When I look back at the time I was going through depression, I realize I was overlooking many blessings in my life. Incorporating gratitude and reflection in my life helped me feel and become more contented. It also helped me become a better person and live a more fulfilled life.
Here are some things I did and adapted to develop an attitude of gratitude and live a more contented and fulfilled life. Hopefully they can help you too.
Actively look for moments, things, and people to be grateful for.
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi).
- It’s frustrating when children don’t finish up all the food on the plate but Alhamdulillah you were able to put that food in front of them.
- The house is never clean but be grateful you have a protection of roof over your head.
- The sink is always full of dishes, there’s always a pile of laundry to wash, iron, and fold but Alhamdulillah for a family to feed and clothe.
- Getting to stay at home with children means getting to witness when they reach all their milestones.
- It’s easy to get frustrated at your husband for not helping around the house, but express your thanks to him for working hard outside the house so you can run things smoothly in the house.
Keep a gratitude journal
A journal can be helpful in reflecting on all the blessings in our lives. It can also help us keep sight of things we tend to take for granted.
Make a visual reminder of all the things which remind you to be grateful.
Visuals can be strong. Vision boards are all the rage these days to generate a certain feeling in the mind. Why not use them to feel contended and be more grateful? This can be done using a collection of photos that remind you of special moments you are grateful for or quotes and sayings which motivate you to be what you want to be. Example of my visual gratitude board below.
Learn from the lives of the Prophets and all the great women who passed before us.
The stories of Prophets and all other great people aren’t just stories but examples from which we can learn a lot from. They were afflicted in the worst ways yet their hearts were always grateful to Allah.
Switch off from social media.
Social media can be dangerous in the sense it can often make you overlook blessings in your own life. Nobody needs that negativity in their lives. If you find anything which is giving rise to negativity and feelings of inadequacy, it should be unfollowed.
Be present at the moment.
Past is gone, nobody knows about the future and all we have is the present. Be grateful for the moment and live it to the fullest.
Make the time to take care of yourself
When you are grateful for all that Allah has blessed you with, you tend to take better care of yourself and your family. So set aside time to nurture your mind, body, and soul.
Drop the expectations!
Sometimes having expectations does more harm than good. What can be done instead is to respectfully communicate and delegate responsibilities and come upon a mutual understanding. Keeping unspoken expectations only leads to a build-up of resentment which does no one any good. Remember no one can match up to or return anything you do for the family. Do whatever you can to the best of your capabilities and leave the rest to Allah.
Connect with other moms. Ask for help.
It helps knowing there are others out there who are going through the same in their lives. Sometimes asking for help and reaching out to others like us helps us to feel grateful again.
Make prayer your best companion.
If nothing else works, then there is always dua. Make prayer/dua your best companion. Nothing brings more comfort than asking Allah for strength, wisdom, and patience. And if you can’t figure out what to ask for, there are some beautiful supplications and ayaat in the Qur’an which remind us of the many blessings in our lives.
Gratitude makes life much more bearable.
Remember, no matter how rough it gets, there will always, always, always be something to be grateful for.
Allah SWT says in the Qur’an:
If you are grateful, I will give you more. [Qur’an 14:7]
How will we get more if we are not grateful for what we already have?
I pray we come to live a life of fulfillment and abundance with gratitude at the core of our living. Ameen
Here’s a printable I made to actively form a daily habit of gratitude. It also includes a checklist for other important tasks to do daily. Print it out, display it on your fridge or calendar, or just upload it onto your phone. Make it a part of your daily routine to be on the way to living a happy, contented, fulfilled, and a grateful life inshaaAllah!
Download my My Day of Being Awesome Planner HERE!