Grief is a natural way to process the loss of someone loved or any other kind of change in one’s life circumstances that is experienced as loss or failure. The situations that can cause feelings of grief are different for everyone and so are the methods that can be adopted for coping with grief and the sources of help that one can turn to.
The Grieving Process
There is no right or wrong way to go through grief – the process and its duration depend on the grieving person’s life experience, the nature and the significance of the loss as well on individual personality traits. Many people are familiar with the five stages of grief outlined by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in the 1960’s – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance –, but everyone experiences those stages in their own way, moreover, some people may achieve healing without experiencing all stages (healing is possible without going through any of the stages for some people).
Grieving is a complex process that can manifest in the form of emotional as well as physical symptoms. The emotions that one goes through during grieving might include fear, anger, sadness, guilt, disbelief and emotional pain, while the most common physical symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, weight changes in any direction, a weakened immune system, nausea and generalized pain, and the need to search for counseling near me for help.
Where to Find Support for Grief
Expressing feelings and thoughts and knowing that you are not alone in your suffering are very important during the grieving process. Here is how to seek and find support with the process:
- Turn to your family or your friends – while social withdrawal is a common symptom of grief, it is very important for the grieving person to be able to accept the help offered by others and to try to share thoughts and emotions;
- Support groups – many people find it easier to share their thoughts and feelings with strangers who have suffered a loss similar to theirs. Bereavement support groups can be found through hospitals and hospice services or through counseling services;
- Therapy or grief counseling with the help of an experienced therapist – Individual grief counseling is another way to find help. Grief therapists know how to listen actively to the people who turn to them for help, how to help their patients cope with their emotions, such as their anger or fear and how to help them move in the direction of acceptance;
- Joining a community for physical exercise – it might sound too simple and maybe even unbelievable, but one of the best ways to take care of the soul is by taking care of the body. Joining a group of people who train or work out together, who support each other during physical effort can take the grieving person’s mind off the emotional suffering. Physical exercise is also beneficial and can in itself ameliorate emotional suffering efficiently by strengthening the body and by prompting it to release substances that help the mind and the soul cope with stress and pain.