How to Overcome Grief and Move Toward Healing

Pyramid Online Counseling      Grief & Loss  
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Woman is packing things of her dead husband

The emotion of grief can be felt whenever there is a significant loss in a person’s life. That gut-wrenching feeling can be felt whether you experience the death of a loved one, divorce or a breakup, lose your job or go through a change in health.

Regardless of the reason, the sorrow that follows a loss can be overwhelming and difficult to manage. When you’re in the midst of grief it can feel like no one understands what you’re going through. While it’s true that no one has your exact experience, there are some common ways that many have found effective when learning how to overcome grief.

The stages of grief & loss

In the late 60s, psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross developed her theory of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Learning about the manifestations and purpose of these stages can help explain how to overcome loss. While each person struggles differently and the stages are by no means a linear experience, knowing some feelings you might encounter can make the journey easier.

Once you know the stages of grief, you’ll have a much easier time figuring out how to overcome loss. Listed below are the best ways to manage these feelings and find healing after hardship.

Attend a memorial service

Many people feel that being able to attend a funeral, wake, burial service, celebration of life or other memorial service can provide much needed closure. These events offer a setting for healing when you’re learning how to overcome loss. If a casket or ashes are present it allows for the opportunity to say goodbye, and tears can flow freely. While grieving in public generally feels abnormal, expressions of sorrow are commonplace at these events.

Attending a memorial service can greatly help in the denial stage.

Join a support group

Whatever trial led you to feelings of loss, there are bound to be others with the same experience who can offer their companionship. Grief groups are common for supporting those who have lost loved ones, and specific groups cater to unique situations (for those who have lost children or lost a loved one to overdose, for example).

Joining a support group can offer you a healthy and safe outlet for your emotions, rather than letting the anger stage get the best of you.

Share happy memories

One of the best ways to move forward after a loss is to reminisce on fond memories. Sharing memories out loud with friends and family is a healthy way to process a loss, and your stories could help others find peace, too. When close company isn’t present to share with, journaling or simply thinking over happy moments can ease the pain.

Sharing happy memories can help you bear through the bargaining stage of grief.

Make time for painful feelings

All too often people struggle to move on from the stages of grieving because they do not allow themselves the necessary time to heal before rushing back into the hustle and bustle of their normal lives. Feelings of loss may take a powerful toll on you for weeks or months, inhibiting our focus, our mood and our joy. When you give yourself a daily chance to mourn, you’ll find healing much faster. Try scheduling half an hour to look through old pictures, journal or have a good cry.

Making time to sit in your emotions can help in the depression phase. Releasing these emotions now will prevent you from bottling them up and dealing with them later.

Visit a mental health counselor

Mourning the loss of a loved one looks different for everyone, and sometimes it can feel like everyone else has already moved on and you’re dealing with the pain alone. If you need a listening ear as you process your emotions, or someone to ask the right question in a time of vulnerability, counseling can help. While grief can sometimes be managed with short-term intervention, starting counseling now could also be a gateway to getting support for other stresses in your life.

Getting help from a counselor can help you to journey into the stage of acceptance, where you acknowledge the loss but move forward with hope.

When to get help

Any experience of grief is a valid reason to get professional help. While many people process and cope through loss on their own, having companionship on your journey can make the road smoother. While anyone can benefit from grief counseling, some instances require more intensive intervention. If you are struggling to resume your day-to-day life due to overwhelming feelings of sadness, don’t wait to get the help you need.

If feelings of grief have kept you from living a full and fun life, contact Pyramid Online Counseling for help. With virtual counseling you can access the support you need from the comfort of your home. Call today at 833-525-3077.

How Can I Manage Feelings of Grief and Loss?

Pyramid Online Counseling      Grief & Loss  
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Managing feelings of grief and loss

Grieving is a normal process, one without a template or a timeline. There’s no one way that we grieve, no one way that we experience and cope with feelings of loss. Those emotions might be fleeting, recurring or constant. Loss, and the grief that ensues, is a personal reaction to an event; grief is an integral part of the healing process, and often requires the support of friends or family members.

Handling grief means first understanding where it comes from. A great many factors may influence the nature, duration and intensity of the loss and grief you feel, including personal religious or spiritual beliefs, behavioral health issues, personal disposition, disabilities, familial traditions and more. As a result, it’s important that before you take the time you need to address feelings or loss or grief, you first identify their source, and the factors in your own life that might be contributing to everything you’re experiencing.

We’ve taken the time to identify 4 ways you can address the feelings or loss or grief you’re experiencing in your own life.

1. Connect with the help you need.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make during your grieving process is making the assumption that you can handle the process entirely on your own. Isolation is your own worst enemy during this time. Instead, look to surround yourself with the help you need when you’re experiencing sustained feelings or grief or loss. Help from licensed counselors and therapists can be transformative during this stage of life.

Rather than seek to minimize your experiences or undersell what you’ve gone through, therapists will help guide you through all of the appropriate steps that grief allows, ultimately helping you return to your daily routine while embracing the positive benefits of a normative, healing grief and loss process.

Connect today with a licensed online counselor, who can help you address specific feelings of loss and/or grief. Browse through counselor profiles today, to find the right provider to help you navigate this difficult time.

2. Practice a daily routine.

Grief can often derail our sense of routine. And while we absolutely need to dedicate time during our day to the grieving process – much of grief is healthy, natural and necessary – excessive grief or misplaced grief can easily compromise productivity and ultimately self-confidence in our own identity.

That’s why maintaining a daily routine amid feelings of grief and loss is so critically important to overall health and wellness. Look to keep your daily routine as regular as possible, and don’t be afraid to schedule life’s simplest events – wake up time, meals, daily activities and bedtime – with consistency. Doing so will not only help you frame your daily tasks, it will also help you better identify the purpose for your day’s tasks, from taking a walk (mental clarity) to washing the dishes (cleanliness) to speaking with family members (appropriate consolation).

3. Surround yourself with friends and family members who understand and/or empathize with your emotions.

Taking the time to surround yourself with individuals who truly understand what you’re going through is also so important whenever you’re experiencing loss or grief. If you’ve lost a family member, neighbor or pet, individuals with shared relationships with that person or animal will help you benefit from shared experience. Seek out friends or family members who have experienced similar loss or sadness, and ask them not only for their love but for their insight, into how they best addressed their emotions during that difficult time.

Surrounding yourself with family members and friends also means that it’s easier to be yourself during this time. You won’t need to “put on a mask” around the people who love you the most. There’s no need to pretend or to undersell the experience. Friends and family members you love will help you prioritize your own grieving process, especially if they also share in your sadness or loss.

4. Give yourself permission to grieve and feel loss.

Often a forgotten permission when we experience grief and loss, letting yourself actually grieve is critical to any healing that is to take place. We need to give ourselves permission to grieve, to feel loss, to let those emotions hit close to home. We often need to give ourselves permission to cry, to fully embrace that loss and experience the emotions for what they are.

Giving yourself permission to grieve also means allowing others to see you grieving. Not only will those promote intimacy between any individuals sharing in your grief, it will also help others to give themselves the same permission.

How to best address grief and loss

At any age, for a wide variety of reasons, we experience feelings of grief and loss. And it’s critical that when we experience these emotions that we understand how to properly deal with them. Our counselors don’t impose timelines or hold you to unrealistic expectations; rather, through mindfulness and appropriate behavioral therapy we help you appropriately respond to grief. Grieving and experiencing loss always require support from friends and family but also from licensed therapists who understand what you’re experiencing and how to professionally help. Schedule your appointment with one of our certified Pyramid Online counselors today, and learn to take back a productive, fulfilling life.