Unfortunately, grief is as much a part of life as happiness. You can’t have light without darkness. Happiness doesn’t exist without grief.
Grief can have a strong negative impact on your life. You may start to neglect those that are close to you and still need your attention and love. Your work and even your health can suffer. Learning how to handle grief in a positive way is a valuable life skill.
Grief can actually provide the seeds for happiness, if you know how to nurture them.
During times of grief, there are things you can do to make the best of the situation:
1. Be grateful. One of the best things anyone can do each day is to make a gratitude list. List all the things that are good in your life. Focusing on the positive lessens the blow of grief.
• Make it a habit to spend 5 minutes each day listing the good things about that day.
2. Focus on the things you can control. We spend much of our lives worrying over things beyond our control. This is time and energy that’s simply wasted. Enjoy your loved ones. Spend time with them making new memories and laughing about the old.
3. Focus on the people you still have in your life. Your relationships are the only thing that will really matter to you at the end of your life. Let your loved ones know just how much they mean to you.
• Make that phone call and write that letter you’ve been putting off. One day, it really will be too late. There’s no point in keeping your love to yourself.
4. Rely on your religion or spirituality. Grief can be a great impetus to strengthening or beginning your spiritual life. Now might be the perfect time to go back to church or join a meditation class. There is a strength and support available from the Divine that you may have been neglecting for a while.
5. Remember the good things. When someone is gone, we still have access to many wonderful memories. Remember the good times together and the loving moments.
6. Rely on your friends and family for support. Sharing adversity brings people closer together. That’s why old war buddies are always there for each other. It’s same reason why doctors remain close with their former medical school classmates.
• Sharing your grief with others is a strong bonding experience. It’s one more opportunity to bring positivity to difficult times.
7. Honor the memory. Do something in memory of your loved one. Did they adore children? Perhaps you could volunteer with a local children’s charity.
8. Allow the grief to turn into something positive. Spend some time considering what’s important in your life and make some positive changes. Perhaps you’ll spend more time with your children, take that Mediterranean cruise, or move closer to your family.