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What You Need to Remember to Deal With Loss in Life

What You Need to Remember to Deal With Loss in Life

Unfortunately, we all deal with loss in life. No matter what form or severity, coping is rarely easy. The lack of healthy coping measures can exacerbate the pain, especially when the loss is as drastic as a loved one dying.

There are some crucial things to remember when dealing with loss. A good place to start is understanding that…

You’ll never completely get over your loss. Instead, you’ll adapt, learn, and become a stronger you.

It is difficult to relate to any kind of pain. Even if there are similarities between occurrences, everyone deals with pain differently.

That’s okay. There’s no “correct” or “appropriate” timetable towards healing. Everyone’s will be different. Friends and family may encourage you to “get over it” by occupying your mind and staying busy. While healthy distraction is positive (as I’ll elaborate on in a bit), there’s no need to rush how you think you should feel. Your feelings are meant to be felt as they occur in the moment and no one else knows them better than you. Cry if you want to. Scream if you want to. Flail your arms madly in the air if you want to.

Be kind to your mind and realize that there is no “normal” when it comes to dealing with loss. Plus…

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It’s okay to not want to talk about it.

Again, everyone handles pain in a different way. Many experience a “roller coaster” effect of feelings, where your emotions vary from day to day, or even minute to minute. One moment could feel like the healing process is working, the next could feel like a deeper regression into sadness. There will be days that you feel like going out and about with friends and days where you won’t feel like emerging from the pillow fortress in your bedroom. These varying emotions are also okay, but listen to them attentively. There’s no need to pressure yourself into coping in a way you think is “proper” because “everyone else does it that way”.

Do what you feel is right and when you finally feel up to chatting about it, remember that…

Your friends are friends for a reason. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them.

Many of us do not voluntarily ask for help when faced with uncomfortable struggle. We all consider it a burden to our friends, family, and other counterparts when we ask for help. When the shoe is on the other foot, and friends ask us for help; there is no false sense of burden. Even if your friends are not well versed in loss or particularly gifted at giving advice, they will always listen. Even the worst friend has two ears (in most cases). If you allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to put your guard down and open up about your pain, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same.

Also, it’s a really nice reminder that there are people who will always have your back, because…

Opening up doesn’t make you weak.

I’m an eternal optimist, almost to a fault. Despite that, I understand that life just flat out sucks at times. And, frankly, there won’t be a suckier time in any of our lives than when we deal with loss or death. It will be the low of the low for most of us. But, as previously mentioned, it’s unavoidable. Embracing your feelings honestly and being willing to talk about them is the first step towards healing and empowerment. Emotions are a lot like a bad infection: You can pretend it’s not there, but it’ll get a lot worse before it ever gets better. Spiritual strength and emotional growth happen when we don’t hide from our feelings, but learn to manage them.

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You can’t outrun pain. It’ll always catch up to you. So…

Be kind to your body.

When cloaked in a veil of darkness it’s easy to forget about personal hygiene and appropriate eating habits. Neglecting showering, eating, activity, and regular sleeping habits is detrimental on all fronts to your health and well being.

Activity of any kind takes your mind off the negative, so it’s especially smart to…

Do the things you love most.

There’s no easier and mentally healthier way to remind yourself that good things still exist than doing things you truly love. It doesn’t matter what it is, staying active towards your dreams and immersed in your deepest desires will do wonders when dealing with loss. Wouldn’t your lost loved one still want you to keep doing the things that make you happiest?

But if you suddenly lose interest in a passion, why not…

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Explore something new.

Travel. Cook. Try a new hobby. Take some time off “work” to work on yourself. Even if it’s just exploring a new neighborhood or trying a new food, incorporating new stimuli to your environment will keep things fresh and remind you that there is a lot of life to still experience. My grandma (may she rest in peace) always used to tell me, “Life is for the living.” Some of the most substantial breakthrough moments exist slightly outside of your comfort zone.

Don’t be afraid to explore that, even if you’re in pain. But whatever you do, I strongly encourage that you…

Don’t mask your pain in external variables, particularly substances.

There’s an idiotic association in our culture of sadness and substance abuse. In film, television, and other mass medias, we see characters who’re experiencing death or heartbreak drinking heavily in some dank bar alone or getting wasted on heroin in a back alley. This has effectively desensitized us to the real life threat of alcoholism that can be kick started by a tragic life experience. Many people mask their pain in drugs or alcohol, but it never works. It has literally a zero chance of successfully helping you cope. Your problems are still very real when the high wears off, and the high always fades. Don’t prolong your grieving process. You deserve more.

Instead of looking at as a means to an end, remind yourself that…

You’re a richer person because of them.

Instead of dwelling on memories of yesteryear, be thankful in reminiscence that you had them in your life. Cherish the memories instead of refusing to let go of them. Celebrate their life by continuing their legacy and making them proud. Do good by them by celebrating their life more, opposed to constantly mourning their death. It’s good to be thankful for the time and memories you shared together.

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Because when you really get down to it…

The end of anything is a new beginning.

Stories end, relationships end, personal preferences end. No matter what ends, we always go on. Whether still in mortality, or something ethereal beyond our comprehension, there’s always more to be written of your story…

Featured photo credit: Calmly / Hiroyuki Takeda via albumarium.com

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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