Month: June 2021

Loss and Grief

Loss and Grief


Loss and the resulting grief you experience can be one of life’s most stressful events and can be a complex emotion to live with and tricky to navigate.


Loss can come in many forms, such as:


  • Divorce or relationship breakup
  • Loss of health
  • Death
  • Losing a job
  • Miscarriage
  • Retirement
  • Loss of a dream
  • Loss of a friendship


Even smaller life transitions can trigger feelings of grief to surface. For instance, graduating college, changing jobs, or moving away from home or into a new apartment can be some situations that may bring up feelings of grief and loss.


What to Expect


The grieving process is a highly individual process that looks different for everyone, which means there is no right or wrong way to experience a loss. Feeling a wide range of emotions is common when dealing with loss, and there isn’t a set amount of time when it comes to how long or when these emotions will appear.


Some emotions that may appear when experiencing a loss are:


  • Denial
  • Shock
  • Confusion
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Yearning
  • Humiliation
  • Despair
  • Guilt
  • Disbelief


While this isn’t an exhaustive list of all of the emotions, you may face, intense and often quickly changing feelings are a normal and common reactions to loss.


However, it’s also important to understand that absorbing the impact of a loss is a process that takes time. While you may never stop missing your loved one, the pain and intense emotions ease over time and allow you to go back to your daily life.

Living with Grief


Learning how to cope when you experience loss is vital to your mental health and wellbeing. Grieving death and implementing coping skills can help you through the process of coming to terms with loss in your life while taking care of your mental health.


Myths Surrounding Grieving


Ignoring these feelings will help me move on faster


Ignoring the pain or other uncomfortable feelings associated with loss may be a short-term solution but usually only worsens the feelings of grief over time. Instead, have patience and allow yourself to feel and process the emotions that come up while deal with your loss.


It may also be helpful to reach out to a friend for support or a mental health professional who can help you process and deal with these emotions and feelings surrounding your loss.


Grieving shouldn’t last more than a few months


There isn’t a specific timetable for the grieving process, and how long it takes to accept loss can significantly vary from person to person. Trying to cut the grieving process short may lead to adverse mental health problems in the future.


However, if the distress you feel from your loss is negatively impacting your life and not decreasing over time, consider seeking help from a mental health professional. Many mental health professionals are trained in helping people navigate the often complex emotions surrounding grief and loss.


I have to ‘be strong,’ or else I’m weak


Crying, feeling sad, or lonely is a common and normal emotion to feel and does not mean that you are weak. On the contrary, showing others your feelings can help other people who are also dealing with loss.


Moving on with your life is disrespectful to the loss you experienced


Moving on means that you have processed, accepted, and come to terms with what has happened – it doesn’t mean that you have forgotten the person you have lost. In fact, moving on while keeping the memory of someone or something you lost is a beautiful way to honor the loss you experienced.


6 Tips for Solving Relationship Conflicts

Conflict within romantic relationships is inevitable. When you integrate your life with
another person, it is bound to lead to disputes at some point.

Arguments within romantic relationships range from small ones surrounding what movie to watch to larger ones over career choices or how to raise children. It’s important to
note that while arguments aren’t ideal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is trouble
in your relationship. When handled correctly, conflict can help to strengthen a
relationship. However, conflicts can escalate to where nothing is resolved and can lead
to the deterioration in relationships.

On the flip side, a couple that never has a conflict or talks about problems doesn’t have
an opportunity to communicate and resolve them. Finding a balance between high
levels of conflict and no conflict can help couples have a long and healthy relationship together.

That being said,

having specific tools and strategies at your disposal during a conflict

can help improve the odds of a successful resolution. Here are some tools that can help
solve relationship conflict:

Be direct

It can be easy for people to beat around the bush instead of plaining stating what is
upsetting or bothering them. When in conflict, people often choose a more subtle and
indirect way of expressing their displeasure.

For instance, partners may avoid discussing the conflict by switching topics or
minimizing their feelings by responding with “I’m fine” after their partner notices they are
irritated. This lack of directness leaves both partners without a clear guide as to what
the problem is, how the other person is feeling, or how to solve the problem.

Instead, work towards having direct communication with your partner. While it may be a
bit uncomfortable at first, directly stating what is bothering you is the first step in solving
relationship conflict.

Use “I”  Statements & quotes to talk about the way you feel without blaming your partner

Statements that directly blame or put your partner as the direct reason for your feeling
seldomly help produce a good healthy dialogue on solving the problem. This is because
people typically go on the defense when they feel blamed or attacked in a conversation.

Instead, a more constructive way to communicate your feelings is through the use of “I
statements.” These statements focus on how you feel instead of being directed at your
partner. For instance, an “I statement” would pair an emotion and a behavior description
that focuses on a specific behavior your partner is engaged in. An example of this could
be, “I feel sad when you are on your phone during dinner.” This helps you be direct
while focusing on your partner’s specific behavior and the emotion that it makes you

Stay away from using the words like “never” or “always” during an argument

Saying things like “You are always selfish” during an argument leads the other partner
to feel like you’re attacking their character. This leads to defensiveness, stonewalling,
and decreased chance of solving the conflict at hand.

Instead of using words that suggest that you’re partner “always”or “never” does
something that bothers you, try focusing on the particular situation at hand. Focusing on
the current situation allows you and your partner to work together to resolve the current
conflict without bringing up one’s character or other moments within the relationship.

Not Everything Needs to be a Conflict

Not every single situation needs to turn into a conflict. A relationship is about
compromise and understanding. While some things do need to be addressed,

especially if they make you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or hurt, it may be best to let go
of minor issues such as forgetting to empty the dishwasher once in a while.

Listen to What your Partner is Saying

Sometimes we fall into the habit of listening to our partners to respond. But,
unfortunately, when we listen to respond instead of listening to comprehend, sometimes
we miss what our partner is trying to tell us.

Trying practicing active listening by reflecting the content of what your partner is telling
you back to them. This will help you better understand what your partner is telling you
and lead to more understanding of the conflict and better discussions surrounding it.

Know When it is Time to Take a Time-Out

Tensions can run high at times during a conflict. While it’s important to talk it out,
stepping away from the problem for a bit can also be beneficial. Taking a break can
allow you to process your own emotions around the conflict and calm any heightened
emotions that may have come about.

However, its essential to note that taking a time-out and removing yourself from the
situation is different. By taking a breather, you and your partner communicate how long
the time-out will be, where you are going (taking a walk around the block, going on a car
ride, etc.), and when you are going to continue the conversation. This communication
will help both partners feel respected and minimize any feelings of abandonment or

For instance, communicating your need for a break could look like, "Can we take a 20-
minute break from this conversation? I want to calm down a bit and go for a walk around
the block. We can talk about this more when I get back." Clearly stating your need for a
break and being specific and direct will allow your partner to understand where you are
coming from and be on the same page.

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