There is no right or wrong way to deal with grief. Losses occur in all our lives in many forms. Stop and think for a moment about the losses you have experienced in your life. How did you deal with your grief? Did you ask someone to help you through that grieving process? As you look back, what would you do different today?
We know that time does not heal all wounds. So, how do we move forward and create a life that we believe is worth living? Let’s look at a way of coping that is often overlooked.
Acts of kindness may not be accidental. Some researchers believe being kind pays off in many ways. Their research shows that acts of kindness help us feel better and healthier. Kindness helps us evolve and survive as a species; we’re hard-wired to be kind. However, it is a main part of human wiring that we take for granted; not really paying much attention to its significance.
We know those emotions of anger, fear, sad and hurt (basic emotions). Those emotions come quickly. The feelings that we get from being kind is rarely included in those automatic feelings. The feelings from kindness seem to be excluded from the basic emotions list.
Kindness seems to be universal. One of the basic reasons we are kind -– we are social animals. We are kind because under the appropriate circumstances we all benefit from kindness. Kindness and friendliness pay off when it comes to species survival; they help us feel more connected to the world. Kindness helps us be happier and being happier helps us want to do kind acts. Acts of kindness are very powerful for self and for others; survival – if we all work together.
How does kindness tie to loss and grief? Being kind helps people feel better mentally, emotionally and physically. It redirects us away from our own problems. Acts of kindness give us a new focus and purpose.
Humans have the ability to reason — if we use our Cognitive Behavioral Skills: communicate effectively, problem solve, and team play. Humans realize that some day we may need our relatives and even strangers to help us. Sounds like a no-brainer to make a small effort to be kind. Being kind can be as small as holding a door open for someone or as big as donating blood.
The opposite end of the pendulum shows us that humans can become angry and lash out when they feel threatened – whether it is to protect themselves or someone they love. Loss is a threat for humans. Let’s learn how to deal with loss so we are willing to accept the love and comfort from people that want to help us. Some days life is not easy.
Note: Find a purpose for your life. Set goals and then establish plans to accomplish those goals. Be true to yourself: be responsible and accountable. Make a daily “List for Life” until you are able to believe that life is truly worth living.
Remember: You get to decide how you Think – feel – Behave.
(Didn’t say it was easy. Just said it was possible.)
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