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5 Steps to an Effective Gratitude Journal

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“And ˹remember˺ when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will certainly give you more. But if you are ungrateful, surely My punishment is severe.’” Surah Ibrahim [14:7]

Allah SWT is constantly asking us in the Quraan to be grateful. We know it’s important and most of the time we know what we have to be grateful for. We remember to say Alhamdulillah for our food, our homes, our health and all the really big things in our life. But do we remember to FEEL it. To really let that gratitude sink in deep into our being and open our hearts to being completely aware of our reliance on Allah and His favours upon us?

What we don’t often stop to think about is that gratitude in itself is a gift – beyond the things we have just to be grateful for. The ability to be grateful is a gift, but the FEELING of gratitude is a gift too. To really feel grateful is to feel an immense happiness. To feel that gratefulness is what brings more into our life.

So what’s the best way to get yourself into a habit of gratitude and experience a deep sense of it? To journal it. Thinking is great, but writing it out is a commitment, it’s something tangible you can see. Believe me, when you’ve filled a whole notebook, you really get the immensity of your own gratitude across time.

Here’s a quick list of things to get your gratitude in motion and making big changes in your life:

  1. Acknowledge that everything is from Allah.

It’s a basic principle, but it is the best way to start. Remind yourself that everything you have, is a gift that can be taken away. It’s not something you deserve – you have no right to anything really. It is something you’ve been blessed with.

  1. Write 10 things you’re grateful for daily.

It’s recommended to write these down earlier in the day, so that you can take that happiness and that gratitude into the rest of your day.

  1. Write why you’re grateful for it.

Think about what it brings to your life. I am grateful for clean water – Why? Because it nourishes me, keeps me healthy and gives me the strength to worship. It allows me to keep proper hygiene for myself and everything around me. When you force yourself to think deeper about what that means to your life, you learn to appreciate it more deeply.

  1. Re-read each one, after you’ve written the full ten.

When you re-read each point, pause to take a deep breathe, close your eyes and feel that blessing coming to directly from Allah. Smile for it. And thank God directly for it.

E.g. I am grateful for the sunshine because it keeps me warm and nourishes the plants we need for life. Closed eyes – deep breath “Alhamdulillah, Thank you Allah”.

  1. End off with a Duaa.

Think about all that you want to bring to your life. The Prophet SAW told us the best duaa is Alhamdulillah, but we know there’s something more we want, whether it is spiritually, for our aakhirah or even for our dunya – it is not a bad thing to ask when you’re asking the Only One who gives or when you’re asking with pure intentions.

BONUS TIP: Before you sleep remind yourself of all the wonderful things that happened in the day that are cause to be grateful for. Don’t just say Alhamdulillah for my food – think about the actual meal – how it tasted – how it’s nourishing your body. Dive deep into every effect and outcome that that moment brings to the rest of your life.

Let us know how you’ve been inspired to carry through your gratitude!

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