Beyond Loss: Pathways to Healing and Acceptance
- December 18, 2023
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Understanding and Navigating the Complex Journey of Grief
Table of Contents
Grief is an inevitable part of everyone’s life. It’s associated with the loss of something or someone important to you. A severe sadness can put you on a roller coaster of different emotions. The sadness may surround you, adding uncertainty to every aspect of your life.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into its dynamics and will share effective strategies to look beyond loss.
Does Grief Affect You Always?
George Bonanno of Columbia University is a leading researcher on the dynamics of grief and PTSD. He proposed the concept of “Remarkable Resiliency,” explaining that 65% of the victims of any traumatic event face fewer to no symptoms of PTSD.
This highlights the fact that people have internal immunity to adverse events. However, 1/3rd of the population still faces serious side effects of chronic grieving and its associated stress.
Let’s have a look at some of the effects of long-term grieving:
Physical Effects of Grief
Deepak Chopra— the author of a famous book, Quantum Body— says that mind and body are not separate entities but intertwined, influencing one another profoundly. That said, feeling grief is an emotional response that also has the potential to affect your physical health. You may feel these symptoms when faced with prolonged suffering:
- Loss of Appetite
- Disturbed Sleep
- Weight Issues
- Lowered immunity
- Body Aches
Emotional Effects of Grief
Grief accompanies other unwanted feelings and emotions like:
- Beliefs of Disbelief
You may feel shocked and unable to comprehend or accept the situation. Feelings of disbelief prevail in your mind, causing severe discomfort. You may start questioning why this happened to you under emotions of anger or may feel illogical guilt for losing your loved ones.
How to Manage Grief?
You can look beyond grief and find your true self again in various ways. Just a little conscious effort is all you will need to regain control of your life. Let’s look at multiple methods to claim stability and restore balance!
- Seek Support of Your Loved Ones
Getting assistance from your near ones is the first and foremost important step. A sense of trust and credibility makes it easier for you to open yourself. Always remember to talk to someone who listens to you. At this stage, you might not need advice or any kind of suggestions. So, share your emotions with someone who doesn’t give advice or become judgmental. This unveils the reality of your grief or loss to you.
Some people may recover by getting emotional and moral support from their family and friends. However, others may need to try other ways in conjunction with this step.
The key is to find a balance and try as many natural methods as possible to find help before surrendering to medication or other strenuous ways of coping with negative emotions.
- Socialize by Joining a Support Group
It may not come as a first choice, but it’s by far the most effective method for people with complicated relationships with their loved ones.
Joining a support group will allow you to interact with like-minded people who may share similar experiences and prove a vital element in your recovery. Just an effort from your side to open up and trust the process is all you need to effectively benefit from socializing.
- Take Help from Religion and Spirituality
When we are grieving, we feel closer to our creator. The single most beautiful feeling keeps us grounded at challenging times. Not everyone is lucky to have a caring family or a strong bond with loved ones. However, whatever your situation, you can always rely on spiritual principles and find solace in practicing religious deeds to manage your grief effectively.
- Creative Expression of Feelings
Adopting creative habits like journaling, music, painting, and writing articles can be life-saving. It lets you externalize and channel your feelings in a productive way, lessening your emotional baggage.
Thompson and Neimeyer’s research emphasized the importance of creative expression via writing as an influential means to deal with grief.
- Resume Hobbies and Routine Activities
Sliding into a passive lifestyle after a loss is expected, as you feel emotionally drained from a significant loss. However, prolonged passivity will lead to disastrous results as you may get stuck in a vicious cycle of negativity.
No matter how hard it seems, resuming your daily activities and getting involved in hobbies once again can light a ray of hope for you by giving you a new perspective on the situation.
- Make Physical Activity a Priority
There is no argument that physical activity leads to better emotional health. While people may take physical activity advice, such as raising dumbbells or doing intense workouts, it’s not the case.
You can start with mild exercises that get you up and moving. Adopting yoga postures coupled with mindful breathing can be the rejuvenating experience you would have been searching for. The purpose is to distract you from overthinking and get into action.
- Seek Professional Help
If none of the above methods heal you, then finally, it’s time to get assistance from professionals.
You should immediately consult a licensed mental health expert if your symptoms seem to worsen. They help people deal with grief by assisting them in accepting the loss and adopting various healthy lifestyle changes to minimize the effects of grieving.
What Should You Do Ahead?
Everyone’s grief is unique to themselves, with people having different personalities, experiences, and coping styles. Moreover, your beliefs and environment play a crucial role in recovery from grief.
A method that worked smoothly for one person may fail to yield desired results for another. You should exercise discretion in applying different ways to overcome grief and commit to taking regular action for a fruitful outcome.
Conclusion Beyond Loss
Losing something or someone we love can leave someone lost for words. Whether it’s losing a pet, your livelihood, a loved one, or a material asset, feelings of grief are inevitable to come by. However, accepting the loss and building resilience are the keys to avoiding excessive mental strain.