Can you shift from sorrow to joy?
Photo by Sydney Sims

Can you shift from sorrow to joy?

We’re all periodically visited by joy and sorrow in our lives. What we do with these experiences set apart the survivors from those who suffer or hold back. If you’ve never let yourself fully experience sadness, you’re missing one of the great character-building elements in your life. If you’ve never fully embraced joy, you’re missing one of the most potent building blocks to success and true happiness.

Grief is a normal part of life, the same as birth and deaths, but if you dwell too much on the sad times, you’ll never get to experience the joy that life has to offer. Sorrow can turn you into a bitter person and ruin what chances you have at true love and abundance. It can keep you from attracting positive forces that will enhance your life.

When you sorrow permeates your life, it can be hard to rise above it. You may be having trouble getting over the death of a loved one or the ending of a relationship. You may have gone through an awful tragedy that has altered your life and the lives of those you love. It’s important to remember that we learn from our sorrows and disappointments. They make us stronger and help us face future challenges.

It never helps to wallow in self-pity or to contemplate a litany of “what ifs.”  This will only drive you further into a rut. One path out of sorrow is to shift your focus, to force yourself to recall happy events in your life. It doesn’t have to be a major life-changing event, since it can be difficult to suddenly shift from despair to joy. Instead, do it in small steps. Think about the time when someone paid you a sincere compliment. Think about a walk you took with your pet, the feeling of connection that you felt. Gradually, you can climb up the ladder of happiness.

You may even want to write down some things you’re happy about – a gratitude journal about what’s positive in your life. Listening to beautiful music, watching a funny or gratifying movie, or reading a good book. These are just examples of the things in your life that you can be grateful for.

By choosing to focus more on joy than sorrow, it’s possible to shift your perspective and attract better things into your life. It isn’t easy and takes committed effort, but this has worked for me.

What strategies do you have to get yourself out of a rut or to recover from feelings of sadness? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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