We have talked about a wide variety of topics when it comes to improving your emotional health. We have discussed the high points of how to protect and boost your self-esteem, how to take control after a failure, as well as the importance of finding out how to stop brooding over things. The next field I want to talk about is one that might be a little sensitive to people, which is finding meaning after a loss.

Loss is a natural part of life and something that none of us can avoid. Regardless of how painful or traumatic the loss was, one aspect has been found to be extremely important for our emotional recovery, which is our ability to find meaning in the events. Whether loss comes from aging, illness, or unexpectedly, it has the power to disrupt our lives or even leave us feeling numb or hopeless. So what are some ways we can break this cycle?

Practice Mindfulness Meditations
Mindfulness is the awareness of the present moment with acceptance and without judgment. The tendency of the mind is to judge our experiences as pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad, and from that point we attempt to avoid or numb out the experiences we judge as unpleasant or bad. The problem with this is we often numb out the positive emotions as well such as joy. Take some time to see if you can allow the feelings of grief to simply exist and notice them with compassion. When you can do this, you can begin to thaw out any emotional numbness and allow yourself to begin experiencing the emotions and resolving them.

Practice Mindful Self-Care
Sometimes when we experience a loss, we might find ourselves slipping into habits that aren’t always healthy. The best thing you can do is try to break out of this. Eat healthily, get adequate sleep, and exercise your body and mind. Take a walk, breathe some fresh air, and find the beauty of the natural world around you. Some people even recommend that this might be a good time to begin yoga practice. Whatever the case is, set aside some time each day for being instead of always doing.

Find Your Creative Expression
For some people, after experiencing a loss, writing about the situation can help them to recover from it. This might not be the case for everyone. If you can’t find the words to talk about your feelings or don’t feel that words alone could help you to express your emotions, try to find what helps you. Some people would turn to painting, or drawing, photography, knitting, or any other form of creativity that aids you in your communication or expression efforts.

Live Well
Losing someone often brings a startling fact to light – life is short. Use times of loss as an opportunity to reassess your own life, and begin to ask yourself questions about whether you are living a life of joy, doing what you love, and making meaning in your life. Start living intentionally, consciously choosing how to live your life. View this as a chance to make some changes that allow you to live well.

We will all experience loss, but loss doesn’t have to result in hopelessness. If we take the time to develop a spiritual path that prepares us for loss, we can begin to develop a sense of refuse what prepares us to meet whatever life brings our way. We may even find that opening our hearts to our grief and joy results in experiencing more of a sense of aliveness and joy than we ever thought possible!