23 Aug Grieving Loss
Grief is simply an emotional reaction to loss. It can arise from losing a loved one, such as a parent, friend, or pet, as well as from losing your health or a romantic connection. It can involve losing our position in the world due to being laid off, getting kicked from a team, switching roles, or losing our sense of self. Moving to a new city or nation, housing, or school can also occasionally cause a sense of loss.
Grief varies from individual to person
Grieving is a process that is as individual as the person who goes through it. Sometimes feelings might be masked by an almost out-of-body sensation. Other times, you might experience a loss-induced inside squeezing. You could have the urge to throw something breakable one day. On a different day, you might experience an odd sense of calm. Because of this, it’s crucial to have patience with oneself. You deal with problems in a way that is all your own. The kind and sympathetic people in your life frequently don’t understand sadness and the normal mourning process. Keep busy, they could advise. But frequently, this merely delays a vital emotional transition that we all must go through.
How does grief affect our emotions?
A variety of distinct emotions and reactions can result from grief. You might only feel some of these as they come and go:
Shock or disbelief – You can feel hazy, numb, or void. What has transpired may not fully register for some time. You don’t want to accept that it’s accurate.
With sadness you could feel like crying. When you experience these emotions, it is beneficial to express them rather than suppress them.
Another common feeling is anger, blame and guilt. You might feel furious or desire to place blame on others, including perhaps the deceased. Finding more uplifting ways to respond is made possible by acknowledging these feelings.
Yearning may indicate a void in your life. Although you are aware that things cannot be restored to their previous state, you may nevertheless reflect on and yearn for the things you have lost.
Helplessness may stem from the anxiety as a result of your unexpected loss of emotional control; you never know when you might start crying. Over time, this will pass.
Physical pain – You can feel ill, suffer from headaches or stomach aches, or get colds quickly. You can have extreme fatigue or fluctuating hunger.
How grief affects our thoughts
Grief frequently impairs one’s capacity for clear thinking. Your grief may be so intense or unpredictable that it makes it difficult for you to organize your thoughts or maintain long-term focus. You might even question whether you are still sane.
Many people discover they lose their memory and get confused. Even finishing a basic activity looks like a huge challenge. You can experience extreme indecision or act rashly. It is preferable to delay making any significant decisions for a few months after a loss until you are able to think more clearly, if you can.
How grief affects our physical well-being
Your body also experiences grief. Even if you were expecting the loss, the shock nevertheless causes your body to release chemicals like adrenaline. You may feel nervous or find it difficult to turn off your anxiousness as a result. Headaches, nausea, unexplainable aches and pains, and a tightness in the chest and stomach are some other physical symptoms of mourning.
Your immune system may be compromised by grief, making you more susceptible to infections.
Your capacity to control your emotions and think clearly may be impacted by physical reactions brought on by the emotional load of sorrow. It is advisable to discuss any physical difficulties that are troubling you or making it more difficult with your doctor.
How to practice self-care to help lessen grief?
Even while mourning is a natural human emotion and a process, it is simple to become lost in that hopelessness. As you move through the stages of grief, you must be aware of how sorrow affects your body and mind. You might want to explore some self-care tips to help lessen grief.
First, you might want to say No when you have to. Make a list of the things you don’t want to do or like doing. Anything that consistently stresses you out qualifies. Perhaps you could add to this list things like not checking your email after dinner, skipping events you don’t like, or putting your phone on silent during family lunch and dinner. These may seem insignificant, but they will have a significant impact on your peace of mind and mental health, allowing you the time you need to think about and set priorities.
Second, you might want to consider physical exercise. If you were an active person before your loss, keeping up that habit can be beneficial. Your mood and sense of well-being can both be enhanced by physical activity. You can operate as well as you can by maintaining a healthy diet and getting back into your regular sleeping schedule. Visit your doctor if you’re having problems with either.
Third, allow emotions to be. Don’t’ try to supress what you feel. Grief is a time when there are no right or wrong emotions. You might experience numbness, rage, emptiness, depression, confusion, etc. Additionally, you might experience comfort, joy, and other positive emotions. Anything you’re feeling is acceptable.
Last, but not least, start to reconnect when you reach out to your loved ones and make contact with them. There is a very real sense of being cut off from the world around you after the death of someone you love. You acquire some perspective by being conscious of the bigger picture, one that encompasses all the individuals in your life. You are aware that you are a component of a larger whole, and this awareness can give you strength. Reaching out to others allows you to reopen your heart to love. Your sense of wellbeing and belonging depends on your connections to your family, friends, and community.