Creating a Positive Environment in Your Home

Written by Salma Elkadi Abugideiri

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Creating a Positive Environment in Your Home

Following are some suggestions for how to begin creating a positive environment that not only will be good for those around you, but ultimately will be good for you because you will be part of that environment.

  • The first step is to begin with yourself and to make sure you are thinking positive. Begin by taking inventory of your blessings. Look around you.

    • What is going right in your life?
    • Who are the good people in your life?
    • What are the qualities you like about yourself?
    • What are some things you have done right recently and in the past?
  • Take some time to express gratitude to Allah SWT for each of the things you’ve identified. Even if your list is very short, or it only has one item, take a moment to connect with Allah and connect with a feeling of gratefulness.
    • Now, notice how you feel in your body. And notice what words and thoughts come to mind.
      •  If anything negative comes up, just gently push it aside and re-focus on what was positive. See if you can remain in the positive just a little bit longer. If you are not used to feeling good, this may be difficult. As you practice this exercise, it will get easier and easier.
      • If you are used to feeling good, allow yourself to feel even better. Ask yourself what you feel like doing from this positive place.
  • As you experience feeling more positive as a result of being more aware of the ways in which Allah SWT has blessed you, remind yourself to smile more often and to let those positive feelings flow outward.
  • The next step is to express appreciation out loud. It is superstitious to believe that speaking about good things will bring about something bad. In fact, Allah SWT tells us to talk about His blessings (Qur’an – 93:11).
    • Appreciation should first and foremost be given to Allah SWT both in words and in action. We should express our appreciation to Him by engaging in worship and by doing good for others, using the gifts He has given us. These gifts may be money, time, energy, or knowledge, among other things.
    • Next, we should make a practice of appreciating people for what they do for us, letting them know when they are doing things right. The Prophet (pbuh) said that whoever doesn’t thank people, doesn’t thank Allah.[2]
      • Take a moment to notice something positive in the people around you. If you are married, think about something you appreciate in your spouse. It could be a personal quality, or something your spouse has done for you or for someone else. If you have a child, think about something your child has done right. If you have a parent, do the same thing.
      • Next, make a point to tell that person what you appreciate. If this is not part of your normal behavior, the other person may be surprised or even suspicious. Remind yourself that it is part of being a good Muslim to spread goodwill, so keep up the appreciations daily. Over time, you will notice a change both in yourself, and in the relationship.
  • Make dua’a for those around you, even those who make you angry. It is common in some families to make dua’a against someone, even a child, when that person has done something upsetting. Making dua’a against someone doesn’t actually make anything better; on the contrary, it can sour the relationship and further reinforce negative feelings you have. Asking Allah SWT to give something good to that person, including His forgiveness if that person has wronged you, can allow you to feel better yourself.
  • Encourage others in your family to practice what you’ve been practicing.
    • For couples, I encourage them to give each other daily appreciations. This practice really nurtures the relationships and leads people to feel valued.
    • In families with children, I often suggest that parents create a game or ritual in which every family member has to say one thing that is appreciated in every other family member. This ritual could be done at dinner time or perhaps after prayer.

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