Gratitude – Part 1 of 1

Haleh Banani


Channel: Haleh Banani

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as salaam alaikum. Since the topic for today is gratitude, I would like to dedicate this episode to my dear parents raffia Maha Lottie and up to the bellhop banani. Mom, you taught me how to be grateful and to be very positive. And Bob, I appreciate you for all your hard work. And I'm really grateful to all that you have done. Being grateful is underrated. Most of us are focused on achieving our goals, we look at what other people have, and we want to get the same things, we look at other people's achievements, and we want to achieve the same things. And it is very important to have goals and ambitions. But it is vitally important to take the time to appreciate the

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achievements that we have already achieved. Now being grateful has amazing benefits. And today I'm going to discuss with you the psychological benefits, the health benefits, and also the religious benefits just to get you excited about being more grateful. And the next episode is going to focus on the how to how to be grateful what to be grateful for the psychological benefits of being grateful. First and foremost, that is the saying gratitude is the best attitude. So when you see someone who has gratefulness in their heart, it will shine through it will affect their mood, it will affect their relationships, and you find that they are happier individuals, and you want to be

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around people like this. And sometimes you see it has nothing to do with what people own or possess, or what they have achieved. Because some of the happiest people, sometimes you look at some of the workers and you see that they're so happy, and yet they may not have much. But it's just this feeling of being content, being content with what you have, how you look like what you do. And that is the that is the attitude that is so amazing. It is also the antidote to depression. So if you're feeling depressed, if you're feeling down, you need to start focusing on all the things that you're grateful for. I have the clients come in and write on a on a big poster board with nice, colorful

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pens, what they are grateful for, and start making a list and not something mundane like, Oh, I'm grateful to have a family or I'm happy for my health know, specifically what things that they are most grateful for. And then they post it up to post it up on the wall and start looking at it. And I've seen amazing results. Just from that one step. I've seen people who were so severely depressed that they could not even get out of bed, not even make it to the appointment. But yet when they started focusing on all the things that they are grateful for, they just it turned them around. If you're busy counting all the many blessings that you have, you have no time to be depressed, and all

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of us are so blessed. And once we start bringing this into focus, then happiness fills our heart. I want you to do a simple exercise with me today. Right now, I want you to think about one thing in your life, that you feel really grateful about something that makes you feel joy and happiness. Okay, reflect on it. And now I want you to think and reflect on how it's making you feel what are some of the changes going on with you? All right. Now I want you to focus on something in your life that either angers you frustrates you makes you mad. All right, just think about it, reflect on it. And now notice the change in your body. Okay, we have a physiological and emotional reaction to

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everything we think about. So when you're having these wonderful positive thoughts about what you're grateful for, suddenly, there's happiness, you feel more relaxed. And the opposite occurs when you start thinking about the thing in your life that is making you very sad or making you angry or frustrated. Then you start seeing the psychological and actually the physiological effects, you start getting tense, your heart rate increases. So basically what we need to start doing is focus more on those events in our lives that make us content that relaxes us because when you start doing that, then it will shift your whole focus. There is the power of asking questions power of asking

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questions. What I did right now with a simple exercises, basically asked you to focus What is it you're grateful for or what is it

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You're angry about and this is the power of asking questions. And this is a very powerful statement. It is the questions you ask or the questions you fail to ask, which shape your life. I'll repeat it, because it's really, really profound. It is the questions you ask, or the questions you fail to ask that shape your life. So what do I mean about this? What I mean is that many times when an incident occurs in our life, we start saying a lot of negative things. For instance, someone may may get a divorce, okay, or they're having big problems in their marriage. And usually what people say, are very disempowering. They ask very disempowering questions, questions that when they ask it, they

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feel really down. It's like, why does this always happen to me? Why am I so unlucky? Why, why why, okay? And these kind of questions, do not give you the answers that will empower you. Now, what if we switch that around, someone has gotten a divorce, or they're having problems in their life? And they start asking good questions and saying things like, what did I learn from this? Okay, so I've seen a lot of clients, who will, who will get a very bitter divorce, some of them learn from the experience, because they're asking these empowering questions. They're asking, How can I make my next relationship better? How can I become a better person through this? What did I learn? What is

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great about the situation? And so if someone never asks these questions, what happens? If they don't ask it? And they're only focused on why me Poor me? And how does this happen to me, then they're never going to get the answers and they're not going to move on. And basically, what I've seen happen is that individuals who, who go through this, they will end up maybe marrying another person and making the same mistake. So it becomes a cycle because they never learned they didn't ask the right questions. So we need to just train ourselves to ask empowering questions, because what happens is that your mind starts searching for the answer. Okay, so you have a file cabinet in your

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mind. And when you ask those questions, like, why does this always happen to me, it will go into the file cabinet. And I'll take it Oh, this is why because, and it'll find every excuse, why bad things happen to you. Or you start asking questions like, how can I learn from this? Or what's great about this? So your mind again, will search for answers it will say, well, maybe maybe I can find someone who it's more suitable. Maybe this is a time for me to make changes in myself, maybe I can become a better person. And so it starts generating answers, which will open up doors rather than Close the door. So we need to become aware of this, there are actually power questions that you can ask. And

