restore inner peace

How to restore inner peace after losing a loved one

Losing someone close to you is one of the most dreadful things that can happen to anyone. It’s an incredibly stressful event that can cause tremendous emotional distress.
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To say that the year 2021 was tough would be a massive understatement. Many of us felt the pain of losing someone in one way or another. Be it the demise of a family member, a neighbour or a colleague at work, never before we had seen so many deaths in such a short time. It was scary and heartbreaking. Now, as we are inching closer to the new year, it is important to leave the pain behind and find ways to restore our inner peace.

Losing someone close to you is one of the most dreadful things that can happen to anyone. It’s an incredibly stressful event that can cause tremendous emotional distress. As you grieve, memories and images of the person will keep playing in your mind. A wave of sadness engulfs you, as you reminisce the memories you shared with them. The reality that the person is no more may not even sink in for some time, which can destabilise your inner peace. You may begin to distance yourself from others and find it hard to return to your day-to-day routine.

In such an agonising situation, restoring your inner peace is paramount to moving on with life again. Here are a few ways that can help you find your inner peace after experiencing the loss of a loved one.

Accept that death is a part of life

As unfortunate and unfair it may feel, death is a natural phenomenon. It is an inevitable truth that we all have to face one day. Yet, many struggles to accept that reality, especially when it comes to losing a loved one. When you lose someone you love, you get overwhelmed with feelings of denial and disbelief, and embracing the reality of death becomes a painful and exasperating process. It can take a long time—months and maybe years—for the feeling to sink in. During the grieving period, one’s attitude towards death plays a crucial role in the path towards restoring inner peace. Living in denial is not the right way to move on. It keeps you stuck in the loop of pain and cause you further pain. When confronted with the feeling of denial and the lack of confidence in living your life after losing a loved one, remind yourself that avoiding the reality of death will only cause you further pain. Although a loved one may have crossed the mortal plane, their memories will live on with you. Cherish the good times you spent with them and continue their legacy by living a healthy and positive life.

Practice self-care

Losing a loved one causes an overwhelming sense of sadness that can wreck anyone’s inner balance. Some people can even experience isolation from the outside world and they may end up spending sleepless nights and lose interest in eating and doing things they once enjoyed. If left unchecked, this could culminate into a dangerous, self-destructive process. After losing someone you love, it’s pertinent to stay mentally and physically healthy to effectively cope with the grief. Try to indulge yourself in healthy activities. Exercise, go out for walks in nature, communicate with friends and relatives, and eat a nutritious diet. Practicing self-care is quintessential if you want to re-establish inner peace. It’s impossible to overcome and cope with the loss if you are not in harmony with yourself.

Don’t blame yourself

It’s easy to hold yourself responsible when you lose a loved one. But doing so won’t change the reality. Even if you shared a difficult relationship with the person who passed away, delving into the questions “what if…” and “how I wish…” will only make it harder to restore your inner peace. If you had a row with the person who died or if you feel guilty for not finding closure during an argument, try to forgive yourself and your loved one, too. Harbouring feelings of anger and guilt can act as huge hurdles on your path to restoring inner peace. Don’t ruin the beautiful memories that you created with the person over an unresolved issue. You can write a letter to the deceased person and express your thoughts. You may also pen down an imaginary response from them and then burn the paper. Writing a letter to a deceased loved one can be an effective therapy to cope with grief.

Express your feelings

Don’t block your feelings after losing a loved one. Introspect them and analyse what you have been feeling. Do you feel angry, sad or frustrated? Let those feelings out and give them free space. If it helps, you can maintain a journal and pen down your thoughts and feelings, especially if they can help you find inner peace. Bottling difficult emotions can have a detrimental effect on your mental and physical wellbeing in the long run. They may remind you of your loss. Talk to people whom you value and respect. Tell them about your feelings and what you are going through and take the load off your chest. In such difficult times, support from friends and family can be the best way to restore your inner peace.

Practice meditation and yoga

The power of meditation and yoga has been proven to help people go through difficult situations in life. Techniques such as mindfulness meditation can help you cultivate calm and restore inner peace after losing a loved one. In the initial stages of grief, practices such as chanting mantras or focussing on your breath can help calm down your mind. It can also help you process difficult emotions that may arise during the grieving process. By practicing yoga, you can keep both your mind and body healthy. The yoga postures can help you get in sync with the movement of your body and your breath, which will enable you to focus on the present.

There are a few books that shed light on how yoga can help individuals cope with grief and restore inner peace. Yoga for Grief and Loss by yoga therapist Karla Helbert delves deeper into how various aspects of yoga, such as Bhakti Yoga or Raja Yoga, can help an individual cope with the loss of a loved one and find inner peace. Somatic psychotherapist and yoga instructor Antonio Sausys’ book Yoga for Grief Relief: Simple Practices for Transforming Your Grieving Mind and Body contains illustrations of yoga postures, breathing exercises and self-relaxation tips to help people cope with grief and stabilise inner peace and awareness.

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