The importance of gratitude in times of crisis


There’s no denying that we’re living in increasingly uncertain and trying times; a global pandemic, violent attacks around the world and ongoing crises in places like Gaza, Yemen and Syria. On top of this, we face the everyday pressures of life: job security, financial stress, marital stress, kids… 

While it is normal to feel sad and anxious in the face of such challengesit is important to remind ourselves to be grateful – that is to be mindful of and thankful for the things that are meaningful and have value to us, even when things seem bleakWhy? Because practicing gratitude is not only good for your mental and physical health, but it’s good for your soul – it gives you the opportunity to reflect on your blessings, reconnect with your faith and strengthen your relationship with God. 

So, what can you do in order to practice more gratitude? We look at some tips below:  

Adopt a gratitude mindset 

Sometimes this is easier said than done, but adopting a gratitude mindset is a conscious choice, which we make every single day. So what does this entail? Well, it means taking note and appreciating the small things as much as the big things in lifewhether it’s being able to have a warm shower, having access to clean water, spending time with loved ones or having a roof over your head – it all matters. Each night, take a moment to reflect on the blessings Allah (SWT) has given you and thank Him for them.  

Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) describes God’s blessings in the most beautiful manner: “…Who created me, and He [it is who] guides me. And it is He who feeds me and gives me drink; and when I am ill, it is He who cures me; and who will cause me to die and then bring me to life; and who, I hope, will forgive me my faults on the Day of Judgment.” [Quran 26:78-85] 

 Be grateful to people  

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever is not grateful to the people, he is not grateful to Allah.” [Tirmidhi] 

An important part of being grateful to Allah (SWT), is acknowledging and appreciating the people around youThis can be especially hard when you’re mad at them, they irritate you or you don’t particularly like them. But true gratitude doesn’t take into account any of these feelings.  

Give back to the community 

Donating a few hours of your time to help others reminds you that you are part of something bigger than yourself and connects you with those who are less fortunate. Volunteering usually opens your eyes to the challenges others face, helps to put things into perspective, gives you a sense of purpose, and reminds you of the blessings in your life and the many reasons to be grateful.  

So, if you want to make a positive impact and practice being more grateful, seek out volunteer opportunities in your local community. To find out about volunteer opportunities with usget in touch with Peter Sapsford at peter.sapsford@islamicrelief.org.au or check out our Volunteers page  

Next time you’re feeling down – for whatever reason – remember that focusing on your blessings and giving thanks to Allah (SWT) has many benefits. After all, Allah (SWT) reminds us: 

“If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour].” [Quran 14:7]