Grief comes in many forms and can be the result of a variety of reasons. No two people can ever grieve the exact same way, since there is no formula or guideline on how to process emotions. No matter how you may express your grief, it is an intense emotion that can bring about feelings of loneliness, guilt, depression, or fear among many others.
It is easy to fall into a cycle of negative emotions that you think you may never be able to break out of. The feeling of grief can become so intense that, if you do not make the effort to overcome it, grief can be difficult to get over.
There are tons of books out there on how important habits are, and how successful people form habits for greatness. What you may not know, however, is that these habits can actually help you process your grief after the loss of a loved one!
For those that are looking for ways to deal with grief effectively, we have prepared the seven habits that will make you grieve in a healthy and effective way.
First Habit: Go at your own pace.
The most important thing to remember is that you can not rush your healing. I know that most of us like to work on a timeline, and you have probably asked yourself how long you will feel grief before it goes away. You may even begin to feel frustrated because you will feel as if you are not progressing, and it can get hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
However, grief is not on a timeline. There is no deadline as to when you should get over your feelings of loss and heartache. If you start rushing yourself to acceptance and moving on, you may find yourself taking longer than you need to.
Compared to physical illnesses, grief can not be compartmentalized in a 3-step-process. Getting an illness means you get sick, you get treatment or medicine, then you get better. However, dealing with pain and loss doesn’t work in a linear manner.
This is why it is important to not compare your healing process with others. You have your own pace to follow, and it is important to understand that grief comes and goes. You can feel perfectly fine one day, only to be worn down by it again the next day.
Do not be disappointed with yourself when you feel your grief even when you thought you were already fine. The only piece of comfort you need to remember is that you will learn to manage your grief. Little by little, it will be better.
Second Habit: Allow yourself to feel.
Have you ever had people tell you to just stay strong and move on in the face of difficulty? Well, we are here to tell you that that advice is wrong. It is important that you allow yourself to feel all the pain, loss, sadness, or whatever it is that you feel. Rather than forcing it down and refusing to accept your feelings, it is important that you give yourself permission to grieve.
Grief is not something you get past. It is something you work through. It may feel uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and unpleasant, but it is necessary. The only way you can grieve effectively is by giving yourself the time and space to feel everything that you need to.
Third Habit: Look for answers.
The reason that a lot of people find it difficult to move on is because they do not have the information they need. Losing a loved one is a whole new territory that can give you more questions than answers. This is why we recommend that you look for information to guide you through your bereavement process.
An example of this is if you lost someone through an illness, it may help to seek any books or articles from people who have gone through the same thing. While it is true that no one can have the same experience as you, it may help to find people that have gone through something similar. The experiences and insight of others can be helpful in this trying time.
Information can be extremely empowering. It can make you feel less alone, as well as guide you as you go through your own grieving experience.
Fourth Habit: Do not make rash decisions.
It can get tempting to make a huge change in your life after losing a loved one. It may be because the house you live in reminds you too much of the departed, or anything similar, but it is important that you keep a leveled head throughout this time.
Grief has the tendency to cloud your mind and muddle up your decisions. You may become in danger of being led by your emotions rather than your rational mind, and you will likely regret your decisions down the road.
Give yourself at least a year before making any big decisions. You may find that after one year, your emotions will have settled down which will give you the clear head and heart to make wise decisions.
If you truly need to make big decisions, however, you may ask for advice from professionals or a trusted confidant. Just make sure that the latter is someone who has a clear head and can decide on what is best for you in the long run.
Fifth Habit: Seek support from others.
Grief may be a personal thing that you will go through, but it does not necessarily mean that you need to go through it alone. Just knowing that your friends and family members are there to give you the support you need when you need it is already a great thing. However, you may consider joining support groups.
Support groups are great because they are tailor-made for those who are experiencing loss as well. This is because, sometimes, our loved ones may not always fully understand what we are going through, and they may say the wrong things sometimes. However, a support group will be able to connect and relate with you on whatever it is you are going through. You are going to be reminded that you are not alone.
Sixth Habit: Don’t forget to look after your health.
Loss takes a toll on your body as well. Your immune system can become weak if you skip meals or stay up too late, which can later on lead to illnesses. This is why it is important that after you let yourself have a few minutes to disconnect from the world, you then look after your health. It does not even mean that you need to start exercising; You just need to become mindful to not miss meals, and take any medication that you will need.
Looking after your health can improve your overall sense of well-being. You can take baby steps to self-care, as long as you are moving forward.
Seventh Habit: Do not be afraid to ask for help.
There is no shame in seeking professional help if it gets too overwhelming. The bravest act you can do during this time is admitting that you need assistance, and getting it. This is particularly true if the pain and feelings of loss and loneliness become too overbearing and unbearable. A professional may be able to help you work through your emotions in a healthy manner.
Instead of toughening up and trying to overcome everything yourself, you may find that you will benefit more from seeking a skilled counselor to manage your grief. It will not be a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that you are determined to overcome grief in a healthy manner.
People go through grief in a variety of ways, and there is no magic pill that can make everyone feel better. However, it is important that you always remember that grief will end and you will go on to live a happy and fulfilled life.