We often hear that time and patience heal all wounds, especially those caused by emotion as loaded and overwhelming as grief. However, to heal your soul after a loss, you must know how to process the trauma, deal with the pain, and make peace with the fact that it is okay to move on.
Grieving the loss of a loved one is a universal and devastating experience. Even though we all have experienced this painful event, none of us know how to gracefully accept it and move on with our lives.
Begum C is here to help. Let’s take a look at the five stages of coping with loss and grief and discuss a few ways to help you deal with this painful time.
Five Stages of Coping With Loss and Grief
Deconstructing grief into different phases validates the myriad of feelings that are repressed and may resurface later, hindering your growth. To fully understand the experience, let’s break it down into the following stages:
- Denial: Difficulty in accepting that you have been subjected to a devastating event. It makes you question how it could be done to you.
- Anger: This second stage of grief is often misunderstood. You question why it is happening to you and you want to find reasons to blame someone else for your loss.
- Bargaining: Due to denial, you are unable to make peace with the fact that this is the reality. You look for things to trade to bring you back what you have lost.
- Depression: Not being able to perform everyday functions and not having the strength to even pull yourself out of bed.
- Acceptance: In this last stage you accept the reality and bring yourself to make peace with it.
However, it is important to note that these stages are not a linear trajectory and everyone’s journey of coping with loss and grief may differ based on their subjective experiences. How you choose to heal your soul after a loss is a very personal experience and there is no right or wrong way.
8 Ways To Heal Your Soul After a Loss
When you have finally come to terms with reality, you can help yourself using some of these ways to heal your soul after a loss.
1- Acknowledge Your Pain
Grieving people are often advised to be strong but we often confuse resilience with repression. While being strong is an important message, you need to be mindful that blocking, ignoring, or bypassing emotions is not a sign of strength. Your strength lies in acknowledging that you are deeply affected by a loss and that your grief is natural.
Sometimes, you may feel angry, sad, hurt, or guilty. During these times, it’s important to understand that all of your emotions are valid because acknowledgment is the first step to coping with loss and grief.
2- Stay Present With Your Feelings
Grief and loss distort your sense of reality; after all, you are so deeply affected by the event that you start living in the past and are in a constant state of melancholy. Missing someone is completely natural but neglecting your present needs can be extremely unhealthy and will harm your physical and mental health.
You need to engage with the present and take part in activities that help you deal with difficult and overwhelming emotions.
3- Find Ways to Express Your Emotions
If emotions are repressed in such a state they usually resurface in different forms, seeping into your relationships, and negatively affecting your life. Often, these feelings build up and cause an outburst. Therefore, it is always better to remind yourself that your emotions are valid and it is okay to express them. You can talk to a friend, paint, or write in a journal. Just don’t try to bury them!
4- Plan Your Special Days
Plan to do things that you like and treat yourself to whatever brings you joy.
When you’re coping with loss and death, this action may seem selfish and you might feel guilty for prioritizing yourself. But planning your life serves as an important reminder that you cannot give up. Remember that your love for your beloved will not fade if you try to be happy. A healthier state of mind will allow you to reflect on the good memories rather than simply mourning their loss.
5- Try Meditation to Overcome Your Grief
Grief is never black and white. It is more nuanced and chaotic than we want to admit to ourselves and others. Meditation will urge you to embrace all your emotions, without any judgment. These practices will help you identify your triggers and will enable you to process the trauma without being overwhelmed. Furthermore, it will better equip you to deal with the loss in a self-aware and reflective way.
6- Recognize the Love and Care Coming Your Way
It is a common practice to isolate yourself to overcome the emotional turmoil that accompanies coping with loss and death. However, it is not only unhealthy but also self-sabotaging and destructive. You might feel that you need time and space but you will find yourself extremely lonely if you do not try to cultivate meaningful relationships with the people around you. Let them help you, tell them you need compassion, and acknowledge the love and care coming your way.
7- Be Gentle and Patient With Yourself
Do not indulge in self-hate and criticize yourself when you’re on an emotional roller coaster!
Let’s be honest, no matter how much we prepare ourselves for this moment it always hits like a huge wave, completely crushing you. Be gentle and patient with your heart, soul, and mind. Give yourself the time and space that is required for coping with loss and grief.
8- Know When to Seek Professional Help
There is no shame in asking for help to save yourself. Do not minimize and deny your needs; your efforts to pull yourself up when you are vulnerable will remind you of your strength and resilience.
If you find yourself unable to process reality and cannot perform daily functions, seek professional help to see whether your behavior stems from sadness or depression.
It can be arduous to heal your soul after a loss, but with a strong support system and access to appropriate resources, you can get through this painful time. For insight into wellness and health issues, visit our Wellness blog and find the answers to all your questions!