The loss of a loved one is a devastating thing for one to endure. Not only will you have to deal with the pain of the loss but you will most likely also suffer from negative physical and mental health effects as well. It can be difficult to find happiness for yourself when you are going through the grieving process. However, it is important to keep yourself happy and excited when you are dealing with grief in order to maintain your health and prevent yourself from developing mental illnesses such as depression. If you are struggling with a loss and are having trouble finding joy in this difficult time, here are some ways that you can start cultivating happiness during the grieving process.
1. Ground Yourself in the Present
Too often, we look to the future and see nothing when we are struggling. We also develop anxiety towards situations that are far away or will most likely never occur. Instead of worrying or thinking yourself into a rut, ground yourself in the present. Remind yourself that today is all you have and that you need to take things one step at a time. Without the negative thoughts or the anxiety of the future, you will be better able to be happy even though you are struggling.
2. Immerse Yourself in Your Passions
Take your loss and channel it into productive energy. Use your loss as a reminder that your life is valuable and that your loved one wouldn’t want you to be unhappy or to waste your precious time doing something you’re not completely invested in. Set aside time to sit down and make a list of all the things that you’ve wanted to do. Then, figure out how you can take time out of your day to do those things. Once you dedicate your time to your passions, you will be able to find happiness despite the loss you are dealing with.
3. Reflect on the Positive Memories
Losing a loved one can cause us to focus on their absence rather than the positive effect they’ve had on our lives. Choose to reflect on the positive rather than the negative. Collect the things that have been gifted to you and the items that spark positive memories and keep them nearby as a reminder of who they were and what they have done for you. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to be sad or that you shouldn’t mourn their absence but it will allow you to feel happy when the loss is becoming too much to handle.
4. Honor Their Memory
A lot of us will be unable to fulfill our dreams before we pass away. It’s rare that we are able to tackle every item on our bucket list. Your loved one most likely had things that they’ve always wanted to do but weren’t able to. Think about some of these things and do it for them. If your loved one wanted to see the Great Wall of China, arrange a vacation for yourself and visit it. If they’ve always wanted to start their own garden, learn how to develop a green thumb.
No matter what it is that your loved one wanted to do, it will make you feel happier and more connected to them if you follow through on their desires.
5. Happiness Can Be Found in Connection
Our friends and our family are truly blessings. A lot of these people know what to do and what to say in order to take us away from our pain and make us feel better. Seek out these people and make an effort to connect with them as much as possible. Social interaction can do wonders for our mood and will make you feel happier during the grieving process.