You may have been through the grieving process, like many others, and found yourself dealing with grief in an unhealthy way. Drinking alcohol excessively, overeating, stuffing your feelings or isolating yourself for extended periods of time are some unhealthy coping mechanisms. In the process of grief is when most of us realize we need to learn how to grieve in a healthy way.
Grief is indicative of love.David Matthews
In other words, if you are grieving it is because you lost something or someone that you hold dear. Someone once said the only cure for grief is to grieve.
Grief comes in all shapes and sizes and forms. An estimated 2.5 million people lose their lives each year, leaving behind an average of 4-5 grieving survivors in its wake. Loss, however, is not limited to death. Experts estimate that there are over 40 different types of loss that people might grieve.
We may experience grief without recognizing the fact that we are grieving. This is particularly unfortunate if the way we process grief is unhealthy.
What is Grief
The pain of grief over the death of a family member or close friend is part of life. Our natural response to losing a loved one is to experience deep sorrow. A grieving person will deal with a significant loss in different ways.
The way we each handle grief is dependent on the context of our experiences in life. Each person will grieve for a different amount of time and in varying ways.
What are some causes of grief
When it comes to the emotional pain that comes from other losses, such as divorce, a child with drug addiction, the end of an era, such as retirement.
Other causes may include the loss of:
- a lifelong dream
- romantic relationship
- a pet
- your health (due to a diagnosis such as Parkinson's Disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, or even a terminal illness)
Symptoms of Grief
Because we all process grief differently, it can have an impact on our daily life in different ways. If you find that your daily activities are impacting your health and relationships, it might be time to seek a grief counselor. Some symptoms of grief include:
- aches and pains
- lack of energy
- nervousness and anxiety
- not getting enough sleep or sleeping too much
- weight gain or loss
- no appetite or emotional eating
- being overly sensitive to noise
Many of the symptoms of grief can cause you to question your well-being. It's important to get support and understand the natural process of grief. Check with your healthcare provider to see what kinds of mental health services are covered.
Check out sparkoflife.org for retreats, online retreats, and courses.
Healthy Ways to go through the grieving process
Remind yourself that you are going through a difficult time and try your best to incorporate some self-care practices every day. Again, getting professional help can help you make healthier choices and process grief in your own way. Therapists can recommend exercises that will help you through the process as well as validate your feelings.
- Join a support group
- Get grief counseling
- Talk to a mental health professional
Getting grief support does not mean you are weak, it means you care about your health. Learning how to grieve any loss in a healthy way will contribute to your overall wellness.
About Spark of Life Retreats:
- “The Life-Changing Spark of Life Retreat” is open to anyone 18 and older who has experienced any kind of loss, who is at any point in their grief journey.
- These retreats explore personal grief, the possibility of recovery, and practical tools to enable those grieving to find a new pathway for hope to ‘Live Forward’ for the future.
- Attendees will learn all elements of grief and be offered the chance to rebuild a rich, fulfilling, and meaningful life once again.
- To register for a retreat, and for more information about Spark of Life – go to www.sparkoflife.org
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About Spark of Life
Spark of Life exists to instill hope that, though life can never be the same after loss, life can be rich and fulfilling. The founders have experienced the journey from loss to life, from grief to grace, from weakness to strength. They know the journey is difficult, yet possible. They're here to join you on that journey – hope begins now.
Practice healthy habits with us.