A Happy You is A Happy Life

The importance of empathy

How stress affects your brain

5 Steps to Happiness

You Are Unstoppable

I wanted to share this with you because the speeches in it got me thinking for the better. It was exactly what I was needing. This goes so much deeper than equestrianism. Even if you're not into horses, just listen.. & Yes, I made this video, but I do not own the clips or audio.

Posted by Kaitlyn Brooke on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Very Happy Brain

Live Interview

IQ vs. EQ with Daniel Goleman

The Happy Secret to Better Work

Posts tagged mourning

12 Tips on Helping a Friend in Mourning



beingthereHaving a high level of emotional intelligence is more valuable than being the smartest in the class when is comes to comforting others who are hurting.  Feel from the heart rather than think from the brain. Listening is more important than talking in efforts of simply filling the awkward space of silence. Here is a valuable list of tips that will assist you on delivering empathy, compassion and comfort to your friends who are grieving and mourning. Kudos to you for “being there” for your friend.
 
1) Please don’t say “I am sorry” or “I know how you feel”
“I am sorry” makes me feel like I have to say “it’s okay” and obligated to console you.  It’s not okay.  It won’t be okay for a while and that’s okay.
 
“I know how you feel” hurts me.  How could you possibly know how I feel?  My loss is unique. My loved one is unique. So my grief is unique. 
 
2) Please say their name – Speaking his/her name and hearing my loved one’s name is comforting to me.  It lets me know you remember him/her.  Not saying their name is like avoiding the elephant in the room.  Talking about my loved one, sharing stories, and speaking of the death are all ways to help me cope and bring me comfort.
 
3) When I ask “why” and talk about “what if’s”, answers and solutions are not necessarily what I am seeking. Questioning, pondering and contemplation is a way for me to process my grief out loud and begin my mourning. It is not a cue for you to feel you must answer or fix the situation.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is sit with me, hold my hand and listen.  BE there for moral support while I try to make sense of my loss.
 
4) Please recognize I am grieving AND mourning.  My grief is what I feel inside, the roller coaster of emotions. My  mourning is how I can express my emotions on the outside.  I may yell and scream, cry, sleep, repeat, and tell my story over and over.  Please be patient with me and don’t get sick of me, I am NOT stuck.  It’s not only okay for me to feel and express all these emotions, it’s it NECESSARY.
 
5) Please remember me and don’t avoid me.  I may turn you down when you ask to come see me or invite me out. Please continue to ask me more than once to join you for coffee or the movies.  I may decline invites. Do not give up on me and avoid me.  Eventually I will have the strength and energy to join you.
 
6) Please acknowledge that I am in a time warp as my world has stopped while your world and everyone else’s is still going.  I am currently in slow motion.  I am grieving as fast as I can, working on processing the loss as my heart and head are still disconnected.  I ask for patience and understanding.
 
7) Please don’t judge me.  You are not living my journey.  I understand you are concerned about how I am sleeping and eating.  You may be tired of hearing me blubber my story.  You may feel I am not where I am supposed to be on my journey.  Instead of judging me, and possibly urging me to ‘get over it’ or ‘get on with my life’, practice kindness, be my friend.
 
8) Please forgive me if I say or do something to hurt you or don’t return phone calls.  I am not myself right now.  My emotions are all over the place and I can’t think straight.  I can be frustrated, pissed, sad, and scared all at once with no warning.  My focus and concentration is depleted.  I need patience and understanding.  I may feel and express harsh emotions. Please do not get angry with me. I may not remember you called, please call me again.
 
9) Please don’t “SHOULD” on me.  Try not to tell me what I “should” be doing or what I “need” to take care of. Be my friend and don’t try to fix me.
 
10)  Please don’t compare my loss.  It hurts and diminishes the significance of my loved one and raw emotional circumstance.  My loss is all I can see, hear, feel and breathe right now.  I don’t have the capability to think about someone else’s losses, stresses, and misfortunes right now.
 
11)  Please don’t say, “Call me if you need anything”.  I have little capability to recognize what I need.  I have little to no energy to pick up the phone and reach out for help.  My head is cluttered and I am not thinking straight most of the time.  If you would like to help, bring me a meal or take the kids for the afternoon. Send me a card to let me know you are thinking of me.  Leave a voice mail or a text message. Pick up some groceries and toilet paper. Mow my grass.  Come sit with me and be my friend.
 
12)  Please don’t say, “At Least”.  At least you had ‘X’ amount of years together.  At least he/she is in a better place. At least he/she is out of pain.  Saying things like this only hurts more and diminishes the significance of my loved one, the love we shared.  I wanted more years! The best place was here with me! I do not have the capacity to see or hear the silver lining. I am hurting, I miss my loved one and I want (need) to feel this pain.

I hope this article brought you some insight and comfort.  I wish you peace and joy in your hearts and love and happiness in your souls.

