Posted by: Shanie Matthews | July 1, 2010

Turning Grief and Sadness into Happiness, Part 1

Since May 13th, keeping my conscious path of activating a happy life for myself has been a bit more of a challenge. The grief and sadness that had enveloped my body, mind, and soul after Bergen’s passing through me for a loop. It’s not that I hadn’t anticipated the deep sense of loss that would come my way after my daily companion had gone to the light. It’s just that I didn’t expect it to be so debilitating.

Through all of the losses of loved ones that has come my way so far in life, this one has brought the most tears. Every day. Sometimes at the strangest of moments.

I know that the path of grief is a twisting and turning roller coaster ride of memories. I pat myself on the back for flowing with the flood of emotions that arise and make me fall to my knees, but I also know that it is time to start moving forward. Bergen would want me to be vibrantly embracing life. Just like he did.

So, in true spirit of one of the happiest beings I have had the pleasure of knowing, I am going to start concentrating again on being happy. How? Well, time will continue to help. But I have made a deal with myself to continue on with my daily gifts of joy that I give myself, as well as incorporating some others…

For those of you fighting depression, or struggling to surpass the drowning feelings of sadness…I hope that they bring light to your darkness, as well.

So, without further ado…here are my top ten ways to turn that frown upside down…

1. Yoga with vocal exhales: I have mentioned before that I have incorporated yoga into my daily activities. For certain, this time of deep breathing and truly feeling and listening to my body has helped immensely in bringing an overall sense of calm and love into my life. But one of my favorite aspects to this wonderful practice is exhaling my breath with sound. And not some little timid squeak, either. I am talking a lion’s roar if need be. It is such a wonderful feeling that rises up when I let it out while doing the down dog.

2. Meditation with a smile on your face: in my humble opinion, I think that there is a lot of seriousness that is attached to meditation that scares certain people away from doing the practice. For me, I used to think that there was no way that I could sit still in a crazy position for hours on end. It just wasn’t going to happen. But then I learned that meditation can be in many, many forms. And that includes just sitting quietly with a happy smile on your face. I have found that the feelings associated with grinning from ear to ear slowly melts into my heart as I lay or sit comfortably, concentrating on the happy smile decorating my face. It might sound silly to some, but really, this easy way to create meditation has truly helped me pull myself out of a funk.

3. Make a grateful list: I have found that in addition to verbally saying what I am grateful for, writing it down in list form helps me to cognitively see how many fabulous, wonderful, great things are going on in my life. Way to many, really, to  be upset at all.

4. Volunteering with children or animals: if a smile is what you need, there are two beings on earth that are quick to help…kiddos and canines. I truly believe that each have an uncanny ability to see the reality of good. Being surrounded by their hopeful and inspiring energy can only help bring a smile to a person’s face.

5. Sing a silly song: I started this when I was a little girl with my best friend Crystal, and it has continued into my adulthood. I tend to sing my silly songs to either my canine kids or no one in particular. They don’t always make sense, but they always have to do with singing silly creations of sentences. And it never fails to make my heart feel a little lighter.

UPDATE: Turning Grief and Sadness Part 2



  1. […] to Turn Grief and Sadness into Happiness, Part 2 A few weeks back I wrote about five of my favorite ways to turn a crummy day into something more […]

  2. I am a widow or 2 years now and have quite recently lost my Mother, who was my very best friend. I am having so much anxiety. I can’t seem to put either of these deaths to rest. I lost quite a bit of money in each death and ended up with nothing but my feelings. How do I just blow it off and go back to my happy. I am not depressed and my life if full of activity and work but keeping my emothion under control is really a problem. I just can’t seem to put these events into my past and not think about them. I don’t want to burden my busy friends with my personal problems and I don’t want their sympthany or pity. I just want to forget it all and focus on my home remodeling and what the future could bring but my focus is all out of whack. I can get started on a project and then have to stop because my emotions and thoughts have taken over and ruin what I had started. HELP

  3. I also want to return to sexual activity but I think I am scared and don’t know how to get over that too. I can’t focus long enough to take care of myself. I am scared to start dating and have lots of anxiety over the fact that I have false teeth. I need some advice from an unbiased source. Thanks

  4. Dear Betty,

    I am sending you a private email. My thoughts and love are with you.

    In love and light,

  5. […] one day a high of happy memories, the next a low of tears that flow like the Nile — this movement through grief got me […]

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