Grief is a natural human reaction after losing a loved one or experiencing a harrowing situation. Everyone experiences it at some point in life but knowing how to do so without sinking into a depressive state is critical. Did you know that an average of five people grieves each death in the US? That makes it imperative to understand how to grieve in a healthy way.
Acknowledge your feelings
According to American Psychologists, avoiding, escaping, or deliberately burying grief can negatively impact your mental state. This finding fuelled the term FEEL: Freely Experience Emotion with Love. Grieving is the body’s way to come to terms with losing a loved one or a pet. Refusing to acknowledge it means denying your body and mind the opportunity to rid itself of pent-up emotions that require an exit.
Did you know grief is termed as stress? Wouldn’t you want to relieve yourself of stressful conditions or emotions? Cortisol is a stress hormone released during periods of grief. In such situations, your body can release more of this hormone than is necessary. In other words, denying yourself a chance to grieve can result in a build-up of this hormone, which could increase your chances of developing high blood pressure.
Avoid giving yourself time-limits when grieving
Just as it’s critical to acknowledge grief and allow yourself to go through the feelings, it’s equally important not to set time limits for this emotion. People tend to ask themselves whether grieving is supposed to last long. The answer is, everyone is different, and people grieve differently. Understanding the duration of grief is also a way to acknowledge that it has no time limit. Instead, what you do during that period is what matters most.
No rule dictates how long grief should last for people. The most challenging period is the first few days to months. However, as time elapses, the pain tends to get endurable and may even lessen for the person in question. You must note that reducing emotional distress can only happen after allowing yourself to go through all the grief stages. In effect, setting unnatural deadlines can backfire and cause you to relapse into a more severe psychological state.
Find and use the right support system that suits you best
Support can be social, spiritual, or physical. In other words, whatever healthy activity you can engage in to help you heal in your own time is of significant benefit. The most common support, however, is the group system. People who have experienced and overcome the mental and emotional stresses of loss tend to find ways to strengthen each other. Over decades, it has been proven that sharing the pain of loss is therapeutic and quickens the healing process.
On the contrary, if support groups are not your thing, how about researching depression quotes for healing? For a particular group of people willing to help themselves in this period, finding useful literature is a priority. Identifying quotes and expressions that best define their exact emotions for some reason seems to spark an inner fire to overcome. Indeed, there’s a lot of truth to the saying that words have healing power.
Never feel pressured to get back to everyday routines
Most people have admitted to feeling pressure from friends and family to return to regular routines forcefully. According to them, this is a way to jolt your emotions back to reality. However, this isn’t the case; grieving is a serious matter as it already is and succumbing to external pressure at this time is unhealthy. For some people, the urge to say ‘No’ to such requests may be difficult. However, you must know that self-preservation begins with learning how to protect yourself mentally and emotionally.
If your grieving lulls you to sleep, do so without any apology to anyone. The guiding rule, however, must be ensuring to maintain a good diet during this period. Hunger can exacerbate grief and provoke your body to react negatively. Moreover, you don’t want to entertain the possibility of a painful gastric ulcer because you denied yourself food. Over a period, when you begin to come to terms with the loss, all attempts you make to return to regular routines must be gradual.
Make an in-home memorial if that helps
An in-house memorial can be a beautifully framed photo on your wall or shelf. It can also be an object that reminds your loved one. Contrary to many schools of thought, keeping something close-by that reminds you of the beautiful soul you lost is a healing technique. This idea thrives on the simple belief that it’s better to face your fears now than later.
Grieving can be an intense emotion, but it’s a natural thing. Allow yourself to feel it, don’t set deadlines, and do what makes you happy as you make a gradual return to normalcy. Every now and then, you’ll likely remember the subject of your loss, but if you grieved healthily, it wouldn’t break you down.