As individuals go through life, they will inevitably face grief at some point. Dealing with grief and loss is a natural experience. There are different types of grief that we go through. Whether a loved one has passed or you have lost a relationship, it is an unavoidable reality. Since there is no avoiding death, change, or loss, it is important that people understand how to healthily process these emotions.
At Lighting the Way, we understand that grief comes in many forms and each one requires different healing. Trained by The Grief Recovery Institute, our grief and loss counseling focuses on facing and processing the specific emotions surrounding each unique situation. Mourning is a personal process that every person internalizes differently, but some coping methods are helpful to many people.
Dealing with Grief and Loss
How to handle grief varies person-to-person, but there are healthy ways to do so. Physical Grief symptoms are often overlooked when people deal with loss. In addition to the mental symptoms of sadness, guilt, anger, fear, and shock, people also experience the physical symptoms of fatigue, weight fluctuation, insomnia, nausea, weakened immunity, and random aches. This combination of mental and physical strain can push a person to their limits. It is imperative that people practice healthy coping mechanisms to avoid the lingering trauma of an unprocessed loss. Below are some useful techniques.
Healthy Grief Coping Mechanisms
- Write down your feelings – If you get overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions surrounding your situation, write them down in a private space to help you process them.
- Seek our professional grief counseling – As time goes on and you find yourself struggling to move on, it may be time to seek professional assistance. Grief counselors have more tools and experience at their disposal that can help you process.
- Take time for yourself – After a loss, it is easy to lose yourself. Take time to reflect and assess what YOU need. Maintaining your health and daily hygiene is crucial to staying healthy.
- Stay present in the moment – Emotions come in bursts after a death or separation. If you find that you are enjoying something, try to stay present and hold onto that joy. Little moments of happiness are lights in the darkness.
- Reach out to close friends or family for help – You are never alone, even as you grieve. As you take time to process, reach out for help as you need it. A simple cooked meal or phone chat goes a long way to alleviate daily stress while you continue to heal.
- Talk to someone your trust about your feelings – Struggling with loss is a natural part of the process, but if the burden becomes too heavy, reach out to someone you trust. They can help you deal with emotions and offer support.
- Use exercise as an outlet – Physical activity is a great way to relieve built-up anger and stress. Take a brisk walk or hike with some friends. Immersing yourself in nature while you exercise provides additional mental health benefits.
- Seek out relaxing activities – Actively plan relaxing things to look forward to. Taking a bath, watching your favorite movie, or working on a hobby are great examples of essential self-care activities that boost your mood.
Consequences of Improperly Processed Grief
When someone either does not take the time to properly process grief or uses harmful coping mechanisms, they are damaging their relationship to the healing process. Improperly handled emotions can manifest as unresolved grief from childhood and require senior grief counseling later down the line. If you still feel overwhelmed after attempting various coping tactics, it is time to reach out to a professional.
Find the Light within Grief | Lighting the Way
In some cases, standard coping strategies are not enough. When this happens, it is time to seek out help. At Lighting the Way, we strive to help people with their individual grief recovery processes. Our grief counselor in Colorado Springs has training using the comprehensive grief recovery method. The goal of counseling is to assist people so they can process emotions in a way that allows the grief to leave their bodies Schedule your session today or book a class to start healing.