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Dealing with Grief

Dealing with Grief: Practice of Gratitude

Dealing with grief can be very difficult.  Learn how to Practice Gratitude and remember to ask for help.

A few weeks ago I had an idea for a post on ‘How to deal with negativity’ and the ‘poor pitiful me’ syndrome that can come with human nature. I hadn’t started writing it yet, but as I was driving to work this morning, I realized that I needed to take some of my own upcoming advice.

You see, today is difficult. In Creation’s Lexington business unit, we recently lost a friend and co-worker who had retired in December.

As a People & Culture Leader at Creation and as a Human Resources professional, I need to know how to help people who are dealing with grief. Grief affects us all in different ways, but there are things we can do to help ourselves get through difficult situations and I needed to practice some of them myself.

What advice am I talking about that can help us deal with grief and overcome negativity? One technique is the Practice of Gratitude.

I had a conversation over a year ago with a very wise woman. It was at a time in my life when I could find so much to complain about and just felt dissatisfied. Then she taught me to practice this art of positive thinking. She told me about the Practice of Gratitude.

I began this practice each night when I got into bed. I had to name three things that I was thankful for in that day. Had I encountered an act of kindness, had a good chat with my daughter, learned how to cook a new recipe, found a friend?

At first it was a struggle but with practice, the thankfulness began pouring out of me and in turn, my outlook changed. No longer did I feel the burden of my troubles. I felt the true lift of positivity and saw how truly blessed I was.

There are many ideas on the practice of gratitude, but these steps worked for me and I recommend them to my teammates:

2 Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude

  1. Practice Gratitude Daily. It doesn’t work if you don’t do it. Consistency is important if you want to make it stick.
  2. Pick 3 Things That Make You Grateful. Some days it may be hard to find 3 things but they are there. If you are really struggling with identifying 3 things, talk to your spouse, friend or family member.

So today, with the feeling of loss pushing its way in, I started counting my blessings:

I’m grateful for the wide-eyed enchantment of my child believing that the Tooth Fairy visited last night.

I’m grateful for the wonderful day I shared with family and neighbors yesterday in the glorious sunshine.

But most of all today, I’m grateful for getting to know and sharing in the life of Beatrice Deaton.

Do you practice gratitude?

Has it helped you grieve or get through a difficult situation? How? And what would you say to people who’ve never tried to practice gratitude? Please share your thoughts and advice by leaving a comment, below.

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6 Responses to Dealing with Grief

  1. Lurdes Silva Balfour April 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Thanks for this Barbara! I was at a memorial service last night to support a previous coworker with the loss of her mom. As I sat there I was reflecting on what a few had to say especially a grandchild with a note to her lost grandma. Questions came to mind like ‘I wonder how my son and nieces will deal with this when my parents go?’, ‘ I wonder how we will handle something like this in the future, with our own loved ones?’. It does make you take stock of what you have that is so precious and really be grateful for what you have and hold dear. I lost a young cousin to a freak accident not too long ago who left behind 4 children and a wife – you just never know when it’s your turn. It is so important to practice gratitude, to practice happiness, to practice acceptance of oneself and others.

    I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton

    God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” ~William A. Ward

    We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

    We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. ~Cynthia Ozick

    • Barbara Aker April 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      Lurdes—
      I love the quotes and thank you for sharing your personal story. We all need to lean on each other in times of trouble and when we lose sight of our blessings. I am sure that your coworker and family are thankful for your kindness during their time of need.

    • Creation Technologies April 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

      Lurdes—
      I love the quotes and thank you for sharing your personal story. We all need to lean on each other in times of trouble and when we lose sight of our blessings. I am sure that your coworker and family are thankful for your kindness during their time of need. ~Barbara

  2. Michelle Casteel April 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Thank you for remembering my Mom. It is touching and comforting to know that she meant so much to so many. She would fuss at me for being negative and would love for all of us to practice this! I miss her so incredibly much but It helps to know that I am not alone in my grief and loss.

    Sincerely,
    Michelle Casteel (daughter of Beatrice Deaton)

    • Barbara Aker April 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

      Michelle—
      Your mother touched our lives in a positive way. Bea had a way of lifting you up when you felt low and got you focused on the positive things. I am glad we got to share in her life.

    • Creation Technologies April 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

      Michelle—
      Your mother touched our lives in a positive way. Bea had a way of lifting you up when you felt low and got you focused on the positive things. I am glad we got to share in her life. ~Barbara

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