Life is full of ups and downs; hence, dealing with downs will be just an inevitable as getting to enjoy the ups. Because of this, learning how to handle grief can be an important part of staying functional and continuing to move in a positive direction. From losing a family member to losing a pet, we face countless events in our lives that can lead to grief. In most cases of grief, however, loss is the common denominator. Losing something or someone of personal value can leave a person feeling isolated, empty, or just sad in general. Fortunately, there are several ways to cope with grief and loss. Here are 7 effective methods for dealing with grief.
1) Take your time
Everybody has a different emotional response to tragedy and some situations are more severe than others. In either case, it is important to allow ourselves enough time to work through the grieving process. Some people are better equipped for dealing with loss, whether its a large support network or an optimistic temperament, and may only require a brief grieving period. Others, however, may require an extended grieving period. As long as you don’t rush the process, your outlook should gradually begin to improve.
2) Vent when necessary
Find a friend or family member who you can trust and express your concerns to them. Even if it does not involve them, most people will have similar experiences that they can draw on to comfort you and will not mind listening. In addition to providing strength to the person grieving, venting can be mutually beneficial. The conversation can help the listener gain empathy and it can potentially help them with something they happen to be going through as well. Even if you cannot find somebody to talk to in your immediate surroundings, there are tons of online services created strictly for the purpose of providing an empathetic ear. Here is one example of an online support group for grief, though there are countless others:
3) Allow yourself to feel sad
This tip goes hand-in-hand with number one, but it is important to allow yourself to be sad. Whether it’s pressure from others to “get over it” or a self-imposed command to “suck it up,” bottling up emotions can have serious repercussions. This does not mean you have to dwell over the past or try to make yourself sad, but you should not have to act like nothing is wrong when you are grieving. We are allowed to feel sad at times, and it is ultimately an important part of moving past the sadness. Crippling grief will continue to be just that until we face it.
4) Stick to your routine
Sticking to a routine, even if you are feeling down, can prevent you from getting stuck. In many cases, people allow grief to impair their daily life to the point where they are totally unable to function. Experiencing sadness is not inherently unhealthy, but it can be when you let it consume you. Following your routine will allow you to keep moving forward and retain functionality through the grieving process. You are allowed to be sad, but putting your life on halt to do so can make it more difficult to get back on track.
5) Accept the uncontrollable
Some things are out of our hands, so we have no choice but to accept them. Mulling over what we could have done differently or how to change the present is not going to help us through the grieving process. On the contrary, it will hinder our ability to grieve and move forward. With something as final as death, where we are incapable of bringing the person back, there is no point trying to change the situation. Accepting the fact that some things are out of our control is the first step to accepting the uncontrollable.
6) Find the value
In almost every event, there is some value that we can draw from it. when a loved one passes away, for example, it can help us appreciate the finite time that we have on earth. We can learn to celebrate life and live it to the fullest. It is easy to get caught up on the negative aspects of an event, but locating the positive value behind it can help with the grieving process. It provides a sort of light at the end of the tunnel.
7) See a counselor or therapist
If you have been grieving for an extended amount of time, months or years on end, and have not felt any improvement, then you may want to seek out help from a counselor or therapist. They are trained to help people work through their feelings, especially when it comes to sadness and grief. There is no shame in reaching out for help when you need it. While you might always feel sad about a certain event, that should never stand in the way of your personal fulfillment and happiness.
Have you recently dealt with grief? What strategies helped you overcome your situation? Let us know about your experiences.