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there's morning power questions where you can ask yourself, What am I grateful for. And as soon as you get up in the morning, you start thinking about the things you are you are grateful for. And this starts just getting you so excited. If you feel that there are things that are you're excited about in your life, and you're happy about, you will start your day so differently. Many people, when they wake up, all they can think about is the things they don't have and they can they just feel gloomy, and they feel depressed. And they're just complaining and comparing, well, this is this is because they're not asking those power question. So try this yourself, try waking up in the

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morning and ask yourself, what is it that I'm so grateful for? What am I What am I excited about in my life? What am I passionate about? And when you start asking these, then your mind starts searching for the answers. Another example is when a person has maybe a failed business, something happens and they lose everything they have. This is a determining point, what they ask themselves, how they handle the situation will determine their success or failure. So if something happens, where a person who becomes completely let's say, bankrupt, or a business goes that and they start ruminating about why this happens, and what am I going to do and how am I going to feed my family

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and it's just all these questions which are very disempowering, then they're not going to be able to move forward. However, if someone takes a situation and say, Well, you know, what, what, what can I really learn from this? How am I a better person? or How can I turn this around? when individuals in business and you have seen many people, examples in real life where they have gone from being multimillionaires to losing everything becoming bankrupt? And at that critical moment instead of feeling sorry for themselves instead of just asking why why why

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They start asking how can I turn this around? How can I make things better, and you see that they start gaining it all back again and plus some. So we need to take these situations in our life. And whatever it is now whether it's whether it's at school, maybe you have some challenges in in your grades and your performance, whether it's in your personality and you want to make changes, but you keep getting stuck. Just ask yourself, ask yourself, How can I? How can I turn this around and ask empowering questions, rather than dwelling over the negative disempowering questions. Another psychological benefit is that it improves your overall emotional health we have our emotional health

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and it helps us to become more balanced and happier. So instead of moping around and feeling bad and feeling down, we start feeling really energize and feel happy and feel more balanced. And suited Saba is number 13. Allah says in the Quran, I was a Billahi min ash shaytani r rajim Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim, wapa de la mina, a baddie a Shaku. But few of my servants are grateful. So look at this word few out of the billions and billions of people who from the beginning of time Allah saying that only a few are grateful. Are we amongst those who are grateful, look at yourself and look at your life and see, do you really show gratefulness for all the amazing blessings that you have? And

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I think that we need to put a lot of effort into being this the vallila being the few who are grateful. Another psychological benefit of being grateful is that it is like it shifts gears by shifting your focus, it's like stick shift, those of you who drive that it just shifts you into a into a totally different focus. So you start focusing on those things that make you happy, and those things that you are grateful for. So in summary, psychological benefits of being grateful. Number one, we said it is the best attitude when someone's heart is filled with gratitude, they're going to have the utmost the happiest attitude. Second is that it's an antidote to depression. So as soon as

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you're feeling a little bit down, start focusing on all those things that you're grateful for. Third, it improves your emotional health, it makes you a happier, more balanced person. And fourth, it is it shifts your focus. So as soon as you're grateful, you're just shifting and turning a lot more positive. So join me after these breaks, when I will continue on talking about the health benefits and the religious benefits of being grateful.

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Welcome back, I was talking to you about the psychological benefits of being grateful there's so many benefits and now the focus is going to be about the health benefits that the there are so many studies done on the effects of gratitude, and the medical and medical treatment, actually, the focus is on maximize medical treatment with the power of gratitude. So this means that if you are suffering from any ailment, and you start being more grateful for all the things you have, you will maximize your treatment, you will get better faster. There's actually a Dr. Robert Emmons at the University of California in Davis, and he is a he is a psychology professor. And he has done

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intensive research on gratitude. He's actually written three books on gratitude. One is called thanks. The second one is psychology of gratitude. And then the third is words of gratitude. So all His focus is on being grateful. And he has found that this this gratefulness has a lot to do with our level of peace and our level of happiness. And he actually put all of his all the experiment to use when his wife got diagnosed with cancer. When she got diagnosed with cancer, what he did is he made a CD, a CD for her to listen to the list of things that she is grateful for all her like her list of gratitude or grateful things. And he would play this for her on a daily basis before

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treatment and after treatment. This is while she was doing the chemotherapy.

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And he just found amazing results, she did not get the same symptoms. And he was she was not getting as nauseous as other as other patients. She was she lost some hair, but not all of it. And so there was this amazing result and she got 100% better so is attributed a lot to the fact that all throughout her treatment, she was focusing on all the things that she was grateful for. And he actually made a CD, on being grateful. And so this is very effective. And we should apply this into our own lives that anytime we have any kind of ailment instead of because our natural reaction when we are getting sick or were diagnosed with something is to feel really bad, maybe feel sad, or sorry

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for ourselves. But if we start feeling very grateful for all the things that we do have, it's like you release all the endorphins, you release all these positive hormones into your body. And so you're in a better state to fight any kind of disease.

