Grief is one of the most painful emotions you’ll ever feel. Loss, be it the lives of loved ones or of an important relationship or job, is inevitable. Therefore, grief is unavoidable. Though grief in and of itself is healthy and natural, you can easily find yourself dealing with grief in ways that are unhealthy and damaging to the healing process. If you find yourself grieving, know that there are healthy ways to deal with the pain. Here are some healthy ways to handle this powerful emotion.
1. Take Time to Fully Experience Grief
Too often it’s easy to bury grief deep down inside yourself instead of dealing with it head on. You may find it too painful to dwell on your loss and instead try to carry on like everything is normal. Taking time to grieve is the first healthy step in the healing process. Allow yourself to cry uncontrollably. Look at photos of the person you’ve lost and allow yourself to feel immense pain. Take time to acknowledge that life has changed and moving on isn’t going to be easy. Masking or burying grief too early will only make the healing process more challenging when emotions resurface months or years down the road.
2. Find a Strong Support System
Dealing with grief alone can be an incredibly lonely experience. Find friends, family or a trusted professional to listen to you. Letting the pain out is important, and sometimes all you need is someone to listen to you or hold you while you cry. There is no shame in seeking professional help if you’re having trouble overcoming your grief. Having support from either personal or professional contacts will help you overcome the pain and heal.
3. Spend Time with Animals
Animals are wonderful companions in your darkest hours. They’re quiet nurturers who can bring comfort during times of immense pain. If you own a pet, spending time cuddling with them will make you feel better. You’ll automatically have to deal with your grief just so you can take care of them properly. If you don’t have pets, see if you can spend time with a friend or family member’s dog or cat. Taking a dog for a walk and breathing some fresh air will help you feel alive.
4. Start a Project
Channeling your energy and emotions into a project is a healthy way to deal with grief. Writing, painting and knitting are just a few ways that you can work your feelings into a physical object. Projects allow you to express your pain and let your feelings out.
When you’ve experienced loss, it can be difficult finding a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Helping others in need is a great way to not only to make an impact in the lives of others, but also to help you see things in a positive light again. When you feel ready to start dealing with your grief head on, look to help others.
Whatever you do, don’t bottle grief up. Take time to mourn, but also recognize that you still need to find enjoyment in life. Don’t force the process; take time to heal.