Therapy Threads Offers Coping Methods and Advice on Grief
What is grief?
Grief is hard to define as it covers many different forms of loss and emotions. A period of mourning can come from the loss of a loved one, the loss of a part of yourself or loss from something else entirely. Grief doesn’t just occur after a loss, it can come before, in what psychologists have called “anticipatory grief.” It’s a confusing state of emotions. Often you can be crying one minute, arguing the next, sleeping a lot or keeping busy with a task. This rollercoaster of emotions often leaves people wondering whether or not they’re wrong for feeling what they do.
When a Loss Feels Like a Death
A common misconception is that grief is reserved for death. However, throughout our lives, we suffer many emotional traumas that feel as devastating as death. Divorce, loss of safety after a trauma, breakups, loss of a pet, rape, children leaving for college, loss of financial security, loss of identity and more can all bring about grief. According to Kenneth J. Doka’s Grief is a Journey, “Grief is not always about death, but it is always about attachment and separation… you can grieve the loss of anything, anywhere or anyone to whom you had become attached.”
Stages of Grief
An easy way is to remember the stages is DABDA. It doesn't always have to go in order, it can skip around, be in multiple stages at once, and cycle through multiple times. Grief is not cookie cutter and looks different for everyone, with different time lengths, too.
D - Denial, or shock initially.
A - Anger, at the world, a specific person or group of people, loved ones, at God, or even ourselves.
B - Bargaining, thinking "what if this", "what if that"... the what if game can drive us crazy.
D - Depression, or feelings of sadness and loss of interest.
A - Acceptance, which must be a positive acceptance, not a grudging acceptance.
Throughout the grieving process, it’s extremely important to practice self-care and self-love. The conscious effort of taking care of yourself is a key to recovery. The basic necessities from getting enough sleep to drinking water and going through your normal grooming rituals can improve your everyday wellbeing. By maintaining your physical needs, you’ll allow yourself to better take care of your own emotional needs.
Humans are actually wired for grief. While we all deal with sadness and loss, we’re wired to be able to continue on living. According to George Bonanno in The Other Side of Sadness, "The good news is that for most of us, grief is not overwhelming or unending. As frightening as the pain of loss can be, most of us are resilient. Some of us cope so effectively, in fact, we hardly seem to miss a beat in our day-to-day lives… above all, it’s a human experience. It’s something we are wired for, and it is certainly not meant to overwhelm us. Rather, our reactions to grief seem designed to help us accept and accommodate losses relatively quickly so that we can continue to live productive lives." Remember that even when you feel completely hopeless, you were designed to persevere.
Strategies for Coping
Recognize that all the feelings you have are normal. Allow yourself to cry or be numb, in rage or despair. Whatever you are feeling, or not feeling, is okay. We must feel our feelings to grieve, and work through them instead of numbing ourselves and pushing our feelings away. Sometimes it's so painful, we may need professional help or a support group to get through and cope with our feelings. Accept the love and help that others try to give you in this time. Tell people exactly what you need from them so they aren’t left guessing as to how to help. Consider an outlet for your emotions, such as journaling or meditation. Move at your own pace, and seek the help of a professional if you’re concerned.
Aromatherapy can be a great comfort for living with grief. The warming, comforting scents can be therapeutic with grief. It can give the mind peace. Essential oils act as an efficient way to promote health in body, mind and spirit. The oils can be diffused in a room, placed on clothing or jewelry or used in baths and perfume.
Remember that grief is unique to everyone, it takes time and you can be resilient. To shop the aromatherapy scarves, visit http://bit.ly/2px9IOn.