Michelle Suzanne Scott

Registered Social Services Worker




Michelle Suzanne Scott

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Grief & Gratitude

Much research has been done and it has been proven that gratitude goes hand-in-hand with happiness, stress tolerance, a positive attitude, and satisfaction.  It isn’t always easy to embrace gratitude when we are faced with injustices and life struggles.  Experiencing trauma and grief & loss challenge us to find the silver linings. 

How can we begin to feel positive while grieving?  After honouring your own feelings and thoughts and giving yourself the time you need, you may start to notice opportunities to express gratitude if you mine for them (even lumps of coal become diamonds when enough pressure is exerted.) 

Judy Belmont, in her blog The Top 10 Habits of Grateful People…Even In Tough Times promotes being grateful.   In summary:

1)      Grateful people don’t have a sense of entitlement and realize that life isn’t fair. 

2)      Happiness comes from within; “I’ll be happier when I have a bigger house, make more money, find the right person” isn’t part of their internal dialogue.  They give up their sense of control and embrace change.

3)      Rainy days and Mondays never get them down.  They have an understanding of yin/yang (i.e. a bee that stings also makes honey; morning follows the darkest of nights.)

4)      Faith and hope are part of their attitude.  As the poet Sri Chinmoy believes, “Hope knows no fear.  Hope dares to blossom.  Even inside the abysmal abyss.  Hope secretly feeds and strengthens.  Promise.”

5)      Holding onto grudges is not part of their self-care plan.  Further, they do not have the need to control others’ thoughts & actions and therefore aren’t disappointed when their children/spouse, friends, etc. don’t live up to expectations. 

6)      In some circumstances feeling grateful does not come easy and may seem counterintuitive.  Grateful people believe in gratitude and continuously practice a positive perspective.  They also seek support when they need it.

7)      Psychological flexibility – grateful people avoid all-or-nothing and black-and-white thinking.  They persist at looking at issues from different angles and perspectives to view issues from all sides.

8)      People who live with gratitude in their hearts and minds are open to new ways of thinking and don’t consider a shift in their attitude as a failure.

9)      When faced with one of life’s many lessons or challenges, grateful people tend towards learning from the experience rather than being disappointed by the experience.

10)   Determination and perseverance – grateful people move forward from feelings of regret and feeling like they have failed.  They dust themselves off and try again.

The internet allows easy access to research information, services and strategies as well as being able to connect with others.  There are resources and books available to help you through what is ultimately a natural part of life, shared by many.  Ask for the help you need and be kind to yourself while you are on this journey.

Gratitude means seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, even when there is complete darkness.  Grateful people honour all of their feelings (positive and negative) surrounding each life circumstance and combine this with understanding, acceptance, trusting and believing.  Gratitude enables us to find hope and meaning again without losing touch with our loss.



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