Grief can appear in many different ways based on different situations and people, contrary to the common belief that death is its only form. Whether it be the loss of a job, a home, or one’s health, grief brings about intense and confusing emotions that can be extremely difficult to control and let go of.
The grieving process occurs in phases that can vary from person to person, but it can be a long process that takes time and support. It can make you lose focus and touch with reality, it can bring about feelings of anger, worry, and anxiousness, and can leave you feeling isolated and overwhelmed.
There are healthy and unhealthy ways to grieve, but it is important to recognize them and work towards a process that will bring about positivity. Below are five examples of ways that the grief process can be unhealthy.
When someone experiencing grief is not one to express their emotions, there is a good chance that they will try to avoid the grief and not want to face their emotions for a long period of time. They will make efforts to constantly stay busy, over-work, and avoid different places that may trigger emotions in order to try and cope and forget about what is going on.
Even if it takes a while, it is important to eventually sit down with your thoughts, feelings, and tough emotions and understand that what you are going through is a process and is normal. This way, you can understand your feelings and eventually heal rather than forcing them to not resurface.
If the loss occurred very unexpectedly or there are other things going on during the time of loss, you may feel confused and in denial about the event. You may feel like your life is in slow motion but everything around you is moving very fast, and you may not know how to change the process.
You may feel exhausted all the time and notice yourself sleeping for long periods of time, but you will not understand why and will not feel those deep intense emotions for a very long time.
When they do arise, it may feel uncomfortable and delayed because you may not want to talk to loved ones for support since it happened so long ago. However, it is important to understand that your support system will be there for you no matter what and it is okay to grieve later than others.
Exaggerated grief is the feeling where one emotion is extremely intensified for a prolonged period of time, and this can potentially lead to serious mental and emotional disorders. For example, if during the process of grieving, you feel a constant state of anger and depression that lasts for an extremely long time, you may feel stuck and feel as if the grief process is not going anywhere. If this occurs, it is important to speak with a medical professional as it will start impacting your productivity and motivation in life.
Numbing the pain, you may be feeling throughout the grief process by refusing to acknowledge it, choosing to use substances, or not reacting to situations and memories that may come up can be very negative and detrimental to the grieving process. Sitting down with your emotions and recognizing them is a great way to reverse this and find the ability to reach out to others for support rather than keeping things bottled up.
Distorted grief occurs when you find yourself very hostile and angry at yourself and those around you, even if they are experiencing the same feelings as you. You may feel like you are going crazy without explanation, and these feelings may seem atypical.
In order to overcome these feelings, it is important to speak with a therapist or other medical professional to talk through the stages of the grieving process that can help you.
Here are additional ways grief can remain unhealed below
How are sleep and dreams connected to all of this?
Sleep and dreams are a gateway to other states of consciousness and wellness. In dreams, our soul calls us. If we choose to pay attention, this is where we can spark or elevate our spiritual awakening and overall health. We can connect to a greater place of knowledge than we do in waking life alone. The ego takes a back seat and our higher self speaks from a place of truth via symbols, whether you remember or not.
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