Proactive Steps Help You to be Happy Again

Grief is exhausting. You may be tired of feeling helpless and hopeless, yet don’t know what to do. Hope eluded me after my daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law died within nine months. Hope seemed to have disappeared, but I found it again in caring for my twin grandkids and taking proactive steps. Here are my suggestions for feeling happy again.

Choose happiness. Again and again, I told myself, “I’m worthy of happiness.” Saying this sentence helped me to believe it. I also believed in myself and the coping skills I had honed over the years. You are also worthy of happiness and, if you take some proactive steps, you will find it. Choosing happiness changes your outlook on life — your thinking, actions, and plans.

Take care of your health. Healthy food is brain food. In fact, a balanced diet can change your thinking. With this thought in mind, I fixed balanced, made-from-scratch meals for my family. My husband and I stuck to our routine of going to bed at 10 p.m. Walking in the neighborhood also boosted our spirits. Bettyclare Moffatt cites the benefits of running in her book, Soullwork. “Releasing, I am releasing now. Good-bye to all cares, all worries, all obstacles, all impediments, all fears,” she writes.

Take care of your spiritual self. Some bereaved people avoid quiet in an attempt to escape pain and fear. Not me. I made quiet time part of each day. This time helped me identify problems and find solutions to them. In the quiet you will find the courage you need to move forward with life. Taking care of your spiritual self may include attending religious services, volunteering in your community, and giving to others.

Write your story. Bereaved people need to share their story and say the names of their loved ones aloud. You may write your story in a journal, diary, short stories, articles, and books. The act of telling you story relieves some of the tension you’ve been feeling and may help others. Giving workshops and grief recovery talks are other ways to share your story.

As your life journey continues you will identify other proactive steps and take them. When all is said in done, you are responsible for your own happiness. Like the sun rising on a spring morning, light will seep into your life and brighten it anew.

Harriet Hodgson

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Harriet Hodgson, BS, MA has been an independent journalist for more than 35+ years. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, Association for Death Education and Counseling, and the MN Coalition for Death Education and Support. Hodgson writes for www.ezinearticles.com and has earned top status. A prolific author, she is the author of hundreds of articles and 31 books. All of her writing comes from experience and heer recent books focus on grief recovery: * Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss * The Spiritual Woman: Quotes to Refresh and Sustain Your Soul * 101 Affirmations to Ease Your Grief Journey: Words of Comfort, Words of Hope * Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life * Writing to Recover Journal (with 100 writing prompts) * Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief, Lois Krahn, MD, co-author In 2007, after her daughter's death and former son-in-law's death, she became a GRG, grandparent raising grandchildren. Her latest book, Help! I'm Raising My Grandkids: Grandparents Adapting to Life's Surprise, came from this experience. In addition to writing books, Hodgson is a columnist for "Caregiving in America" magazine and Assistant Editor of ADEC Connects, the electronic newsletter of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. A popular speaker, Hodgson has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer's, hospice, and grief conferences. She has appeared on more than 160 talk shows, including CBS Radio, and dozens of television stations/programs, including CNN. Her work is cited in Who’s Who of American Women, World Who’s Who of Women, Contemporary Authors and other directories. She lives in Rochester, MN with her husband and twin grandchildren. Please visit www.harriethodgson.com for more information about this busy author and grandmother. Books by Harriet Hodgson The Spiritual Woman: Quotes to Refresh and Sustain Your Soul, available from Centering Corporation, www.centering.org and Amazon, www.amazon.com 101 Affirmations to Ease Your Grief Journey: Words of Comfort, Words of Hope, available from Amazon, www.amazon.com Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life, available from Centering Corporation, www.centering.org and Amazon, www.amazon.com Writing to Recover Journal, available from Centering Corporation, www.centering.org and Amazon. Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief, Lois Krahn, MD, Co-Author, available from Amazon, www.amazon.com

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