Grief is an experience we will all have in our personal lives, yet its one of the least talked about subjects. Well avoid no more! Join us for a real conversation about culture, mourning and our coping mechanisms (good bad and ugly) when dealing with grief.
The Grieving Process
The Grieving Process is an ESSENTIAL mechanism for maintaining a healthy mind and body.
- 5 Stages of Grief
- Shock and/or Denial
- Pain and Guilt
- Anger and Bargaining
- Depression and Loneliness
Unaddressed trauma, such as grief, can manifest in an endless list of physical and mental abnormalities (i.e. memory loss, panic attacks, anxiety, and cognitive & behavioural changes)
NOTE: Everyone experiences grief differently and not everyone will experience grief in this order, BUT healthy grieving requires allowing yourself to feel the emotions you are experiencing and accepting it.
Healthy Coping Strategies ???
Crying: crying is the physical expression of releasing emotional pain. In addition to being self-soothing, shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins (feel-good chemicals). In this way, crying can help reduce both physical and emotional pain and promote a sense of well-being
Journaling: writing out our emotions allows us to release our pain and be more aware of how we’re feeling
Art-Therapy: channel our feelings into creating art (music/dance/painting/photography/videos/creative writing, etc) like Drake, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeren, Taylor Swift, and everybody else!
Practice deep breathing exercises, seriously!
TEDxTalks Breathe to Heal
Beginners Guide to Breathwork
BE PRESENT: learn to accept that we cannot go back in the past and recognize that this is a PHASE of our life. We are not our negative emotions, it is something we are EXPERIENCING and can get through.
Reflect on the positive memories we have of that person and take comfort in knowing that those can never be taken away from you
Talk to Someone: be open to discussing what you’re feeling with people who you know care about you, or who might understand your experience
Take a moment to feel gratitude: this can be hard but it’s important to “count your blessings” and acknowledge what you’re grateful for after a tragedy, even if it’s just looking at smiling baby or taking a walk
Again, there are so many ways of coping and what may work for one person may not work for another. As long as you are allowing yourself to feel the emotions you are experiencing and learn how to move on with your life in a healthy way, then you are coping.
Negative Coping Strategies
(What to look out for )
- Bottling up your emotions
- Self-harm (engaging in cutting yourself, burning yourself, self-inflicting any type of injury)
- Drug use (unresolved trauma + constant avoidance of emotions + unhelpful ways of
coping can create a drug dependency and put you in a potentially life-threatening situation)
- Suicide: over time by engaging in these unhelpful ways of coping you can start to feel suicidal
If you identify with any items on this list or experiencing challenges to your mood / mental health, know you have options!