The up and down emotions I have experienced over the last 6 months have been stressful and tiring to say the least. One moment feeling ok and the next feeling like I am stuck at the bottom of a dark, stinky pond. The key, I have found, to pulling myself out of said stank-pond, is gratitude. Simple and yet completely profound.
I have always known this intellectually: Focus on the negative and you feel more negative; focus on the positive and voila, but I have never deeply integrated it into my life. Over the last 6 months, I finally have. When I am sinking, gratitude can pull me back up to the surface quicker than anything else. Not to say it works every time and not to say I don't need to experience the darker emotions as well. I just don't need to dwell on the dark emotions for long periods of time, especially given my family history.
We all have something for which to be grateful. Your warm bed, hot water, the look on your dog's face, your amazing body, your job, the people in your life, sunshine, rain, garbage men, electricity, lotion, your children, safety, music, coffee...I could go on and on. Start with the easy stuff and it becomes a snowball effect. Before you know it you become grateful for your grumpy neighbor because he taught you a lesson about patience or the morning traffic because it allowed you to listen to one more good tune on your way to work. Even in the midst of struggle and loss, there are so many things for which to be grateful.
Wake up in the morning and, instead of dreading your day or focusing on what is missing in your life, start a list in your head of all that is present and good....coffee might help this process! I guarantee it will change your life, if only for the moment, which is really all we have.