Loss has many difficult effects but one of the worst may be the insecurity it generates. If you lose one important person or thing it’s easy to imagine other valuables are shaky in your life. Because of the fear and negativity this generates, it can be hard to move on. However, you can change your state of mind and bring back your security with our guide.
Consider any or all of the following:
- Challenge your negative assumptions
- Become rooted in the moment
- Remind yourself of your advantages
CHALLENGE YOUR ASSUMPTIONS
So you’ve suffered one loss – that’s the truth. There is no reason at all that this should lead to more losses. If you are thinking this way you are being controlled by negative imagination, not by reality.
The fact is that other important parts of your life are under no threat. If you are fearing this then you’re deluding yourself. One loss does not mean another. End of.
BECOME ROOTED IN THE MOMENT
If you’re fearful and insecure, that’s because your mind is spinning out into all sorts of scary places, instead of staying with the pleasant here-and-now.
Whenever you feel this happening, stay still. Become really conscious of where you are. Experience the chair supporting you, or the firm ground beneath your feet. Take breaths that are comfortably deep. Notice your surroundings – all the shapes, colours, sounds and scents. Experience the texture of your clothes on your skin. Speak out loud to yourself, saying encouraging words and feel tranquillity.
LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY
Anxiety can gnaw away at you and you may have continual ‘butterflies’ in your stomach. If this becomes a habit it’s doubly hard to move on from anxiety because your body is continually reminding you that you’re frightened.
Counter this by sensible habits of exercise, eating and resting. If you find sleep difficult, develop a soothing bedtime ritual with lavender scented baths, hot milk and music. Exercise will be especially beneficial as it will use up adrenalin, give you a healthy tiredness and release endorphins into your bloodstream, which give you a sense of well-being.
Treat yourself to massages, aromatherapy, saunas and any sensuous pleasure that does you good. These will pacify the turbulent sensations and send messages to your subconscious mind that all is well.
Each day walk barefoot on grass or soil. This is a wonderful way to connect yourself with the earth, to shed tensions that have built up and to be grounded.
If the weather is really cold, you can still walk on grass for a minute. You might be brave and paddle in puddles, waggling your toes in the water that’s cradled by the earth. When you were a child this would have fascinated you. Let it take you out of yourself now.
DO SOMETHING CREATIVE
You may not think of yourself as a creative type, but even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body there is sure to be something you can do. Why not make your own greeting cards from sheets of card and pictures you’ve cut out from magazines? With some glue and glitter you will make something eye-catching and it could be fun! Or you could make chutney, which is easier than jam because it doesn’t have to set. Or knit a colourful scarf with simple stitches – once you let go of any idea of ‘doing it properly’ you’ll enjoy it and find it takes you out of yourself.
There is an endless magic in the ability of Nature to renew itself, time and again, seemingly from nothing. Try planting something really easy to grow, like cress. Plant your seeds in pots and window-boxes if you don’t have a garden. When you see those tiny, green shoots appear your heart will fill with the faith that you also can regenerate from your loss.
SORT AND TIDY
Mess is discouraging and can make you feel out of control while reminding you of the ‘mess’ your life is in. Start small with one drawer and have a through sort-out. The act of throwing away junk and creating tidiness is extremely empowering. You can do it!
REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR ADVANTAGES
Do you find yourself going over and over misfortunes in your mind? They are not the full picture, so don’t make them more than they are. Bring in some mental discipline.
Each day make a list of the things you’ve done that are good. Wrap yourself in the realization that you did good! This might be something small like doing someone a good turn, cooking a meal or just keeping your place clean. Or it may be something much bigger, such as a job or relationship.
However shaky you feel, there are real achievements that you can build on. Counter every negative thought with a positive one and do not wallow – be stern with yourself!
When you’re discouraged you may think you can’t do anything, but you can. Prove yourself wrong by starting with simple tasks. These could be sending one job application per day (N.B. this isn’t about getting the job. Just applying is the key) making one person smile, signing up to a website or going for a walk.
At the end of the day, list your achievements and plan your next day’s goals. As time goes by you will feel able to tackle more challenges and so your come-back begins.
HOW WE CAN HELP
There are so many ways you can ease your anxiety after loss. These include challenging assumptions, being rooted in the moment, looking after your body, walking barefoot, being creative, planting seeds, sorting and tidying, reminding yourself of your advantages and setting goals. Give some or all of these a go and see how much better you feel.
PUBLISHED: 18 July 2018