Grief is normally how people respond when they lose someone or something they loved. Grief occurs on many levels and affects a person’s physical, mental, spiritual, social, and emotional states. In many cases, people associate grief with the loss of a loved one. However, people can grief for many reasons. It could be loss of job, loss of a loved one, a loved one being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease like cancer, miscarriage, divorce, losing a limb, and many more. In short, grief is not all about the death of a loved person. When a person is grieving, they tend to show various symptoms.
Basically, grief takes place in five stages. One, a person is in denial and does not believe the loss. The second stage is all about anger. When the person comes to terms with reality, they are angry, frustrated, and might even show unpleasant behavior. In the third stage, the person starts hoping that things will be better. They start hoping that something might happen that might eliminate the loss. The person then falls into depression. They get sad, desperate and will even isolate themselves. In the last stage of grief, the person accepts the loss and finds ways to get the peace they need. In every stage, people have their own behavior, and the duration varies. However, the best thing is to find out how to deal with grief in a healthy way, and here are ways to cope.
1. No Time Limit
Many people ask themselves, “How long should I grieve?” One thing you need to understand is that grieving is normal and unavoidable. Many people tend to put a time limit on the period they should stay grieving. The thing is, people, grieve differently, and losses affect people at different levels. Unfortunately, there is no time limit for grief. You might even feel pain once you are reminded of the loss, even after many years. So, you should not put an artificial time limit on your grief. Take as much time as you need to heal from the loss. You will need the time to accept, manage the feelings wrapped around the loss and move on with life.
2. Comparison is Wrong
Another mistake that people make when grieving is comparing their grief with others. Even if this is natural, professionals advise you to do it your own way. People heal differently. It can take a month for a person and a year for another. Comparison is not helpful, and people have unique circumstances in life. Comparison hinders you from healing the right way. Apart from feeling bad about your loss, you will also feel bad for grieving. Now, those will be two things you will be dealing with at the same time.
3. Seek Support
This point is often misunderstood. When people hear of social support, they think of support groups where they go to talk about their pain. This is still part of healing. However, you don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to. Dealing with grief does not only mean you have to tell people about it. According to GreenePsychologyGroup, the best place to start is spending time with people who care. Go for a road trip with friends, meet up with a friend for coffee, or sign up for a book club. Join an institution where you have a chance to share ideas and spend time with people. The most important thing is to remain connected to people and not isolate yourself. Don’t feel pressured to talk about it. This process is yours, and you are the one who can choose when and who to talk about it with.
4. Grieve Intentionally
The more you resist the grief, the more it will persist, and just because you are holding yourself from grieving does not mean you are healing. When your mind is running away from the grief, it will treat it as a major threat, and that means your emotions may elevate. You could burst out in sadness, anger, anxiety, and more. When you try to fight the emotions, they tend to grow stronger. Face your grief. Feel sad when you feel like. When you face the grief and allow yourself to be sad, your mind recognizes that and understands it as painful but no threat. While grieving, don’t allow sadness only. Accept other feelings like happiness, afraid, anxiety, angry and more. The best thing is to keep everything under control.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Some people tend to ignore their physical and mental health being when grieving. When grief takes place, you might feel off-balance, confused and messy. Unfortunately, when many people feel this, they adopt unhealthy habits that continue to ruin them. It is very easy to develop unhealthy eating habits. You can overeat or undereat, depending on how you react to the grief. It is also normal to feel unmotivated, lose energy, and such. You might spend your whole day on the couch and do nothing. When you go to sleep, your mind might be overwhelmed by memories, painful thoughts, and so on. Therefore, it is normal to lack sleep. All these are natural experiences. However, it is advisable to take care of your health. Try to eat healthy food, get enough sleep, exercise, and don’t forget to look and smell good.
It is very natural to change behavior after a loss. However, how long it takes to heal depends on how we cope. Your whole body and mind might be dominated by thoughts of the thing or person you lost. However, you need to make sure that this does not consume all your energy. Grieving is important, and you need that to move on. However, you ought to do it the right way. Give yourself enough time to heal, don’t compare your grief with others, and seek the right help. Don’t hold back the emotions. Allow yourself to feel every emotion, and don’t forget to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep and make sure you eat healthy food. If you have been exercising, continue doing that and go out with your friends.