“How can I be thankful for something when I’m mourning my deceased loved one? I can’t begin to think about appreciation or thanks.” These comments are quite understandable early in the complaint process. But later, holding on to these affirmations will eliminate an important de-escalating action that others have found helpful.
Gratitude is that quality or feeling of being thankful, which affirms life and restores energy. Affirming life and restoring energy are critical mental and physical factors in coping with the death of a loved one. Here are five ideas to think about using gratitude as a new routine in your daily life and to help you cope with your loss.
1. Start first thing in the morning using gratitude as a wake-up ritual. In response to a question I asked members of one of my grievance support groups about how they have coped with their losses thus far, one woman shared the following. “When I wake up every morning, I start the day reviewing everything I’m grateful for. It gets me going in the right direction.” What it does, of course, is positively balance much of the negativity that normally floods the mind at the beginning of the day during grief. Try to start your day this way.
2. Make a list every night of the things you are grateful for. After you finish your list, ask yourself if you’ve included little things to be thankful for or just the big things. What is big or small depends on how you perceive it. Some of the little things for me are all the things I take for granted, like the clean air I breathe, the people who greet me by name, the ones who smile or shake my hand and make me feel accepted, my level of energy (until it goes down), and a lot of other things. Plan to read your gratitude list whenever you start to feel down.
3. When grieving, if anger lingers in your thoughts for too long, shift your attention to a person, place, or thing for which you are grateful. Anger is an extremely physical and emotional drain. Although anger may be completely justified, allowing it to become a long-term part of your daily thought life will prolong your grievance work. Use your self-talk to change the scene: “I have this anger and rightfully so, but I choose to be grateful for all the help I’m getting from my friends. I’m truly grateful.”
4. Show gratitude to and for yourself. Develop the attitude of gratitude to include yourself and all the small victories you have had as you begin to accept your life without the physical presence of the deceased. You’ve made it through the funeral, the vacation, the trip to the attorney’s office, condolences from friends and people you didn’t know, and a host of other stressful events. Say to yourself, “I am grateful for the courage I showed and my persistence and resilience.”
5. Use a symbol to remind you to express gratitude. Some people wear Gratitude Glass that can be purchased online or play music with a gratitude theme. Your symbol can be anything you feel is appropriate, from something your loved one owned to a trinket you bought for them or an item that was a gift. Carry it in your pocket or bag; put it on the dashboard of your car or in a special place in your home. When you see it, use it as a sign to check your attitude. Then immediately think of the special things you appreciate and are grateful for despite your pain. This act will only focus you on a positive path.
6. Give thanks each day at a specific time to God or your Higher Power. Make this a part of your prayer life. You will reap the benefits; Or, as Sarah Ban Breathnach puts it in Simple Abundance, “You just won’t be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks every day for the abundance in your life. And you’ll have set in motion an ancient spirituality.” law: the more you have and are grateful, the more will be given to you”. Thanksgiving will call for inner peace.
In short, gratitude is an inspiring force that can add another significant factor in developing a strong inner life. It makes us draw attention to the good, the beautiful, the complete and abundant; it will open up a whole host of possibilities, which is exactly what we need when we are in pain.
What most of us forget is that just like kindness (the best way to stay healthy), love, and a good laugh, the act of being grateful floods our bodies with the hormones that make us feel good in the moment. when we feel it the most. necessary. Live gratitude; will ensure you get through the many changes you face.