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Overcoming grief

I recently met a relative of mine. As we got chatting he mentioned that he still missed his father, who died fifteen years ago. His eyes were moist as he mentioned this fact.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 14, 2010 16:30 IST
Dr.P.V.Vaidyanathan

I recently met a relative of mine. As we got chatting he mentioned that he still missed his father, who died fifteen years ago. His eyes were moist as he mentioned this fact. On questioning, he confessed that there were many things he liked and disliked about his father, but, looking back today, he wished he could go back into the past, and have a better relationship with him. Even now, after all these years, he spent many hours grieving and feeling sad for his loss.

This set me thinking “What is grief? What is sorrow?” Why are some of us able to let go of our grief and get on with life quickly, while many still carry a heavy baggage from the distant past? Where does all this begin and how can we get rid of it, so that we can have a happier, more peaceful life today? I came to the conclusion that like all our emotions, grief and sorrow are also produced by our own minds. If today, there is nothing in particular that is causing grief, our minds transport us back ten or fifteen years, bring up good and bad memories, and take us on a roller coaster ride. For many of us, memories and thoughts of these past events are so strong, that they play havoc with our daily lives, our relationships with near and dear ones, our health and our state of mind. We then seek various outlets to get over this grief, whether it is religion, prayers, meditation, discourses, seeking out a

guru,

or performing rituals.

Try to be happy
Though all this helps, eventually, our minds start acting up, and we find it impossible to get rid of old memories and thoughts. Since the origin of all grief and sorrow is the mind, if one really wants to be happy, one must learn to study the working of the mind, analyse it, and then overcome it by realising that our minds and we are the only ones responsible for our grief and sorrow. The problem originates within you, and so does the solution. Looking externally for relief will never yield permanent results.

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