Established tips to deal with loss in your life

Grief, that intense pain associated with loss, most of us have experienced it and many of us fear it. Grief it has been said is the reaction to wanting that which you can no longer have. While this gives a sense of the cause it doesn’t reflect the deep personal nature. It perhaps does not reflect the sense that you can never be whole again; the search for answers or regret in unspoken dialogue.

The loss and grief we most often think of is death and the loss of a loved one. Yet it is important to realise that we can become very affected by other major losses in our lives that can seem difficult to handle. The breakup of a relationship or a marriage and being made redundant or losing your job are two good examples of loss that people often find difficult to live with or get past in their lives.

Yet, realising that you can learn to cope with the change that the loss has caused is perhaps the first and most freeing step of getting through the process of dealing with loss in your life.

Understand that you will have to face the loss

The reality is that facing the loss and accepting the sadness and pain is part of the way of accepting and moving forward. Acknowledge that your life has changed and allow yourself the full range of emotion in that acceptance (cry, scream, laugh, etc.). Through this you are starting to let the pain out rather than holding it in, helping you to heal.

Don’t isolate yourself
There will of course be times to be alone with your grief, yet avoid cutting yourself off. Share your emotions with others. Tell them how you feel about the loss. That could be friends and family or it could be a professional like a counsellor. The shared process helps you to sort through the tangle of emotions that you have around your loss.

Be compassionate

It is normal to have good days and bad days, and there is no such thing as a normal time to be over your grief. Allow yourself time to grieve, notice that you have conflicting feelings: anger, sadness, fear and confusion and allow yourself the time to try to work through your loss.

Routine and a healthy life

Maintaining a regular simple schedule can help reduce your anxiety at this time and help you accept the changes that have been visited on your life. Similarly looking after yourself by taking care of your diet and exercise has been shown by studies to help to improve mood. It’s about having time to build your strength to cope as you adapt.

It may be that after trying to accept the loss you feel that you still need help. A counsellor can talk to you about ways in which you can process the changes. Together you can look at the ways in which you are finding it difficult to move on. Yet it’s always important to realise that that the process of grieving and loss takes time and cannot be rushed so be gentle with yourself.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Glasgow, G46
Written by Graeme Orr, MBACP(Accred) Counsellor
Glasgow, G46

Graeme is a counsellor and author living and working on the south side of Glasgow. In his practice he sees a number of clients with emotional, anxiety and self-esteem that have relevance to us all. His articles are based on that experience and are offered as an opportunity to identify with, or to challenge you to make changes in your life.

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