There have been a number of studies that have been done on gratitude lately demonstrating that the act of being grateful improves your life in a number of ways. As Muslims, we are already commanded in a number of ways to practice the attitude of giving thanks:
Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing” [(An-Nisa, Verse #147)]. “And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah” [al-Nahl 16:53]. “He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi). “Whoever does you a favor, then reciprocate, and if you cannot find anything with which to reciprocate, then pray for him until you think that you have reciprocated him”  Abu Dawood (1672). “Whoever has a favor done for him and says to the one who did it, ‘Jazak Allahu khayran,’ has done enough to thank him” [Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi].
Some of the benefits one receives are listed as follows: Physical
  • Stronger immune systems
  • Less bothered by aches and pains
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Exercise more and take better care of their health
  • Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
  • Higher levels of positive emotions
  • More alert, alive, and awake
  • More joy and pleasure
  • More optimism and happiness
  • More helpful, generous, and compassionate
  • More forgiving
  • More outgoing
  • Feel less lonely and isolated.
So how can we make 'gratitude' a part of our daily lives? If you do a bit of research, there are many articles that give you a list, like keeping a journal, using visual reminders, or even 'paying it forward' through random acts of kindness. However here are a few ways that use modern technology not only to help you to keep track of gratitude, but to share it with others, multiplying the benefits:
  1. A crowdsourced map of gratitude: Use this website to file reports about what you are grateful for, and view a visual map of gratitude world-wide.
  2. Start a trend on Twitter. Ann Curry did this recently by recommending that people do an act of kindness in remembrance of each of the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary (follow the hashtag #26acts to see the results). You can start your own trend, or even just use your Twitter account to tweet daily things you are grateful for.
  3. Start an online blog about what you are grateful for, and pledge to add to it as much as you can find time for!
Expressing gratitude is free, easy, and it's good for you.
Please add any ways of expressing gratitude to share with others in the comments!