Grief is a natural reaction to losing an important person or thing. You may feel all kinds of emotions like you are going crazy! This might include sadness or loneliness. And you could experience it for many reasons. Could be the death of a loved one, a relationship ended, or you lost your job. Other life changes, like chronic sickness or a move to a new home, can also lead to grief.
Everyone grieves differently. But if you understand your emotions, take care of yourself, keep healthy habits, and seek support, you can heal.
The death of one we love leaves us feeling overwhelmed and our bodies react in many ways to that out-of-control feeling. You may feel like you’re “losing it” and wonder if your reaction is normal. Chances are it is. If you are concerned, reach out to your doctor, counselor, or a trusted friend.
Bodily Reactions to Grieving
These are some of the ways our bodies react to loss and mourning:
- Chest pains or heart problems
- Dry mouth
- Empty feeling in the stomach
- Feeling of “something stuck in my throat”
- Inability to sleep
- Sleeping all the time
- Loss of sexual desire or having overly active sexual desire
- Loss of weight or weight gain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased allergic reactions
- Oversensitivity to noise
- Purposeless activity
- Shortness of breath
- Uncontrollable sighing and sobbing
- Muscle weakness
- Various gastrointestinal symptoms: constipation, diarrhea, or excessing gas
When you’re grieving, you could be tempted to try to numb your feelings with drugs, alcohol, food, or even more work. But be careful. These are temporary and probably unhealthy escapes that won’t make you heal faster or get better in the long run. Actually, they can lead to addiction, anxiety, depression, or even an emotional breakdown.
Instead of taking that route, why not try these things to help you come to terms with your loss and begin to heal:
Give yourself time. Acknowledge your feelings and know that grieving is a process.
Talk to others. Spend time with friends and family. Don’t isolate yourself.
Take care of yourself. Regularly exercise, eat healthily, and get enough sleep to stay healthy and energized.
Return to your hobbies. Take up activities that bring you joy.
Join a support group. Speak with others who are also grieving. It can help you feel more connected.