CynthiaGossman/Emotional Wellness & Balance Center
A Happy You A Happy Life

18 Things NOT To Say To Someone Who Has Lost a Loved One



It is very important to both the griever and the friends to read this article. When someone is hurting, most of us only want to comfort them. However, in our efforts of doing so, quite the opposite can happen.  Be aware of traditional cliches and the possibility of offending your family or friend.  Read on and learn my top 18 things NOT to say to someone who is grieving.

25-things-not-to-say-300x207

1.  “I know how you feel” – even if you have had a similar loss, you really do not know. As each person is unique and individual so is the grief journey.
 
2.  “It’s just God’s plan/will” – some griever’s feel very disconnected from their faith, mad at their God and even feel like they are being punished and saying this could make things much worse; some griever’s may have a different belief system than you. 
 
3.  “Just look at all the things you have to be thankful for” TIMING people. I am the first one to be positive and find the silver lining and TIMING is so important. This can be very hurtful and detrimental to the healing process. A griever must FEEL to HEAL. Distracting or redirecting them prompts them to NOT FEEL the sadness.
 
4.  “He’s in a better place now” – Griever’s at the time feel the ‘best’ place for their loved one was with them. Especially if the death was premature and/or unexpected.  
 
5.  “God needed another angel” – This may build more fear into a griever’s mind as they may begin to think that other loved ones are going to die because God needs more angels. 
 
6.  “You’ve still got your other children/siblings or parent”. – Each relationship between people is special, unique and individual. Comparing relationships is not a good thing.
 
7.   “Don’t cry — crying only upsets you” – The griever is upset already as grief is what we are feeling on the inside. Crying is a form of love and release. It will help relieve the upsets and cleanse at the same time.
 
8.  “God will never give you more than you can handle” – PRESSURE! When a griever is feeling like they just can’t take one more thing and then THIS is said to them, they can really begin to question their faith and purpose. 
 
9.  “Get a hold of yourself” – Oh boy, does this add pressure to the griever who is already feeling out of control. 
 
10.  “It’s time to get on with your life” – This implies you, the friend, is uncomfortable seeing the griever in the state of grief and mourning. It’s a very selfish thing to say to a griever. Until you walk a mile in their shoes. . . 
 
11.  “You are so strong” “you can handle this” , or “You must be strong for the kids” – This can give the griever a false sense of carrying the weight of the world all alone on their shoulders. It can mislead the griever into judging themselves of having to have it all together and deter them from reaching out for help and asking for help.
 
12.  “You’ll get over it in time” – Nope, a griever doesn’t ‘get over it’.  A griever learns to live with the loss and integrate life, loss and love.
 
13.  “You’ll be okay in a year” – Putting a specific linear time component will set the griever up for unrealistic expectations. The grieving/mourning process does not run on a linear time table.
 
14.  “Time heals all wounds” – A griever may perceive this as a specific amount of time on a linear time table. Not possible to say ‘how much’ time until the wound is healed. 2 months, a year, 10 years? This could set a griever up for a never ending expectation.
 
15.  “He/She is ALWAYS with you” – This may seem very comforting, but the fact of the matter is many grievers are going through a biological feeling of loss and it’s very difficult to fathom that when indeed they cannot speak to or hold their loved one.
 
16.  “At least you had ‘X’ amount of time with him/her” – NEVER does an empathic response begin with ‘AT LEAST’. 
 
17.  “You’re the man of the house now” – This adds unnecessary pressure, guilt, and can affect self-esteem. 
 
18.  “You’ll find someone else” – Most grievers are NOT wanting to jump right back on the horse and ‘replace’ their loved one. That diminishes the value of the love shared and the person who died.
STAY TUNED FOR MY NEXT BLOG ON “The BEST Things To Say To Someone Who Has Lost a Loved One”
 
If you or someone you know is struggling with the grief and mourning process after losing a loved one and is yearning for JOY restoration, please contact me.  I’ve been there.  I can help.  You need not travel this journey alone.
 
Love and JOY,
Cynthia 

Join Our VIP Community

SIGN UP TODAY

Great Books

"The Gift of Change - Spirtual Guidance for a Radically New Life"
by Marianne Williamson

"The Best Year Of Your Life - dream it.plan it.live it"
by Debbie Ford

"The Aladdin Factor"
by: Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

"What is Your WHAT?"
by: Steve Olsher

"The Slight Edge"
by: Jeff Olson

"Wherever You Go There You Are"
by: Jon Kabat-Zinn

"Play - How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul"
by: Stuart Brown, MD with Christopher Vaughan

"The Tools - Transform Your Problems Into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity"
by: Phil Stutz and Barry Michels

"Unglued - Making Wise Choices In The Midst Of Raw Emotions"
by: Lysa Terkeurst

"Excuses Begone! - How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits"
by: Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

"Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway"
by: Susan Jeffers, Ph.D

"MAKE MONEY Not Excuses - Wake Up, Take Charge, and Overcome Your Financial Fears Forever"
by: Jean Chatzky

"Who Moved My Cheese?"
by: Spencer Johnson, M.D.

"What's Worth Knowing"
by: Wendy Lustbader

loading