When we lose someone or something we love, the fall out can have long lasting effects. Grief can impact people in their everyday lives and shake them to the core. Whether it is a death in your family, a breakup of a relationship, losing a pet, or stability, grief impacts everyone differently. Unfortunately, loss is an inevitable part of life and everyone will have to face it at some point. Bereavement is traditionally linked to death after the loss of a loved one but can be experienced during loss of other significant parts of your life.
The challenges of grief
The difficult thing about grief, is that everyone will have to face it and there is no right way, or time limit to grieving. Losing someone you love can shake your foundations and challenge your views of the world. The feeling of instability can be amplified if the loss was unexpected, sudden, or under traumatising circumstances.
How can grief affect us?
Grief is one of the strongest emotions and can impact a person’s life in several ways. Grief can cause physical pain and discomfort, including sharp pains or tightness in the chest and stomach areas. Emotions can also fluctuate drastically, feeling unstable and leaving the person exhausted. Grief can also impact a person’s mental functions including disassociation, having negative thoughts, denial, or anger. All these draining aspects can trickle into your behaviour in ways such as altering your sleep cycles, reducing ability to concentrate, or changing your appetite. All these reactions to grief are normal, and you need to remember to be kind to yourself and to heal at your own rate. If however, these feelings and thoughts persist, you might want to consider a counsellor to help process through the grief and loss before it turns into depression
Different Types of Grief
Doctors typically classify grief under two categories of acute and persistent. Majority of people experience acute grief which happens in the first six to twelve months of a traumatic events. Acute grief resolves over that time. Persistent grief, however, is the grief experienced by people who continues on after this period of time. Both types of grief can lead to a range of emotional issues including depression, trouble sleeping, bitterness, anxiety, and physical aches and pains.
How does Grief counselling work?
The benefit of counselling over talking to friends and family, is alleviating the fear of burdening others with your pain. Grieving takes everyone a different amount of time and feeling as if you should feel better or okay may add guilt in addition to the struggles of loss. A counsellor will help provide a safe space to work through your emotions, be a safe space to listen, and help provide you with tools to cope with grief. A healthy diet, sleeping schedules, frequent activity, staying connected with friends, are all aspects that your counsellor will help you keep tabs on.
If you are suffering from Grief
You should consider watching this Tedx talk about Grief. How we do not ‘move on’ from grief, we move forward with it.