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And he actually made a really powerful statement, which says, gratitude is an indispensable manifestation of virtue, and an integral component of health, wholeness, and well being. So it's an indispensable manifestation of virtue, meaning that if someone is righteous, if someone is a good person, it is only natural to be grateful. How can you say that you're, let's say, a righteous person, and not be grateful for all the things that God has given you. It also affects our level of alertness and energy, you find that when people spend their life, comparing or complaining, they're just lethargic, feeling low, short, lethargic means you're just feeling down, you're not feeling

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really not empowered. And I think that when you start thinking about all the things like I was saying, in the morning, when you ask those questions, what am I grateful for? What am I excited about? Those things are, are the questions that will instill passion into your life, they will make you excited to live. And so that's what will affect your energy level, your alertness, because you have a different level of focus, because you have you know what you want, and you will be more excited about getting it. They've done many studies on the effects of the immune system on people who have a lot of gratitude. And they have seen amazing results that many studies have shown that

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people who are optimistic, they're less likely to get sick. So the more optimistic you are, the more you're focusing on all the great things that are happening in your life, the less likely it is that you get sick, and you find people that there are individuals who are really miserable, who are very, they're never thinking about what they're grateful for. And they are constantly there's this cycle of getting sick, there's a cycle of sickness, because their immune system is so weak, and you find that individuals who are healthy and they're happy, and they are focusing on all the good things in their life, they're much less likely to get sick, it's actually been shown that there's a reduced

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level of stress for people who have gratitude. And why is that because when you are comparing yourself, let's say, Oh, this person has this, and I don't have it, and they've achieved this, and I don't have it. All of this comparison, makes you feel very stressed out. If you are unhappy with let's say, the way you look, or you're unhappy with your spouse, or your work or whatever, all these things, this is just releasing poison in your system. You're feeling down and lethargic. And it's it has an effect on your level of stress. But when you start looking at the things that you were very happy about, then your stress reduces tremendously. So to review some of the health benefits, one is

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that it maximizes the medical treatment. So if you're getting some kind of medical treatment, start focusing on all the things that you're grateful for, you end up feeling much more energetic and much more alert, it will affect your immune system. So you have a much stronger immune system not getting sick as often. And it also reduces your stress because you're not busy comparing and creating all this tension in yourself. So you, you have less stress. If that wasn't enough, there's also religious benefits to being grateful that being grateful actually, gratitude is a daily exercise, so that you can form a thankful muscle. It's actually it is like a workout for the soul. Because just

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like when we work out and we feel really good when we go to the gym, and suddenly we're energetic and we feel so much more alive and happier. When you start being grateful. That is like it exercises your soul and your soul gets content. So we need to start feeling

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like seeing those thankful muscles on a daily basis, unless says and suta Azuma is number seven, what, Tash guru Yoruba hula comb, that if you are grateful, he is pleased with you. So what better than having a lot be pleased with you. So when we are showing gratefulness when we are seeing the things that Allah has given us, and we show gratefulness it's pleasing to Him. And I think those of you who are parents can relate to this, when you have children, and you are taking care of them, and you are spending on them, and you buy them gifts, or you take them places. And when you find that they are grateful, and they're happy, it's so pleasing, right? But what if you've done so much,

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let's say you, you plan a party for your child, or you take them on a special trip, and you're just trying your best to provide the best, you're trying your best to do your very best for them. And yet, they, they just start complaining, they're unhappy. They're like, that's not the gift I wanted. This is not this is too hot here. It's not nice. And all they do is complain, it would make you feel so, so empty, you would feel like you know, you gave all of this and yet, they're not happy about it. So next time, you may not be as you may not be as motivated to do the same thing because you feel like whether you do it or not, it doesn't make a difference. So when we show this gratefulness

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for the things, the amazing things that Allah has given us, it's pleasing term and I think that that is a big motivating factor for being grateful. And it also is a way of increasing your blessings that Allah says and suited Ibrahim is number seven smilla rahmanir rahim what is the ad Vanara bukom la Shankara Toma as he then comb while I am cafardo tune in now the be lasha deed. So this translates as if you are grateful to me, then I will increase your favors and your blessings. But if you are ungrateful, then my punishment is severe. So this is telling us that the more grateful you are, the more God will give you the next religious benefit is that you will be rewarded that every

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time you are grateful that it's it's a way of getting blessings and Allah says in Surah Allah Emraan I have 144 Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim WESA ye to Zilla horshack at that Allah will swiftly reward those who serve him with gratitude. So this is a promise that every time you are grateful, you will be swiftly this and this is amazing. Now our law says swiftly you will quickly be rewarded for what you do. And the last religious benefit is that you will be just an optimistic person and this is every moment every believer needs to be optimistic. There's no room for hopelessness because if you truly believe in God and you want to live a righteous life, you can't help but be optimistic. To

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review we talked about the benefits the psychological benefits of being grateful the health benefits and also the religious benefits. Join me next week when I will talk to you about the how to how to be grateful and what to be grateful for to second law fair As salam alaikum

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