Grief looks and feels a little different for every person that experiences it. For some it feels like intense anger, for others it feels like unbearable sadness. Some people become unable to feel anything at all, and numbness overtakes their life. All are reasonable reactions when something extremely upsetting happens in our lives.
But no matter how endless or unbearable our grief feels, it can be helped by understanding what we are going through, and allowing ourselves to go through it in our own way.
Grief is different from average, everyday sadness. It usually lasts longer, and hurts more than just a bad day or a bad mood. It can make us question our own life, the world, even our religious beliefs. And it normally occurs in 5 stages:
• Denial – Disbelief and rejection of the event
• Anger – Outrage at the unfairness of the event
• Bargaining – Wishing to change the event
• Depression – Defeat after being unable to change the event
• Acceptance – Moving on with life after the event
Coping with Grief
They say that time heals all wounds, but you still have to live your life during that time, and there are ways to help yourself heal faster. If you’re dealing with any of the stages of grief mentioned above, keep the following tips in mind:
• Express your true feelings – Don’t bottle or hide them, or you’ll never find relief from them. When people ask how you’re feeling, be honest, let it out. As you express your feelings, and others console and comfort you, you’ll gradually be able to let go of your grief.
• Don’t make major decisions – Judgment can be impaired by grief, so life-changing decisions should be put on hold until you’re feeling back to normal. If you’re contemplating a major change, talk to some trusted friends or family first, they can give you a second opinion.
• Take care of yourself – Grief can drain our energy and leave us feeling unable to manage our lives. But in order to feel better you have to keep up your health. Remember to eat, even if it’s just a couple times a day. Push yourself to shower and keep your space relatively clean, you’re guaranteed to feel more capable if you aren’t surrounded by clutter, and showers are refreshing.
Seeking Help for Grief
Intense grief can lead to the development of other issues like depression or anxiety. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you’re feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. Talk to your close friends and family, and if that isn’t doing the trick, look up a professional in your area.
Counselors like the ones at Loving Life can help tailor sessions to your specific needs. Whether you need someone to listen to or talk you through your feelings, we can help you get back to feeling like your usual self.
And there are all kinds of ways to treat grief professionally. Sometimes yoga and physical therapy are as effective as a talk on a couch. Our goal at Loving Life Therapy is to treat the whole person, not just a few of their symptoms.
So if you or someone you know is having a difficult time dealing with the grief of a loss or tragic event, contact us here so we can explain all of the options available to help you. The one thing you should never feel while grieving, is alone.