Dealing with the pain that comes with losing someone or something you love is never easy. More often than not, grief brings unexpected emotions, from shock and anger to disbelief, guilt, and sadness. You may even experience adverse effects on your physical health, such as appetite loss, insomnia, and occasional confusion.
Although it’s normal to feel and react to the pain of significant loss, people adopt different means of coping, some of which invite even more harm. The steps you take to ease your pain will determine whether you end up feeling better and moving on with your life, or in worse shape than you were when you started grieving. Below are five mature and healthy ways you can deal with grief.
1. Acknowledge Your Pain
One of the most prevalent myths about grief is that it goes away faster if you ignore it. On the contrary, avoiding the pain or pushing it under the surface will only make it worse in the long run. A proper healing process starts by facing your loss and allowing yourself to feel the pain. Grieving will require time, depending on the severity of the loss, so don’t force yourself to carry on with your life. Instead, set aside some time for healing, and eventually, the grief will run its course.
2. Talk About It
You may see it best to deal with loss on your own, but in truth, talking to someone you trust is always a better way to soothe painful emotions. Rather than avoiding the people who care about you, reach out and lean on them. Spend time face to face, and talk about what you lost and what you’re feeling. Alternatively, you can join a support group, where you’ll get to share your sorrow with people that have experienced similar losses, and also listen to stories that will give you some much-needed hope.
3. Do Something Physical
While it’s understandable to feel like lying in bed all day, physical activity will gradually improve your mood and help you wade through the emotions. Exercising, be it a slow walk in the park or fast-paced circuit training at the gym, will raise your endorphin levels and get you feeling better.
4. Fill the Void with Something New
Loss typically leaves an empty spot within that craves attention. Although it may not be possible to replace what you’ve lost, you can start to mend the hole by finding something positive that makes you feel better. Identify the aspects of your life that have been affected by your loss, and concentrate on redefining them to compensate for the void. Getting into a new relationship, reaching out to a long-lost friend, doing volunteer work, taking part in fun recreational activities, and traveling are all examples of how you can start repairing the damage.
5. Seek Professional Help
You don’t have to book a counseling appointment immediately after your loss, but if nothing seems to be easing the pain, a therapist can be the helping hand you need to work through it. Professional help is especially important if the loss has pushed you towards drugs or alcohol, or if you’re a recovering addict. Head over to https://arcproject.org.uk/alcohol-addiction and learn how the ARC organization can help you avoid or overcome a drug or alcohol problem after a severe loss.
Grief can seem like the end of the world, but with the right strategy, you can eventually come to terms with your loss and pick up the pieces in a healthy, fulfilling way.