Grief, loss and bereavement can take many forms. You may lose a job, go through a relationship break up, or someone you care about may have passed away. Grief is our natural response to loss. Experiencing grief is hard, and you will often need help from friends, family or mental health professionals, to work through it.
Impact of grief
Grief affects people in a variety of ways and no two responses will be the same. You may feel deep sadness, anxiety, shock, denial, and hopelessness. You may also experience a number of physical health problems such as headaches, trouble sleeping and loss of appetite. Often the more significant the loss, the longer and harder the grieving period will be.
Coping with grief
For any period of grieving, it’s important to remember the grief you feel will become more manageable over time. If you work towards acknowledging and addressing your grief, you can begin to look for the positives that will form the foundations of the next phase of your life.
If not addressed, long term grief can cause ongoing mental and physical health problems, such as depression, and anxiety, or alcohol and drug dependency.
Below are some ways to cope with loss and work through your grief:
- There is no ‘right way’ to grieve: Take the time you need, and don’t let people tell you “you should be over it by now”.
- Don’t take on the blame: Seeing any loss, be it a break-up or job loss, as your fault is not helpful, and can make you feel worse. Focus on what’s next, rather than dwelling on the past.
- Stay socially active: Social contact is important, particularly if you’ve lost a loved one. Catch up with old friends and establish ongoing support networks.
- Look after yourself physically: Try not to use alcohol or drugs to numb the pain. Be active – exercising has a range of benefits and can help you shift your focus away from ruminating on your grief.
- Talk about it: Help from others is really important when going through any grieving process. Share your emotions with a friend, counsellor or your GP.
If you’re struggling with grief, loss or bereavement call MindHealth on 1300 029 131 or access online counselling and speak to one of our experienced counsellors.
MindHealth is a free professional counselling service operating between 7am and 9pm Monday to Saturday for people 15 years and older living or working in the Hunter New England and Central Coast regions.
Get support now by selecting one of our counselling options below.
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