How to Cope With Grief (1) - Facing Your Feelings

How to Cope With Grief (1) - Facing Your Feelings

Grief can be caused by a variety of factors, from the loss of a loved one or a pet to the loss of a cherished dream. Anyone can agree that coping with grief is a difficult and complicated process, and that there's no convenient timeline you can follow to truly "get over" your grief.

Still, if you manage your emotions to the best of your ability, get help and support, and remember to take care of yourself, you can slowly start to feel better.

1. Don't ignore your grief. One myth people may have about facing grief is that if you ignore your feelings or sweep them under the rug, that they will simply go away. Sure, you can go on with your life, go to work, and act like nothing happened, but in the long run, this is only going to delay your pain and make you drag out all of the sad, bitter, angry, or hurt feelings that are welling up somewhere inside you. So, the first thing you should do is admit that you're in terrible pain. Admit it to yourself, to your friends, and to your support network, and then take it from there.

2. Question yourself. Many times it is seen that the reason for grief is illogical, and irrational. For example some people grieve because of a habit of doing so as after when they are get over grief they feel better and triumphant. They even sometimes get addicted to this triumphant feeling after getting over their grief. So question yourself.....

  • Is this grief rational or logical? People sometimes grieve for something over which they have no control of, petty things, fake reasons, etc for example if a friend fails a test. Logically you have no control or influence over their friend's failure but still they will grief instead of supporting their friend in a productive way. Another example could be rejection in an interpersonal relationship, which is most of the time is complete nonsense. Remember, failure is a part of success.
  • Is this reaction productive? Ask yourself, the grief you are feeling, is it in anyway going to help me to get over the source for the grief? would it have a positive effect on my life? if yes, by all means grieve, but if no, aren't you being irrational and hard on yourself? You are feeling miserable which is not going to get you anywhere.
  • Can I do something about the grief? People sit there and grieve in a hope to get rescued and in the end it makes them even more sad and grievous. Instead of feeling miserable ask yourself; what can I do to fix it? if there is something which you can do about it, try to do it. However if there is nothing you can do to fix this, it would be irrational and you would be doing a huge disservice to yourself by feeling sad over which you have no control of.

3. Don't force yourself to be strong. Another thing people going through a great loss tell themselves is that they should put up a strong front. You may think that nobody wants to see you crying, looking sad, being barely able to take care of yourself, and just walking around like a sleepwalker, but it's okay to do that if that's really how you're feeling. If you have to stay strong for other friends or family members, then it can get tricky, but you can still admit that you're feeling weak if you're really devastated.

Of course you don't want to completely fall apart, and you may not have to. But don't try to act "tough" or like you've got it all under control when you know that's not the case.

4. Cry if you want to. There's no limit to how many tears a person can cry before they cease to be "productive." If you feel like crying, just get it all out of your system and cry again whenever you feel like it. Obviously, it's more convenient if you can cry mostly when you're not alone, and not fall victim to tears in public, but if you do, it's not the end of the world, and people will understand. Don't think that your tears are slowing you down or keeping you from moving forward.

5. Don't cry if you don't want to. Contrary to popular belief, not everybody experiences pain the same way -- and not through tears. You can feel a deep sadness without shedding a tear, even if the people around you might think it's "weird" that you're not expressing your feelings more openly. Everyone grieves differently, and don't force yourself to cry if that's not what you want to do.

6. Stop thinking about a timeline. Maybe you've heard that "grief only lasts a year" -- that doesn't sound so bad, right? Unfortunately, everyone has his or her own timeline when it comes to dealing with grief, and you shouldn't feel bad if you feel like months and months have gone by and you feel like you haven't made any "progress." It's not about progress -- it's about learning to face your feelings and seeing where they take you. People may have certain expectations for how you should be feeling at a certain point, but your own feelings should have nothing to do with what people want from you. The fact of the matter is, you'll never be able to fully "get over" your grief. You will be reminded of your loved one, even many years later, and that's perfectly normal. "Getting over" really means finding the best way to cope with your feelings so that you can move forward, which is different from "moving on."

7. Don't obsess over the five stages of grief. If you're grieving, then it's likely you've heard about how every person has to go through the five stages of grief -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, not everyone goes through all of these five stages before he or she finds peace, and not everyone goes through them in the same order, either. For example, you may feel depression first, followed by anger. If you are going through these stages, it can help to know that other people feel the same way, but don't think that you can't deal with your grief because you haven't "reached" all of the stages.

Source: wikiHow / How to Cope With Grief / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

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Saturday, 21 April 2018

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