For many, there is no emotion stronger than loss and grief. Whether you are mourning the passing of someone close to you, or you are losing something that has represented a significant part of your life (such as a relationship or career), that feeling of loss can often be overwhelming – as though a part of your soul has escaped, and a future that is now more uncertain than it was before.
But while loss is challenging, it also represents something great – to lose means that you once had. To feel sadness means that you once felt joy. Loss represents change, but it also represents hope, because as hard as it is to live with loss, it also means that you have the ability to love, care, and connect to something enough to lose it.
Growing Despite the Challenges of Change
Loss is most certainly a powerful struggle. But the change that’s ahead doesn’t have to be marred by the experience. Often one of the greatest challenges of dealing with loss is the fear of the new experiences that are in front of you. But it also represents potential – a chance for new experiences, new ideas, and new surprises.
REMEMBER: Getting over a loss doesn’t mean that you’re forgetting your past. It means that you’re creating a fulfilling future.
If you’ve been struggling to get over any type of loss, the following are ways that can help you find yourself back on a path towards contentment:
- Create Goals – Loss occurs when someone or something that was going to be a part of your future is no longer available. To find yourself again, the best thing you can do is create goals that allow you to forge a new path. Goals keep you active, focused, and provide you with the joy of achievement. You have the potential to always live an incredible life, and after loss it is more important than ever to make sure you’re focused on that better life.
- Connect With Those You Love – When you’re going through loss, it’s always helpful to connect (or reconnect) with those that have played a big role in your life. There is a natural, deep support when you’re surrounded by those you care about. When you are going through loss, spending more time with those that are around you can be uplifting for the soul.
- Stay Mentally Busy – One of the most difficult challenges of loss is the way that the mind tends to focus on the negative. It’s almost as though that when a hole opens up in your life, your brain tries to fill it with as many negative, sad thoughts as possible. Keeping your brain busy make sure that something more positive is filling it. From learning something new, to going on walks, to watching funny television – even listening to the radio or podcasts while you’re trying to sleep so you’re not left alone with your own thoughts – all of these can fill the hole so that your negative thoughts are kept away.
- Find Your Creative Outlet – Struggling with loss means that you have emotions, and all emotions are, in many ways, a gift. Sometimes what you need more than anything is a chance to express those emotions in a creative way. Whether it’s art, song, dance, writing, or some other form of creativity, give yourself that outlet. You’ll often find that what you need more than anything else is a chance for self-expression, to let you feel and appreciate the depths of your emotions.
- Exercise and Eat Healthy – Finally, as you recover from loss, make sure that you are always taking care of yourself. Movement, even walking, helps to release chemicals in the mind that promote good feelings, and healthy eating makes sure that your whole body feels as good as it can.
- Seek Spiritual Guidance – Experiencing a loss can feel very lonely and overwhelming. It can also cause fear and hopelessness. But, it is also an opportunity to examine your spiritual beliefs and find comfort in knowing that you are never alone and that God is with you throughout your challenging time.
Above all else, however, make sure that you aren’t putting too much pressure on yourself to recover. You suffered with loss. It’s okay to be a bit sad, afraid, guilty, or worried. These emotions are simply a part of the human experience, and while it may not always seem like it, these emotions are what make you, you.
But you also shouldn’t forget that you have this amazing life ahead of you – a life that deserves happiness, accomplishment, and fulfillment. It’s okay to struggle with loss, but it’s also okay to move on. Let yourself grieve what you no longer have, but also focus your life on all that you can enjoy, achieve, and explore ahead of you, because no matter what you may have lost, you still have the potential for an incredible future ahead of you.