Someone wise once said, ‘Happiness is the goals of all goals!’
If you ask people why they do what they do, you’ll find “being happy” is behind every single human goal, mission, objective and wish to achieve that “something”.
Happiness not only leaves us with a positive feeling in the center of our being, people who tend to stay ‘happy’ also:
- Enjoy their work a lot more
- Suffer from less anxiety and tension
- Can make creative contributions to their projects and the society
- Spread goodwill and cheer
- Accomplish a lot
- Lead more fulfilled lives without heeding the rat race around them
- Make the world a much better place with their sunny temperaments and easy smiles
Compare these desirable states with the mind-set of an individual mired in negativity. You’ll find that they:
- Complain very often – leaving everyone around them dissatisfied
- Rarely get anything done.
- Creative drive is sub-zero.
- Have poor health and get stressed easily
So how does one become happy?
Some of the latest psychological findings suggest, happiness is the effect of behaviours we choose to make a part of our lives. By adopting these behaviours, happiness becomes a natural state we live in.
It is truly reassuring to see how the Holy Qur’an advocates these principles. Here are 7 principles from the Qur’an that will help you lead a life of lasting Happiness.
1. Be Grateful
14:7 And when your Lord made it known: If you are grateful, I would certainly give to you more
Whatever we concentrate on becomes our reality. How does this concept apply to being grateful? By acknowledging our gratefulness we deliberately pay attention to the wonderful gifts God has bestowed upon us.
It puts in perspective our life & becomes a cure for negative emotions & pessimism! And when you vibrate to the frequency of gratefulness (and thus plenty), you also bring abundance into your life.
2. Be Charitable
2:277. Surely they who believe and do good deeds and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate they shall have their reward from their Lord, and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve.
Contrary to popular beliefs, Money can buy happiness.
The way to experience that high is by giving to others in need.
Research shows that giving out of a sense of charity not only benefits the receiver but also the giver.
- It gives us a sense of appreciation of what we have and the privilege of having surplus that can be given away
- Charity makes us feel useful – to humanity and our community
- Charitable giving is associated with optimism
- Charity improves our social relationships by helping us bond better with others
3. Nurture Social Relationships
49:13 O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honourable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.
God has created man as a social creature; therefore maintaining social relationships is important for maintaining mental equilibrium. It is our duty to find ways to bond better with our loved ones and our neighbours – for the welfare of the entire society.
Express love and appreciation for the family, spend time with them and as William Ury says ‘become the third party’ when faced with conflict to think up speedy resolutions.
4. Learn to Forgive
24:22 And let not those of you who possess grace and abundance swear against giving to the near of kin and the poor and those who have fled in Allah’s way, and they should forgive and turn away. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Real forgiveness takes place when we let go of any resentment and feel peace in our heart.
Sometimes it’s difficult to forgive, but we can rise above our anger by realizing how forgiving God is towards us, and our transgressions. This can drive our own sense of forgiveness because in the end we all strive to be an image of the divine one.
5. Trust in God to cope with difficulties
9:51 Say: Nothing will afflict us save what Allah has ordained for us; He is our Patron; And in Allah let the believers put their trust.
At times we encounter difficulties in life that don’t make any sense, and we begin to question God & his wisdom. One of the best ways to deal with difficulties is to have faith in God and submit to His Will. Trust in God comes, once we realize from the depth of our hearts that God is the creator of the universe and everything happens as per His will.
From our limited worldly perspective we cannot fathom the entirety of God’s plan, but we trust in the All-Wise Lord that He knows better than us. This faith and trust in him gives us the peace to stay strong, have faith and bear our difficulties keeping in mind that help is near.
6. Spend time Prayer & Meditation
(13:28) Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest
Remembrance of God is not just thinking of Him with our minds, but remembering him with our hearts. We don’t need to be on our prayer mats, with a rosary in our hand to remember God!
He is the light within us and we carry a spark of his divine energy within our souls. When we remember God, God remembers us. Nothing can be more comforting than knowing that God remember us, and he loves us
7. Work for a Higher Purpose & Goal
(6: 162) Say: Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds;
Part of being happy is having a higher purpose. As human beings we inherently want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
The ultimate purpose is the evolution of our spiritual being. By dedicating ourselves to our creator, we align ourselves with this purpose.
Once we do that every action, even though it may be too small to make a big impact, starts carrying the power of good intentions. The ups and downs of life do not seem urgent as we realize that the material world is only ephemeral.
What matters is the alignment of our intentions (and the actions manifesting those intentions) with our goal of spiritual mastery.
It is difficult to let go of deeply personal behaviours which we may have carried around since early childhood.
Change can’t come in a day and neither will it be easy. But if you start right away, by making the smallest commitment to leading a better, happier life, the rest of the road will not be rocky.
God says in Hadith Qudsi,: “Take one step towards me, I will take ten steps towards you. Walk towards me, I will run towards you.” Hadith Qudsi.
Take the first step! And God will be with you making sure you have the power to continue.