03/18/2011 12:17 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

An Antidote for Tsunami Sadness

In this wake of the Tsunami, I am struck by the sheer power of nature and the impermanence of everything we hold sacred. How can we stay happy during times of extreme crisis or tragedy? It's natural to get overwhelmed by things we cannot control, especially in situations of this magnitude. One powerful antidote is gratitude. It's a pillar that anchors us, even in the stormiest of times.

Here are five things that you can use right now:

  • Count your blessings. When you see what can transpire in an instant, some things as simple as having a roof overhead, food to eat and loved ones nearby, take on a new poignancy. Write down what you are grateful for, and do it daily. What you focus on grows...especially your appreciation for the little things in life.

  • Walk in their shoes and send your good wishes. What if a wave just washed away your life, as you knew it? We all share the same fears; we all hope for a better day. As Chief Seattle said, "We are all connected - what affects one affects us all in this web of life called Earth." Experience empathy and send good wishes. They matter more than you know.
  • Say, "I love you," often. In day-to-day life, we often don't take the time to value the people that matter most until something changes. What if you expressed love and gratitude and said, "I love you," whenever possible? If you thought, "This day could be my last," who would you want to hug?
  • Forgive -- life's too short for grudges. If a partner or friend dies unexpectedly, it would be even more excruciating if there were still matters unresolved. Life can change in a blink , so clean the slate. If you can't heal the grudge face to face, write a letter and don't mail it. The act of forgiving does not say the situation miraculously is fine. It simply releases the energy that imprisons you.
  • Compassion in action. Doing something physical can help relieve the sadness. Even sending a very small amount of money means you have engaged, that you are part of the solution. Small acts of kindness can have big rewards for you. Whether it's the Red Cross or Save the Children, the act of doing something can provide more than aid to the victims -- it can provide a measure of disaster relief to you.
  • What are your thoughts and suggestions?