Life Style

What are some Stages of Grief?

Regardless of whether a person’s grief results from the death of a loved one or from receiving a terminal diagnosis, grief is a powerful, occasionally overpowering emotion. Burdened with their sense of loss, they may experience numbness and disconnection from everyday life, making it difficult for them to perform their regular tasks. The normal response to loss is grief. Grief is a shared and individual experience. Grieving differs from person to person and is impacted by the type of loss. A few instances of loss are losing a loved one, ending a significant relationship, losing one’s work, suffering a theft, or being disabled and losing one’s independence.

Read More: What happens when grief is not accepted: Disfranchised grief

Symptoms of grief

Grief can have an impact on your mind, body, and soul.

1. Emotional symptoms

Emotions are frequently described as “coming in waves” by those who are mourning. It could seem like feelings suddenly overtake you. People who are grieving go through a whole range of emotions, including joy, rage, and sadness. Along with these confusing and contradictory feelings, you might also feel:

  • Conflicting emotions of regret, grief, rage, and indifference
  • Sadness at the loss of a loved one but relief that they are at peace.
  • After a divorce, feeling both excited and homesick for your former partner.
  • Guilt for being appreciative that you are free of the demanding 24-hour care that a dying relative requires of you.

Read More: How to Deal with Guilt Feelings?

2. Physical symptoms

A significant physical toll that loss can have on your body is due to its excessive stress level. Your nervous system may be overworked by grief. It may result in a compromised immune system, which increases your susceptibility to illness. Among the symptoms are:

  • Exhaustion
  • Sickness
  • Ignorance
  • Headaches
  • Distressed stomach
  • Palpitations of the heart
  • Exhibiting a change in appetite
  • Tightness in the throat or chest
  • Joint discomfort or weak muscles
3. Behavioural symptoms

It can be difficult to focus or finish chores when you’re grieving. Among the symptoms are:

  • Confusion
  • Having trouble deciding or thinking clearly
  • Have trouble recalling or monitoring your obligations
  • Sensing that you are directionless or have lost hope
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate on anything but your loss

How can a person cope with grief?

Grief recovery requires patience and time. However, there are things you can do to ease the coping process for both you and other people who might want your assistance.

i. Looking after oneself

Take care of yourself. It’s crucial to look after your physical and mental needs when you’re mourning. Make it a priority to obtain seven to eight hours of sleep every night, and if you need to recharge, take a nap. Get frequent exercise and eat well-balanced meals. Engage in yoga or meditation. Bathe in bubbles. While you grieve, prioritize caring for yourself and don’t feel bad about it.

ii. Maintain a Schedule

Your sense of normalcy is disrupted by grief, which also affects your emotions. Maintaining a schedule might help you recover control over your emotions and manage them. Establish regular bedtimes and wake-up hours. Every day, try to eat meals at the same time. Take a shower. Mark every task you finish as a victory.

iii. Pay attention to your feelings

Avoid the temptation to lose yourself in your work or hobbies to escape uncomfortable emotions. Managing painful emotions is a necessary part of grieving. It’s okay to shed tears. Permit yourself to reflect on times you spent with a loved one who has passed away.

Expressing your grief in ways that make sense to you will help your feelings escape from you. Processing painful emotions can be achieved through several means, such as journaling, sharing stories about a loved one, or performing a song that brings back memories of them.

iv. Make contact with People

Reminding yourself of the relationships you still have is one of the finest strategies to cope with loss. When you’re grieving, it’s acceptable to require time alone, but avoid isolating yourself. Even though it may seem like it, remind yourself that not everything has changed. You have individuals in your life who care about you and want the best for you.

v. Consult a grieving counsellor or therapist

Sometimes seeking professional assistance is necessary to process grief. It might be time to see a professional if your symptoms haven’t improved after six months or if grieving is making it difficult for you to live your life.

Read More: Understanding Grief Therapy And Its Interventions

The 5 stages of grief

Though originally designed for the treatment of illness, Kübler-Ross’s five phases have been modified to help people deal with sorrow. The Kübler-Ross model is the name given to her theory of grief. Although the phases of mourning were initially developed for the bereaved, they have also been modified for other types of losses.

According to Kübler-Ross, the five stages of grief are:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
Stage 1 – Denial

Sadness is a powerful feeling. It’s common to try to deny the loss or change is occurring in response to these intense and frequently unexpected emotions. Denying it allows you to take in the information more gradually and start to digest it. This is a typical protective strategy that lessens your awareness of the seriousness of the circumstance. But when you get past the denial phase, the feelings you’ve been suppressing will start to surface. You will face a great deal of grief that you have avoided. That is a challenging but necessary aspect of the grieving process.

Stage 2 – Anger

Anger is a masking effect, whereas denial can be seen as a coping method. Many of the feelings and suffering you bear are hidden by your anger. You may target other people with your rivalry, like your former boss, your ex, or the deceased person. You could even direct your fury towards inanimate items. Your overwhelming emotions at the time prevent you from acting appropriately, even when your sensible brain understands the person you are angry with isn’t at fault.

Stage 3 – Bargaining

Grief can make you feel defenceless and exposed. When faced with strong emotions, it’s normal to desire to feel in control of the situation or to have some influence over how things turn out. During the grieving process, you could formulate several hypothetical and “if only” scenarios. Religious people frequently attempt to bargain or offer God or a higher power anything in exchange for healing or an end to their suffering. One way to protect oneself from the grief’s emotions is to bargain. It assists you in delaying your grief, confusion, or hurt.

Stage 4 – Depression

Depression may feel like a calm stage of grieving, in contrast to the more active stages of rage and bargaining. You might be avoiding the feelings in the early stages of loss to keep one step ahead of them. But by now, you might be able to accept them and deal with them more healthily. To properly process the loss, you can also decide to cut yourself off from people. However, this does not imply that depression is simple or well-defined. Depression, like the other stages of mourning, may be challenging and untidy. It could seem too much. It’s possible to feel heavy, disoriented, and hazy.

Stage 5 – Acceptance

Grief acceptance is not always a joyful or uplifting phase. It does not imply that you are over your loss or grief. On the other hand, it does indicate that you’ve come to terms with it and know what it means for you right now. This period may feel extremely different to you. That is anticipated. Your life has taken a significant turn, which has completely changed your perspective on a lot of things.

Acceptance might help you realize that there might be more good days than unpleasant ones. It’s okay if there are still negative things.

References +
  • Stages of grief | Are the five stages of grief true? (2022, November 7). Marie Curie.
  • Holland, K. (2023, May 17). The stages of grief and what to expect. Healthline.
  • Lpc/Mhsp, J. C. M. (2023, December 7). How the Five Stages of Grief Can Help Process a Loss. Verywell Mind.
  • What is grief? – Mayo Clinic. (2019, December 5).,someone%20they%20love%20have%20received.
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