How to cope with emotional loses

girl in black dress and red heart balloon wall decal

During this year, a lot of us have confronted loses. There are so many types of losses that develop with a global pandemic, political turmoil, wildfires, violence, and uncertainty. Many of the situations we have been dealing with have been a surprise and a shock to our emotions. No one could have expected the challenges that we have had to deal with this year.

I still find myself surprised about the changes and continuously evolving social events that have touched my life this year. I’m sure that you can align with this sentiment too. What a year 2020 has been!

One of my reflections is that I have been looking back at the things I have to learn this year. I’m intentionally looking for lessons from my losses and the ones from others. We all have been touch by one or more losses—loss of life, a job, income, health, and social connections.

All these losses have a profound impact on our emotional health. After losing a loved one or the effect of knowing how many people are grieving, our hearts get touched.

There are also other losses that we might overlook and have an impact on our emotional health. Not being able to hug and touch friends and loved ones is also a loss. Not being able to go to church and spiritual gatherings is also a loss. All of our losses matter and should be treated with tenderness. No matter what type of loss you are dealing with, give yourself time to grieve.

Emotions will come in waves, as they always do. Some days you will feel them more intensely than others, but they will move and keep changing. There is no right or wrong way to deal with your emotions but keep in mind that it could help you share and express them.

Don’t ignore your emotions. Give yourself time to process them and be kind to your experience. Behind all emotional suffering, there is always a lesson. Something that we can choose to pay attention to that will help us grow.

If you experience some moments of joy, inspiration, and serenity, make a significant effort to savor them. Do not think that because you are grieving, you shouldn’t experience positive emotions. Our heart is spacious and expansive. It can hold comfort and discomfort at the same time.

Mindfully confront an emotional loss

Pleasant touch activates our nerves, skin, and activates the reward connection in our brain. The reward system activates your vagus nerve and begins a relaxation response in your body. A gentle touch is emotionally soothing and calms the nervous system. Any touch can do this, including self-touch.

If you are dealing with any loss, place your hand in your heart. Right now, at this moment, place your hand in the center of your chest. Name one or some of the losses and uncertainties that you are experiencing right now. Notice and acknowledge your emotions. Placing your hand on your chest is soothing, comforting, and a sign of tenderness towards yourself.

Keep being kind and tender to yourself and to all others that are dealing with emotional losses. You can repeat this tender heart practice whenever you feel emotional about the changes and difficulties in your day.

One quote

“Live in the wisdom of accepted tenderness. Tenderness awakens within the security of knowing we are thoroughly and sincerely loved by someone.”

Brennan Manning

One question

Do you need to be tender to yourself today?

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