The term grief is used to refer to the intense sorrow or sadness felt in response to a loss. While typically one thinks of death as bringing on grief, there are in fact many types of loss that can ignite this emotion, such as: losing a job, losing a pet, illness of one’s self or a loved one, loss of a friendship, or even a breakup.
Grief can range in its intensity, depending on the significance of the loss, and will vary greatly from one person to the next. Not only is the emotion itself unique amongst individuals, but the healing process and coping mechanisms will also be substantially different from person to person.
To help you better understand and deal with your grief, or that of someone close to you, we have put together these 5 tips for handling grief.
Acknowledge Your Grief
The first step to handling your grief is to acknowledge that it is there. Don’t try to put on a strong front and pretend that everything is okay. If you try and block it out, it will only grow worse and worse.
It is important to understand that your grief may differ from that being felt by others affected by the loss. Do not compare your grief to theirs, for everyone grieves in a unique and personal way, and no way is right or wrong.
Accept The Emotions It Will Bring
Because each person grieves in a different way, it is hard to predict which emotions you will encounter. Some common emotions that are brought forward by loss are sadness, anger, guilt, helplessness, anxiousness, loneliness, and fear.
It’s impossible to say which of these emotions you will encounter, and when or for how long, but it’s important that you simply let yourself feel them.
Let Those Who Care About You Support You
You more than likely have an amazing support system behind you – this could be your family, friends, or even coworkers. Those who care about you will want to be there for you. Everyone needs support from time to time, no matter what form that may come in.
Take Care Of Yourself Physically
Your mind and body are connected in more ways than you know. When you are dealing with the pain of a loss, and are, even slightly, struggling with your mental well being, maintaining a healthy fitness level and diet can make a world of difference.
Many people think counseling or therapy is for the weak, or the “crazy”, but it can be an amazing resource for helping grieving individuals heal.
Therapists have seen all forms of grieving through their patients, and have helped many of them work through the 5 stages of grief in a healthier and timelier way than they could have on their own. They have experience with the emotions you are going through, and can help you understand best how to deal with them and move through them.
You Won’t Get Over It
You will never truly get rid of your grief. That grief will always be there, in a milder form, when triggered by certain events or feelings later on down the road. However, these 5 tips for handling grief will help you to better understand how and why you’re feeling why you do, and should get you through the most intense portion of your grief.