Maria Connolly, LPC

How to Deal with Grief By Restoring Balance in Your Body and Emotions

We need to know how to deal with grief for it’s a painful, yet healthy, part of life. If we let grief do its job, we will learn from it and then let it go. “There is no grief like the grief that does not speak.” ~ Henry Wordsworth

The world has been dealing with grief, even before we were struck by the COVID-19 pandemic. But consuming a steady diet of the negative is not a healthy way to deal with grief. It will have a detrimental affect on our health — physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. That’s why many people choose to limit their exposure to bad news and intentionally calm their minds.

However, we can’t ignore the impact this pandemic has had on our lives. We are forced to address how to deal with grief, because it’s affecting each of us. Besides losing loved ones to coronavirus, we’re grieving our lack of freedom, our old normal and being able to connect with friends and family. We thrive on touch, so we’re grieving our lack of social interactions. We’re grieving that our peace, comfort, and happiness could be taken from us as we lose a job we love and an income we rely on.

Grief is a healthy human emotion that we need to make peace with so it can do its job and then let us go on living fully despite our loss. Not that we will forget, but it will release its hold on us so that we’re not stuck in time.

Grief, as all emotions, manifests itself within. It’s not something people can see; what they see is how our body is reacting to it. We cannot and should not judge another person’s level of grief according to what we feel, nor judge ourselves according to how others feel; for we each feel it and relate to it differently. Compassion is the key to dealing with grief in ourselves and others.

How to deal with grief

It’s only through acknowledging and expressing our grief that we can release it and let it go. When grief first comes to you, be compassionate with yourself and allow yourself space and time to fully experience the emotions. No one has the right to tell you that you’re crying too much, or it’s time to get over it.

It’s important that you mindfully observe all that the emotions associated with grief are teaching you about yourself now. Yes, acknowledging them will be painful. This pain reminds you that you have beautiful qualities, like caring and love, which are touched by this suffering; and you can’t have loss unless you have experienced something beautiful. Cherish your memories. You were deserving of that love, friendship, and success. In due time, you will be able to reflect on where you are in life and how you can use your experience to help others.

While it may feel like you’re staying safe by repressing it, over the long term unresolved grief will cause damage, because it can cause internal conflict and unwanted physical symptoms.

Our bodies help us experience the world, but it’s only one aspect of how we experience our existence. Consider how your lungs function physically. They take in clean air and expelling harmful carbon dioxide, which is the foundation of the cycle of life — take in the new, expel the old.

In grief, we breathe more shallowly and in jagged gasps. The cycle of life is thrown off balance. This is why practicing a breathing exercise daily is so vital. And while you breathe deeply remember a happy time with whom or what you’ve lost. It will return your breathing and emotions back to a healthy balance.

Deep breathing provides more oxygen for your cells to function at their peak and also provides you with a physical reminder that you stay in balance when you expel or release tension, anxiety, stress, and grief. When you come to terms with emotional upheaval and let it go, you can make room for and breathe in new, positive emotions, like gratitude, kindness, and forgiveness.

It’s not only the lungs that expel waste from our bodies. Our intestines and sweat glands do, too. So eating nutritiously and exercising until you sweat are ways of releasing toxins and harmful emotions!

Even if you’re deeply struggling with grief, I encourage you to make an extra effort to keep in touch with your loved ones. Don’t try to go it alone. If you’d like to work on releasing a deep-seated internal conflict or want more information on how to deal with grief, so that you can live life fully, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation by phone or via Skype. You’ll discover new skills for navigating through these complex times. 

Balance, emotions, Mental Health


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