Who doesn’t want to be happy? We’re all in pursuit of it but some of our actions may be directly sabotaging our happiness. Here, I’m going to outline some simple strategies you can start implementing today to significantly boost your level of happiness!
1. Remember Allaah often
Ok, in all the hustle and bustle throughout the day your mommy brain may be all over the place, so constantly remembering Allaah may not be as simple as it sounds. But you have to make it a habit to build your relationship and connection to the Lord and granter of internal bliss. Really, you won’t find happiness anywhere else except in turning to Allaah and remembering Him constantly. When you’re working, cooking, cleaning, changing diapers etc. keep your tongue moist with tasbeeh (subhanallah), tahmeed (Alhamdulillah), tahleel (laa ilaaha illallah), takbir (Allahu Akbar), and any other athkar or duas you know. Allah will fill your heart with contentment and pure everlasting joy. Sufyaan ath-thawri (rahimahullah) is quoted to have said, “If the kings new what state we were in, they’d fight over it with swords”. The rich and famous know very well that happiness is not found in worldly possessions. There’s something deeper, and the key is with Allaah.
2. Say Alhamdulillah often
You have tons to be grateful for so start practicing gratitude by regularly reflecting over your countless blessings. You can write them down in a journal like I do or you can verbally discuss them as a family. In reality, you’ll never be able to count all your blessings but listing 3-5 things you’re grateful for everyday forces you to recognize how fortunate you really are. This daily activity only takes a minute yet it is one major factor that has improved my mood personally and increased my positivity. Try it out. Every morning write 3 things you’re grateful for, and they can be as simple as the warm breakfast you ate. In the evening write down 3 things that made the day great. This will force you to focus on the positive things that went well, since we tend to beat ourselves over the 1% that went wrong. Then come back here and tell us how you feel. I guarantee in a week, your level of happiness will have cranked up a notch!
3. Pursue a goal
We’ve talked about it before. Motherhood is not a death sentence where your life stops at the birth of your child’s life. You’re still an individual with needs and aspirations that require fulfilment. It’s a psychological humanistic drive. We all have an inner desire to achieve something and motherhood should never be an excuse not to go after an important goal, unless, of course, the goal itself compromises your primary obligations. Pursuing goals not only give you inner fulfillment, but it actually helps you be a better mom!
4. Expect less
Relying on people and having high expectations of others can more often than not set you up for disappointment. Place your reliance solely upon Allaah, the One who possesses all things you need and the One who never disappoints! The truth is no one owes us anything, and in life we need two main things to succeed: Allaah’s support and our efforts. Everything else that works in your favour is a bonus, and should be recorded in your gratitude journal.
5. Give more
Sadaqa or charity brings more benefits to the giver than the receiver. It cleanses your soul and purifies your wealth. The reward is also endless. But what’s also awesome about giving is the power it has on your level of happiness. It is such a satisfying and fulfilling thing to know that your actions improved someone’s life. So give. Give from your wealth, your time, your resources, your expertise. Give! Give gifts, give food, give a hug, give a smile! You’ll be happier I promise.
6. Compare yourself… less
I won’t say stop comparing, because I think some comparisons are healthy if they can be used as a source of motivation. I like to look at successful mothers because it gives me inspiration to improve and achieve more. Hey, I might even compare the decor of her home to get ideas. But what we have to avoid are comparisons on matters that we have no control over. Allaah has blessed her with some things and you with other things. Sure you can ask Allaah to grant you similar but what use is it to discredit the awesomeness that is in your life. Your children are different, your spouse is different, your incomes are different, your circumstances are different, and you don’t have full control over these things. Recognize the positive things in what you have and stop grading your life’s worth according someone else’s life. You’ll find more contentment and you’ll definitely be happier!