Mother’s Day is this Sunday and it’s not an easy day if you have lost your mom like I have. Grief is a long-winded, personal process with no shortcuts.

Many successful people are struggling with loss and grief. Know that it’s okay and that you aren’t alone in this feeling.

When something terrible happens such as the death of a loved one, choosing happiness in order to turn the tide around or just to carry on and not to fall into a dark hole of despair can really help.

Here are some ways to increase happiness even if happiness doesn’t always come easy to you. (I learned these from Catherine Sanderson when she gave an amazing keynote a few years ago.)

  • Change little things in your daily life such as getting more sleep, exercising, enjoying nature and meditating. These are natural mood boosters.
  • Edit your personal and professional circles and only surround yourself with people who truly support you
  • Find a new hobby/passion and do things that make you happy
  • Be grateful – regularly make a list of what you are most thankful; make a gratitude visit to someone who has made a profound impact on your life.
  • Smile even when you aren’t happy. Studies have shown that the act of smiling can trick your brain into happiness.
  • Savor the everyday moments and the little things.
  • Perform random acts of kindness – do good things for people without expecting anything in return
  • Edit your social media feeds
  • Take a time out for yourself
  • Spend money on experiences vs. things
  • Build and nurture close relationships

Remember that for many of us, happiness is a choice. Be thankful for moments of pure joy because they don’t come easy. Life is unpredictable and finding ways to create a happy and meaningful life for yourself both personally and professionally is key.