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.