How to Cope with Loss and Learn to Grieve

Many people have heard of the five stages of grief model.

However, this model is very basic, and doesn’t encompass all of the additional feelings that grief brings. It also implies that grief follows a concrete timeline.

If you’re dealing with loss, a model like this may seem helpful. However, it’s better to learn ways to grieve, rather than rely on a model or timeline to dictate your feelings.

Here are some ways you can learn to grieve and deal with your loss in a healthy way.

Build a Support Network

Loss can lead people to cut themselves off from their friend groups and turn to isolation. It’s not bad to spend time alone while grieving, but it’s also important to have a support system in place to help you work through your feelings.

Support groups are very beneficial, and help you connect with others who are going through similar experiences. They are great places to learn new coping mechanisms and explore your feelings in a safe space.

You shouldn’t feel pressured to jump right back into your normal routine after a loss, but you should be open to receiving support from the people who are close to you. They can bring stability and normalcy to you through your difficult time.

Recognize the Positive Feelings

A lot of people don’t realize that grief can often present itself through joy, rather than only sadness or anger. This can make the grieving process even more confusing.

Allow yourself to enjoy moments of peace and happiness when grieving. For example, when grieving the loss of a loved one, it’s perfectly okay to feel happy when reflecting on positive memories with them.

Learn to Grieve through Counseling

Not everyone is sure what it even means to grieve. We’re presented with scenes in movies of people screaming and crying, but not everyone grieves in that way. The way our society portrays loss and grief can make it hard for people to understand that everyone grieves differently.

Counselors can help people understand what grief means to them. Some counseling works best one-on-one.

On the other hand, families mourning the loss of the same person, for example, may benefit from counseling together. Others might find comfort in counseling sessions with strangers who are going through the same thing.

Take Care of Yourself Physically

People can often lose themselves in grief. We can often feel as though we’re drowning in our feelings when we grieve, which can be a very mentally draining experience. Mental exhaustion can have a direct impact on your physical health.

Trying your best to sleep regularly and eat well is important to grieving in a healthy way. If you’re struggling with this, seek out friends or family who can help you with meals or physical activities.

Accept the Need to Grieve

Not everyone can control when or where they grieve. Repressing grief is never healthy or conducive to healing. However, it is possible to set aside time to process the feelings associated with grief on your own terms.

If you grieve intentionally, you’ll feel less panic surrounding it. It’s also easier to understand and come to terms with what you’re feeling, and it’s often best accompanied by a task such as journaling.

Going through the Grieving Journey

Grief is not something that ends after a year or two. It is something that you can come to terms with and find ways to cope with, but it often is carried with us for the rest of our lives. It’s important to know how to healthily grieve, so we can continue to live our lives to the fullest, despite a loss.

For more articles like this, check out the rest of our website, or contact us to learn more about counseling options.