Table of contents:
- Sooner or later, we all face losses that leave deep marks in us. Dismissals, parting, death of loved ones. Such losses awaken a feeling of loneliness, a deep fear of finitude, death. And they can lead to serious mental health problems
- Healing routine
- Taking care of yourself
- Going out to people
- Call loved ones
- Natural medicine
- Helping others
- Notes or personal diary
- Lesson to your liking
Video: How To Deal With Tragedy And Loss - Self-development
Sooner or later, we all face losses that leave deep marks in us. Dismissals, parting, death of loved ones. Such losses awaken a feeling of loneliness, a deep fear of finitude, death. And they can lead to serious mental health problems
A 2018 University of California study found that experiencing existential loneliness is easier and less reactive in people with high levels of empathy, self-reflection, emotional self-regulation, and the ability to compassion, which researchers have defined as wisdom. The good news is that all of these abilities can and should be developed over the course of life, helping you to become more resilient in the face of future challenges.
"It's hard not to endure grief, but to endure it all the time."
Lucius Anney Seneca (the Younger)
Of course, it is almost impossible to prepare in advance for the loss, but there are several important techniques that will help you to live and survive the tragedy with less losses.
Everyday chores, work routine, obligations to others. As insignificant as it may seem in comparison with the loss, it is these daily tasks that connect us to reality and prevent grief from overwhelming us. Losing is easier if we are busy with something.
“When my dad died, I was 16 years old. I had to prepare for the final exams in order to enter successfully later. Dad always stressed that a good education is important. When the tragedy struck, I was very grieved, but the thought of passing the exams as best as possible held me back. I immersed myself in my studies, in many ways for his sake. This somehow dulled the pain of loss, the grief was strong, but bearable. Much later, it helped me cope with the departure of my mother and brother. Of course, I was much older, I already had children myself. I believe that it is the commitment and responsibility for others that helps to survive the tragedy."
Try to keep yourself busy, focus on your daily tasks. Research has shown that moving from emotional to contextual aspects helps us function better
Taking care of yourself
“After my husband's death, I cried all the time. I felt his loss not only emotionally but also physically. It was as if a part of me had been torn off, and the wound refused to heal. I did not want to eat, almost did not think about what I was wearing, did not notice those around me. My mom literally saved me. She took care of me with great love and understanding, fed me, dressed me. Later, as I lived through her death, I already knew that taking good care of myself is one of the ways to help the healing process. So I was already forcing myself to regularly eat healthy food, sleep well and take care of myself as if she did it for me."
Do not forget to eat in time, take care of yourself and sleep well. Treat yourself as the closest and loved one in grief
When your body and mind are in pain, caring for your physical and emotional needs through good self-care can help you cope with the loss.
Going out to people
When time seems to slow down and drag on endlessly, painful experiences overwhelm you. Thoughts, memories of the tragedy experienced are haunting, and the best thing you can do is to leave home and be with other people. It is difficult to force yourself to break out of the cocoon of pain and grief, but it is worth it.
Communication with friends will switch you, you will be distracted from your worries at least for a while. Make a conscious effort to see as many details as possible on the way to the meeting place, with an effort of will, pay attention to everything you hear and feel during communication
Even if at such a moment none of your loved ones can spend time with you, go to a shopping center, to an exhibition, to a cafe, to any place where you will be surrounded by people. Watch them, dream up about what they are doing, where they are in a hurry, think over the stories of their lives. Of course, spending time with loved ones, family members and friends is preferable, but if they are not available, go anywhere and be among people.
Call loved ones
Each of us has to grieve not only about the death of loved ones, family members and friends. We go through a fairly extensive list of accidents, surgeries, personal misfortunes, medical and emotional crises, and more.
Passing through life's trials, we sometimes find ourselves in the grip of a feeling of total loneliness, which captures us due to the inability to share our experiences with someone. It is important to have someone with whom you can contact in moments when emotions overwhelm us.
Speaking fears and worries helps make the worst pain bearable. Healing is the very understanding that there are close people in this world who are ready to listen and support you in any of your emotional states
A recent Michigan State University study involving military personnel serving in hot spots found that strong, healthy relationships with loved ones improve quality of life and reduce the risk of suicidal ideation.
There is ample evidence of how healing the power of nature and the time spent outside the four walls are. In fact, contact with nature helps to calm the body, mind and soul. It can be gardening, walking in the park, forest, going to the beach.
Research shows that a forty-minute walk in the fresh air lowers the stress hormone cortisol, boosts immunity, improves mood, memory and intelligence
Patients in clinics experience less pain and recover faster if they see outside the window not other buildings, but green trees. Gardening is used as part of the therapy for patients suffering from various mental disorders. Walking in nature is a great way to take care of yourself during your loss, and it's practically free.
When we are not immersed in our own pain and suffering, our ability to notice other people with their problems and concerns is much higher. We notice this in their faces, gait, posture, and how they avoid communication. At least sometimes, get out of the cocoon of your experiences and pay attention to other people.
Try to cheer up someone who is also going through a difficult stage in life, say something kind, friendly. Supporting someone in need can help you get back in touch with a living part of yourself
By giving others a little time, energy, attention, you will gain access to the perception of yourself as a person with resources, and therefore, able to cope with difficulties.
Donate anything to charity, be it cash or things. Help a buddy. Offer to help someone in need with housework. This way you will show concern for others and feel comfort yourself.
Notes or personal diary
Some things we just can't tell anyone. These may be words that have remained unspoken to the one who is now dead. Or vivid memories of this person, which are both joyful and painful. We can be angry, ashamed, guilty, regretful, and other intense emotions.
Try to keep notes, a diary in which you can throw out everything that is impossible to share with anyone. When you write about feelings, some of the pain goes away, it becomes experienced and not so acute
You can keep records in the form of letters to someone close, to yourself or a departed person. It is best to do this on paper, by hand. This way you don't edit the thoughts and feelings that you put on paper. In addition, the reticular system of the brain is involved in writing, which activates the cerebral cortex. Among other things, it participates in the processes of memorization, plays an important role in the learning processes and influences emotional behavior.
A diary like this is absolutely personal, just for your viewing. If you want, destroy the records as soon as they are written. Or you can keep and re-read them later to reflect on what has changed during this time, how much you have been healed.
Lesson to your liking
No matter how considerate and caring your loved ones and friends may be, they have a lot of their own concerns and interests, in addition to spending time with you. When the daily duties are done, all the work is done, unfortunately, it can happen that you are left alone.
In this case, a hobby comes to the rescue: handicrafts, drawing, modeling, caring for animals or plants, playing musical instruments, etc.
Don't expect yourself to be too involved in the process at first. Most likely, your actions will be somewhat mechanical. However, gradually your creativity will begin to awaken, and you can have real pleasure, rejoicing in the fruits of your efforts.