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How To Deal With A Loss

How To Deal With A Loss

Whether you have had months to prepare for it, or it happens suddenly, and without warning, loss causes trauma and grief that can become all-consuming, and insurmountable. In the moment that you hear of the loss, you can feel shock, denial, sadness, anger, or all of these things at once. What death leaves in its wake can be devastating, heart-wrenching, and like your entire world is consumed by a wave of pain. Loss can feel surreal, and denial can set in. A beautifully animated short film about coming to terms with loss after a tsunami can support you in accepting death.

I recently lost someone I deeply cared about, and very suddenly. He was only 42, and was in the best place I had ever seen him in life. When I heard of the accident he was in, I immediately went into shock. It felt as if I had been thrown into a brick wall, and as if nothing was ever going to be the same again. It has not.

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Though it has not been long since my dear friend passed, this loss has permeated every facet of my life. What felt like a nightmare for days began to feel more real. I realized I couldn’t text him to ask him a question, or check in with him. This person I assumed would always be there was just suddenly – gone.

After a great loss, there are five stages of grief, according to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

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Denial and Isolation are the first stage. This is the phase of denial where we cannot accept that the death has really happened. We are in shock, and it feels like a nightmare we keep waiting, and hoping, to wake from.

Anger is the second stage. We become angry over the loss of someone, and begin to direct the anger in indirect and misguided ways. We may be angry at the circumstances, at family members, or even at ourselves.

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Bargaining is the third stage. We feel like we could have done something differently to prevent that person from dying. This involves guilt and helplessness.

Depression is the fourth stage. We start worrying about the details – burial costs, medical bills left unpaid – and we worry we have neglected those that are still living. There is a sadness, that becomes about handling business, rather than about the loss of the person themselves.

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Acceptance is the final stage. Not everyone can truly accept the loss of someone near and dear to them, but if they fortunate enough to make it to this stage, they learn to accept their sadness, and embrace the life that they are living.

Featured photo credit: April Galansky via mrg.bz

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Bridget Baker

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Last Updated on March 5, 2021

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

I talk a lot to myself. It helps me to keep my concentration on the activity on hand, makes me focus more on my studies, and gives me some pretty brilliant ideas while chattering to myself; more importantly, I produce better works. For example, right now, as I am typing, I am constantly mumbling to myself. Do you talk to yourself? Don’t get embarrassed admitting it because science has discovered that those who talk to themselves are actually geniuses… and not crazy!

Research Background

Psychologist-researcher Gary Lupyan conducted an experiment where 20 volunteers were shown objects, in a supermarket, and were asked to remember them. Half of them were told to repeat the objects, for example, banana, and the other half remained silent. In the end, the result shown that self-directed speech aided people to find the objects faster, by 50 to 100 milliseconds, compared to the silent ones.

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“I’ll often mutter to myself when searching for something in the refrigerator or the supermarket shelves,” said Gary Lupyan.

This personal experience actually made him conduct this experiment. Lupyan, together with another psychologist, Daniel Swigley, came up with the outcomes that those to talk to oneself are geniuses. Here are the reasons:

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It stimulates your memory

When you are talking to yourself, your sensory mechanism gets activated. It gets easier on your memory since you can visualize the word, and you can act accordingly.[1]

It helps stay focused

When you are saying it loud, you stay focused on your task,[2] and it helps you recognise that stuff immediately. Of course, this only helps if you know what the object you are searching looks like. For example, a banana is yellow in colour, and you know how a banana looks like. So when you are saying it loud, your brain immediately pictures the image on your mind. But if you don’t know what banana looks like, then there is no effect of saying it loud.

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It helps you clarify your thoughts

Every one of us tends to have various types of thoughts. Most make sense, while the others don’t. Suppose you are furious at someone and you feel like killing that person. Now for this issue you won’t run to a therapist, will you? No, what you do is lock yourself in a room and mutter to yourself. You are letting go off the anger by talking to yourself, the pros and cons of killing that person, and eventually you calm down. This is a silly thought that you have and are unable to share it with any other person. Psychologist Linda Sapadin said,[3]

“It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you are contemplating.”

Featured photo credit: Girl Using Laptop In Hotel Room/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

Reference

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