How do you destroy the habit of complaining? One word: gratitude. It’s easy to focus on all of the negative things you may be faced with in life, but the best way to cut the habit of complaining is to cultivate a habit of gratitude.
You’ve all encountered chronic complainers — the ones who complain about everything big and small, from their troubled finances to their troubled relationships to their troubled bowel movement. They spread negativity and suck the joy out of your life, even though they may be perfectly cheery themselves.
Of course, there will always be genuine problems in life; to pretend otherwise would be escapism or denial. Keeping it bottled up could lead to deeper psychological problems. It’s healing to be able to vent to friends and family when you’re upset. Proactive people complain to get things done and to try and change things for the better. They speak out against whatever bothers them to make a better world for themselves and for others.
But the problem is with chronic complainers: they abuse your sympathy by complaining incessantly, with no real interest in problem solving. Once in victim mode they love to talk but rarely listen. We seem to be perpetually overwhelmed by pressures. Worries about work, the condition of our general public, our wellbeing, the education of our youngsters and their better future, and so on involve a lot of our waking hours.
If one was to sit down and attempt to quantify exactly how much time and vitality is spent on grumbling, one may be in for an astonishment. It is beneficial to invest some energy checking the things we have that we ought to be grateful for. Life in itself is delightful.
Regardless of all the agony and challenges around and inside us, nobody would willingly face death. And yet, while we are alive and well, we hardly give a thought to the kindness that makes us functioning, healthy human beings.
The Quran mentions gratitude and thankfulness as one of the major attributes of the faithful.
The blessings of God are so numerous that, were we to give all our moments to thanking Him, we would not be able to do justice to His favours. But rarely do we spend even a few seconds on this. Valuing the beneficial things, anyway little they may appear, and expressing gratitude to God for them brings inside our spirit fulfillment and the ability not exclusively to be cheerful but also to spread bliss around us. God has no need for our gratitude; we have to express gratefulness to Him so we can discover peacefulness and bliss inside ourselves.
We often take what we have for granted and do not give a second thought to what might happen were our possessions to be taken away from us. The senses we possess, our intellect and education, our skills and abilities, the love of our parents, the magic and beauty of the world around us, our ability to appreciate good food, music, art … the list is endless and yet, nothing came to us through our own effort. Allah has granted to us all that is in our lives .
Even when one is less complacent and gives thanks in better times, one begins to whine and complain about one’s misfortunes as soon as one faces problems. We lose sight of all the favours that still surround us and the blessings that were with us a while ago. We also forget that God has promised those who remember Him that He will never forsake them. e their fortunes.
The trial and test of humans comes when they are able to show gratitude during difficulties; when they remember how merciful God has been to them in the past and put their trust in Him for their future.
This attitude of continually being positive, saying thanks to their Creator in whatever conditions they may get themselves and putting forth attempts to improve their condition is the thing that one ought to develop if one is to live a life of fulfilment and closeness to God.
Gratitude or gratefulness is a quality one should likewise exhibit towards individual people. Others help us day by day from multiple points of view, of all shapes and sizes. However, it is uncommon that we discover an opportunity to express gratitude toward them.
Gratitude to and faith in God are two sides of the same coin. If one has faith in God and His leniency, one should fundamentally be appreciative to Him in all conditions, as Hazrat Ayub (AS) was, in any event, when he was harassed with the most noticeably terrible physical agony and distress.