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Ways to Cope with Grief and Loss

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Mehak Arora 91% (70 ratings)
MPhil Clinical Psychology, Masters in Psychology
Psychologist, Gurgaon  •  8 years experience
Ways to Cope with Grief and Loss

Every person faces ups and downs in life, the difference lies in how we deal with the low points of our life. Losing someone you love is probably the saddest experience anyone can go through. Our natural reaction to such a loss is grief. The more significant the loss; the more intense your grief will be. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and everyone grieves in a different way.

However, here are a few healthy ways you can cope with your loss to move on with your life.

1. Build a support system: When you are grieving, you may feel that nobody understands how you feel and would want to isolate yourself. Do not allow yourself to withdraw into a shell and instead build a support system of friends and family who you trust. You could also visit a counselor who is trained to deal with such situations. Joining a support group can also help.

2. Face your grief: Not allowing yourself to grieve can do more harm than good. You can suppress your grief for a short time but you cannot avoid it forever. The longer you avoid facing it, the more difficult it will be. Suppressing grief can also lead to a number of health problems such as depression, substance abuse and anxiety.

3. Look after your health: When grieving for the loss of a loved one, you may not feel hungry and may want to simply lie in bed all day. But you must instead get out, eat right and exercise regularly. When the body is healthy, you not only feel better physically but also emotionally. Avoid turning to alcohol and drugs to lift your mood.

4. Express yourself: Bottling up your emotions is never a good idea. However, sometimes talking about how you feel can be difficult. In such situations, look for alternate means of expressing yourself. For examples, you could try painting or start a scrapbook.

5. Look out for grief triggers: What makes coping with the loss of a loved one difficult is the fact that you share a number of life events with them. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and festive occasions can bring back memories of the person and overwhelm you. To successfully heal, you must plan ahead for events like this that will trigger grief. Do not allow yourself to be alone at such times.

6. Seek professional help: Sometimes, when you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, you find yourself sinking into depression or find it difficult to resume your normal lifestyle. It is a good idea to consult a mental health practitioner or counselor.

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