Negative thinking is generally just a bad habit. Training your mind to see good in everything will be one of the best steps you can take in creating a happy and content life. It’s so much easier to give in to negative thinking and live your life blaming, hating and criticising others, feeling hopeless and as if the world is out to get you.
However, if you challenge yourself to always find the positives, not only you will grow as a person and in character but there are many spiritual benefits to this. Having a clean heart and being of good character is crucial in Islam, so much that you can attain the reward equivalent to those who fast and pray at night. Contrarily if you treat others badly or hurt them with your words your prayers and fasts will be worthless.
There are so many Hadith and Islamic texts that talk about the importance of working on your heart and having good character. I believe it is an obligatory part of Islam and being a Muslim, to struggle with yourself and constantly assess yourself. This is what is often referred to as the ‘jihad of the nafs’ or ‘jihad of the self’. Showing a deep concern for others, contributing to the lives of others in a meaningful way, making a difference even if you don’t receive the same in return are all examples of good character and a loving heart.
Do things that make your creator Allah happy, help others, be dutiful to your parents, visit the sick, maintain your ties of kinship… It’s your choice what you make of each and every situation.
‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom’ [Victor E Frankl]
Think positively and see the difference in how you are in each situation. Analyse your behaviour, it won’t be easy but that is why it is called a ‘jihad’ [a struggle] and who is this jihad for but our creator Allah سبحانه و تعال. Always remember your struggles are for Allah, you will soon reap the sweetness, just don’t give up trying.
Another advantage of thinking positive is you will see everything through a happy lense, your perspective on things will be constructive and you will honestly feel so much better about yourself. Now that your mind is free of negativity and hate, you will be able to focus on constructive things, projects, things that help you grow in so many ways, you can put your energy in to a more meaningful purpose. Finally, as a parent it is so important that you do not pass your bad habits on to your children, remember if they constantly see you being negative they will pick up this distasteful trait from you. You are their role model and they will follow your example and overtime your mindset will become theirs.
May Allah guide us and help us in our endeavours to lead a more positive, happier and content life.