The loss of a loved one without a doubt means going through a serious grieving process, but are there other situations that grief is a valid response to? Other losses may not be as devastating as losing a friend or family member, but other forms of loss and grief do exist:
- Significant loss of health
- Loss of a great career
- Dramatic decline in financial status
These and other difficult circumstances can be painful and can require a grieving process. However, in such circumstances, you may not find the same level of support as when dealing with the death of a loved one. Such losses may not seem as severe to those around you and you may find yourself struggling on your own. What should you do to overcome these feelings of grief? Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Validate yourself and your feelings.
Oftentimes, if we feel intense emotional pain, we can start to feel as if something is wrong with us, but we need to understand that intense emotions come with intense experiences. If you write down the events that you’ve gone through and acknowledge the difficulty of your circumstances, you may find validation for your feelings. This reality check can help you see the importance of your loss and allow you to focus on recovering.
- Give yourself a break.
Allow yourself to do whatever it is that will calm you and create pleasant experiences for you. Activities such as meditation or friendly conversation can be distracting in a positive way, helping to rewire your brain back to a more optimistic state.
- Find things to be grateful for.
You can avoid falling into a chasm of negativity by acknowledging all of the things around you to be grateful for. In difficult circumstances you may think you don’t have much to be thankful for, but if you focus on the little things that make life better, you will slowly start to notice more and more positive things happening around you.
- Avoid taking on blame.
Try not to blame yourself or become preoccupied with identifying your faults as you grieve. Instead, focus on generating positive self-talk and treating yourself with the sort of kindness you would give to a friend.
- Confide in a compassionate friend.
If you have a close friend or family member in your life who is a good listener, try opening up to them about what you’re going through and how you are feeling. If you don’t get the kind of support you need from them, you can reach out to a therapist or counselor who can objectively provide support and guidance for you. Whatever pains you are struggling with, you don’t have to struggle alone.
For more information on dealing with grief, check out this article from GoodTherapy.