Pain — Tips for Coping With Loss #1

The initial stages of loss are the hardest to cope with. Here are some tips to help you survive.

Photo: Julia Caesar (Unsplash)

Dealing with pain

When the news of loss sink in (you might go through denial, confusion, and disbelief first), the pain can be unbearable. It can paralyze you, and it needs to be taken care of before anything else. To cope with pain, you might be tempted to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. While that can serve as a form of first aid and I’ll be the last to preach, try to avoid it and by all means do not let it turn into a habit. The last thing you need on the top of your loss is developing addiction and ruining your health. There are other approaches that can help you cope in a healthier way.

  1. Talking about the loss with people who are capable of understanding can help you deal with your emotions. When you are emotionally wounded due to loss, you need a lot of empathy and support.
  2. Avoid people or groups that are not capable of understanding or come up with comments or attitudes that you perceive as hurtful. When going through the initial stages of grief, you are emotionally highly vulnerable and fragile. Be aware that things will hurt a lot more than usual and avoid such situations as much as you can.
  3. Give yourself permission to cry. Crying is a form of release and a natural reaction to sadness and hurt that shouldn’t be suppressed. I’m devoting this section to all the men who have been brought up based on the unhealthy idea that men should not cry. We are humans, humans feel pain and crying is one of the healthiest and most natural ways of coping.
  4. Scream it out — when the pain of loss became unbearable, I used to drive out of town and screamed my lungs out so that no one could hear me. That helped release some of the pressure and pain. Driving, however, is not advisable when you are emotionally too upset to be able to drive safely.
  5. Guided meditation or hypnosis can also be useful in dealing with pain. I use Michael Sealey’s YouTube channel that offers a range of guided video choices, but there are many others. Find the one that you like, and that relaxes you most. Listening to these sessions in bed helped me fall asleep when nothing else did.
  6. Over the counter painkillers such as Aspirin are less damaging that most of the other drugs and can actually help ease emotional pain. This is so because emotional pain activates the same centers in the brain as physical pain and research confirmed that over-the-counter painkillers help with both types of pain. Here is an article on this if you’d like to know more:

Understand that it will take time and since we are all different, there is no way of telling how long it will take for you. There are no rules when it comes to grieving. Be gentle with yourself, allow yourself all the time that you need, proceed one step at a time, one minute at a time, one day at a time.

If you’d like to transform your pain, book your session here or send me an email at to get your first session free.

Mateja graduated summa cum laude in psychology from Arizona State University and is now working on her online service Transform the Pain to help people cope with grief and loss. She previously worked as a freelance journalist, radio personality, and psychologist. Her life resembles a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs and some pretty wild turns. Among other things, her car was destroyed by tanks and she survived several brushes with death.