, or love from others; rather it depends on how much gratitude we show.
In our monotonous life routine, we don’t realize that how blessed we are.
We forget that our Lord tells us in the Holy Quran that, “And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.””(Ibrahim 14:7). This verse is a blessing for us. Here Allah (swt) says that he will increase us- keeping the term general- it means that if we show gratitude, Allah (swt) will increase us in different ways, things, and in different dimensions; there are endless possibilities.
Gratitude contributes to our lives in tremendous ways. It improves our relationship with Allah (swt) and with the people around us.
Psychological studies have shown that gratitude makes us more optimistic, and correlates with mental and physical wellbeing, as well as, generosity.
Hence, overall gratitude is related to all the good things in life- especially happiness; the incentive behind every drive of ours.
It is very important that we know what gratitude really is, and how it should be exhibited. Just saying Alhumdulillah is not enough. We have to confront deeply, and acknowledge that whatever Allah (swt) has given us is best for us. Gratitude should be brought into action as well; it should be exhibited in the way we talk, the way we pray, and the way we deal with the ones around us. It also not just limited to Allah (swt); we should also be thankful to the ones around us as they are a blessing from Allah (swt).
The recipe for happiness seems pretty simple- you just have to say thank you; however, it isn’t easy sometimes I can understand, but it’s also not that hard.
These simple things can help you to show more gratitude. But, before you do any of these- first realize that we were once just a drop of semen, a clot of blood, we were nothing, and it was Allah (swt) who made us a human being with an identity, a name, a soul, and whatever we have. Allah (swt) doesn’t owe anything to us.
First of all, we should realize that ups and downs are a part of life. Dunya wasn’t meant to be perfect, it isn’t Jannah. With every hardship, we are experiencing some good happening to us at the same time.
Secondly, before sleeping and after waking up, we must count our blessing, or compare ourselves with those who are less fortunate than us; praise Allah (swt) as much as possible through Dhikr, Salah, and other ways of worship.
Thirdly, we should motivate ourselves to show gratitude by thinking about the reward, and the blessings we will get by showing gratitude; and fear that our ingratitude could displease our master.
Fourthly, make lots and lots of this Dua, and talk to Allah (swt),
Allah humma A’inni Ala Dhikrika Wa Shukrika Wa Husni Ibadatika
Fifth, we should avoid using words like ‘If’ and ‘I wish’, and avoid focusing on what we hate- rather we should try to focus on what we already have, and the goodness it brings to us; and how we can make the best out of it.
Finally, keep a gratitude journal where you write about the things you are really thankful for. In your Duas, tell Allah (swt) that how happy you are about the thing you have. Tell your mom, dad, and family or friends that you love them, and appreciate their efforts for you.