Renowned Grief Expert Releases 5 Tools to Manage Sudden Loss

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Suffering a loss in life can be inescapable and the grief that follows can be complex. Edy Nathan MA, LCSW releases 5 tools to manage sudden loss for the grieving.

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Ask your self if there is anything you can do to change the situation. If there is, then do it, if not, then put your energy into what you can change.

Grief is complex and different for everyone. The Paris shooting, the Boko Haram, the beheading of the Japanese reporters and even Malaysian Flight 17 leave the world filled with dread, a sense of impotence and sorrow. Sudden loss grips family and friends who have either lost loved ones or fear their loss with an unrelenting grief that ultimately destabilizes them. They will navigate through a complicated and often-prolonged period of mourning.

Edy Nathan MA, LCSW suggests 5 tools to manage sudden loss.

1. Concentrate on the facts rather than conjecture. Nathan suggests the following: “Ask yourself if there is anything you can do to change the situation. If there is, then do it, if not, then put your energy into what you can change. Stay in touch with family and friends, stop the obsessive thoughts by sticking with the facts. Obsessing increases anxiety. This keeps you in the moment, while taking care of the self."

2. Stay in the present to calm anxious thoughts. Anxiety is a result of a projection into the future. When an anxious thought comes in concentrate on breathing. The best exercise for this is to take in a breath, hold it and let it out slowly. Do this 5-10 times. After the exercise check in to see if the anxiety or anxious thoughts have decreased. This will slow down the heart rate and calm nerves.

3. Anger and regret often emerge in many forms when coping with sudden loss: From irrational outbursts to becoming reclusive, anger and regret need to be acknowledged. Make time in the day to honor the anger. Instead of angry outbursts at inappropriate times, keep a log of when anger presents itself during the day. Discover if there is an anger blueprint: if so, prepare for it during the day by taking a break from what is being done.

4. Keep it quiet: stay away from News stories that upset or internally incite the angst within. Nathan says: “If you hear or see information on the Internet, radio or TV that agitates you, turn it off. If you really need to know what is going on, wait until you can listen without agitation. Respect yourself in this way.”

5. Shock is the number one killer when a person is involved in an accident. Sudden loss leaves the survivors in a shock syndrome. It is important to get sleep, eat well and reduce alcohol intake. Physical illnesses can arise, as resistance is often low at this time. See a doctor for blood work, blood pressure and physical assessment.

Though the experience of loss is inescapable, no one ever thinks that they will have to cope with the sorrow of a sudden death. The components of grief remain the same for anyone who has lost a loved one however; the process of mourning is different for everyone. Sudden loss creates its own set of problems for survivors. Often taking them longer to heal and move from grief to grace.

About Edy Nathan:
Edy Nathan is a licensed psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience specializing in grief. For two seasons she was the therapist on the A&E TV Show, “Psychic Kids”. She holds Masters from both New York University and Fordham University. She has post-graduate training from the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy, The Gestalt Center and the Jungian Institute. She is a certified EMDR practitioner, regression therapist, certified hypnotherapist, relationship and grief expert. To find out more, visit EdyNathan.com.

For a complimentary meditation and more information about other topics related to grief, loss and trauma, please visit here.

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