4 Ways To Process Grief Holistically

processing grief

Grief is our way of responding to loss and there is no wrong or right way to do it. Grief is most commonly associated with the emotional suffering a person feels when they lose a loved one. The response to grief unveils in many ways such as shock, guilt, sadness, and disbelief.

Despite the initial overwhelm that comes with grief, there are holistic ways to help cope with the loss of someone you love.

Here are four holistic ways to help you positively cope with grief:

1. Exercise

Exercise helps to produce endorphins which are chemicals in the brain that ease pain and improve your ability to sleep. They are also proven to improve overall mood and disposition. For someone who is grieving, exercise can provide mental relief whether you socially exercise (with friends) or choose workout alone. The focus on exercise provides time to reflect on your loss while taking you away from depression-consuming activities such as sitting in front of a television or hiding away in your bedroom.

2. Meditation

Trying to meditate while grieving can be difficult as your mind focuses on your loss. However, with practice, meditation can help to relieve muscle tension, while strengthening mental resilience to help you manage stress and trauma that often overwhelms the griever.

During the grieving process, meditative practices that combine both breathing and physical strength and movement such as yoga, often work better, as the physical component helps you focus on movements as well as mindfulness.

3. Sleep

Just over a third of adults don’t get the recommended seven-plus hours of sleep each night. While grieving, it is very possible that you fall into this statistic as insomnia is a common symptom of loss. This is due to your mind being focused on your loss.

To improve sleep while grieving you can incorporate the other items on this list, all of which play roles in improved sleep. It’s also important to create an environment conducive to sleep, such as adding essential oils, adding soft music to your background, and using blackout curtains or an eye mask to ensure darkness.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for a hug

A fundamental human need is that of touch. Touch is our way of letting others know that you care, as well as being the recipient and knowing others care for you. Often, while grieving, we feel as if we don’t want to be a hindrance to others. However, at some time in our lives we will all grieve. So, don’t be afraid to ask for a hug, cuddle up with a loved one, or maybe even let your dog sleep with you. All of these will help nourish your need for comfort.

Grieving is difficult and we all respond to loss in different ways. Though, while trying to cope with loss remember that exercise, sleep, nutrition, and of course feeling love are all important ways to help you manage loss and overcome your grief.

– Krista Harper

Want to learn more about grief? Click here.

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