It can be difficult to manage grief at times. We all deal with grief differently, and situations are often compounded by the fact that different griefs affect us in various ways. The grief felt at losing your aging grandmother might feel different than the grief associated with losing your young child. Grief experienced as the result of a divorce is likely different from the grief felt when you lose your job.
The length of time your grief lasts can be impacted by the event that causes it, your situation, and other factors. It can be difficult to move forward with this sort of feeling.
You can heal from grief, but this means taking some steps to provide you with a way to progress. WebMD warns against overdoing it work, substance abuse, avoiding or minimizing emotions, and engaging in compulsive behavior. While these actions might distract you for a time, or numb you, they don’t actually help you confront and deal with the grief. Here are 5 things WebMD says can help you when dealing with grief:
1. Experience and Express Your Feelings
Allow yourself time to experience these feelings. You can also express them to yourself through journaling or in other ways. In some cases, it can also help to share them with people you know and trust. Friends and family can provide you with support as you experience and express your feelings. It’s important to acknowledge the way you feel — especially to yourself — and be sure to express your feelings in a way that allows you to be honest.
2. Accept Negative Feelings as Well As Positive Feelings
It’s tempting to shove aside negative feelings and focus only on the positive. However, burying those negative feelings won’t make them go away. It might cause more stress and anxiety down the road, or reduce your ability to heal. Accept that negative feelings are a reality. While you don’t have to dwell on them and magnify them, you can acknowledge that they are there, face them, and then move on from them in your own time. This is one of the best ways as you are dealing with grief.
3. Let Yourself Cry
Sometimes you need an emotional release. Crying can provide that. Don’t forget that it’s ok to cry. You might not be able to do it in all circumstances (crying at work is rarely acceptable), but you can make time to cry and release your feelings later if you need to. Be sure to let yourself cry if that is what you need to move forward and recover.
4. Engage in Activities You Enjoy
While you might need some time to yourself, don’t forget to engage in activities you enjoy. It won’t help to lock yourself away forever and wallow in your feelings. Acknowledge your feelings, and let them out. Express them, and remember that there is another side of life as well. A side of life full of things that you enjoy. Don’t neglect those things; they will help you move forward and heal. It might still take some time, but it’s the progress that is important.
5. Seek Professional Help
Finally, make sure to seek professional help if you are having trouble. Bereavement groups can be helpful and allow you to connect with others who understand you. If you don’t feel like those closest to you are much help, a support group can help. A counseling session with a therapist can also help. You might be surprised to discover how helpful two or three therapy sessions can be.
If you are experiencing grief, remember that you can cope with it. You will need to heal in your own time, but taking steps to help you along can move that timetable forward.