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When the Unexpected Happens

Loss can happen at any time. It could be a package taken off your porch or your wallet left at the store. It could be losing your job. It could be heartbreak or moving on from a friendship. It could be the loss of a loved one. When it happens unexpectedly, it can throw you in a tailspin of emotions.

Although each of the above examples differs vastly from one another, how they affect us feel quite similar. It is crucial not to compare and judge how these losses should make us feel. What is happening to you could feel just as distressing as a more significant loss for someone else.

There are so many complex emotions associated with loss, including any past traumas or incidences that can amplify emotions. The loss can occur during a stressful or difficult time and possibly trigger further emotional hardship.

If you are experiencing loss of any kind, try to notice if you are going through the 5 stages of grief. These stages of grief can happen even in seemingly insignificant situations and can happen in any order.

  1. Denial. A common defense mechanism to manage shock to dull the emotional response.

  2. Anger. When denial wears off, emotions can come on suddenly and intensely.

  3. Bargaining and Guilt. Blaming oneself or others and negative self-talk can happen during this stage.

  4. Depression. Guilt from the previous stage can lead to depression, as can getting closer to acceptance as the overwhelming feelings of sadness happen.

  5. Acceptance. This doesn't mean happiness, but moving into a state of calmness.

Determining a limit on how we're allowed to feel after a loss diminishes our ability to grieve, which is important to healing and recovery.

If you've experienced a loss you need to heal from, no matter how significant, be kind to yourself. Often loss is associated with trauma that could have occurred in the past or is itself a trauma. There's no set time limit on how long you're allowed to grieve. You may feel better, only to feel worse again. It's a normal part of the process. If you may find yourself in shut-down mode, a state in our nervous system where we have very little energy, follow my 70 minute yoga practice to shift out of feeling helpless, hopeless, and fatigued.

Be kind to others, and be kind to yourself.


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