The moment I wake up, the one thing that pushes me to get up and start my day, is the thought of having a cup of my favourite kind of tea (or chai, like how we call it), with cardamom, of course. Along side that, I like to pull out my Five-Minute Journal.
Starting my day with gratitude has made all the difference in my life. This journal has been divided into two sections – the morning and night routine, respectively. Let me break it down for you..
The Morning Routine:
I am grateful for...
What would make today great?
Daily Affirmation. I am..
These three daily prompts, comprises the morning routine. Simple, isn't it? Journalling does not have to be so complicated. The simpler it is, the higher the chances of you actually committing to it.
Priming my mind to think of what I am grateful for, automatically sets the tone for the rest of the day for me.
Listing down three things that would make today great, allows my mind to focus solely on the things that will make my day EXTRA amazing, and that way, I don't waste my time on unhelpful things.
Lastly, affirmations are statements that reminds me of what I am and what I want to become in the future – visualising that I am already there. The best way to rewire your subconscious mind, are these simple but powerful practice of affirmations.
The Night Routine:
3 Amazing things that happened today..
How could I have made today even better?
Now, no matter how hard my day must have been, consciously thinking of three amazing things that happened over the course of the day, makes me realise that, hey it was actually a good day! That way, I go to sleep feeling positive and with a grateful heart.
The last one is my favourite part of the entire journal; its reflecting on how I could have made my day even better. This is also where I list down the key lessons I have learnt on that particular day and how I can improve further.
Benefits of Practicing Gratitude:
It has almost been a year, since I have been consistently practicing this habit, and I have first-hand experienced its benefits. Below are some of those benefits that I have witnessed.
Suhaib reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH), said:
"Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks God, thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation, and endures it patiently, there is a good for him in it." [Al- Bhukari]
I started practicing gratitude when I was experiencing a lot of difficulties. It seemed like all doors were closing on me, as if there is no way out. Starting this habit, however, became my
No.1 coping mechanism; it pulled me out of my negativity, and reminded me that even trials are a form of blessing from Allah (God), and that amidst all that there are many things to be grateful for. That, in short, built resilience and patience in me.
And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed,
"If you are grateful, I will surely increase you in favour." [The Quran, 14:7]
The other day, I was flipping through my finished copy of the Five-Minute Journal,and I realised how somehow, bit by bit things started falling into place for me.
I realised, when I was grateful for even the smallest of things, somehow I was "brought" towards even better things/opportunities. All this made me wonder, that actually abundance is already present in our life, we just have to start noticing them. The more we acknowledge these blessings that we already have, the more of these we will attract in the future.
Try it, and you will be able to understand this even better!
"If you want to find the meaning, stop chasing after so many things." [Ryokan Taigu]
We live in times where we are constantly exposed to the next best thing available. We go from one thing to another, and then get stuck in an endless cycle of dissatisfaction. Nothing is just ever enough.
One of the best ways to cope with this incessant need for material possessions, is to constantly remind ourselves of all that we already have.
We need this reminder every single day, because we are inherently forgetful in nature. When you practice gratitude every single day, soon, you will experience contentment, and a sense of peace because you finally realise that you HAVE enough and that YOU are already enough, in fact more than enough!
Needless to say, I hold this practice really close to my heart. It takes just 5-10 minutes of my day, but overtime, it has made me a lot more positive and at peace with my life. If you found this beneficial, I urge you to practice gratitude in your own way, and it does not necessarily have to be this journal. You can even start by just writing down or saying out 3 things you are grateful for, daily.
If you already practice this habit, share with me in the comments section down below, what are some of the ways you do it? I would love to learn more through you all!