It’s hard when you are grieving to feel uplifted. All we want to do is hide our heads under the pillow and be left alone, but I’ve got something a lot better for you than retreating to your bedroom.
We want, no need, a nudge towards a little piece of happiness to open our hearts again – some music, a perfect morning sunrise, time spent with families and friends. It’s that warm feeling that washes over us when we are moved by an act of kindness. These are the feelings we need and the more we share those positive feelings the stronger they will grow.
Our need for uplift in times of trouble isn’t just a sentimental reflex, it is part of what makes us essentially human. It’s critical to our health and for the most part, lifting our spirits is up to us and within our control.
When we give someone a reassuring smile or sigh in sympathy, it reduces our heart rate to a more peaceful pace.
Happiness comes through the relationships created by “something larger than self”- religion, volunteer or political work for the good of others.
So – do you need a lift? Being part of a community and making a difference, even a small one, is deeply satisfying. No matter how stressed they are, volunteers report they always feel better after doing something positive for their community.
But what if you’re unable to be a volunteer? Then there are things you can still do that are uplifting. Trying humming along to some music, take a walk to find the pictures in the clouds and the natural colours outside, because when grieving you are blind to the beauty around you.
In other words, instead of waiting for this daunting grief to pass, we can try to seize “uplifts” to lighten our day – it could be waiting for you in someone’s eyes, in music or in a starry night. You can find it – just be open to what is around you.