Describe the Relationship Between Loss and Stress

Describe the Relationship Between Loss and Stress.

grief & loss

Coping with Grief and Loss

Whatever type of loss you’ve suffered, there’s no right or incorrect fashion to grieve. Just past understanding the stages and types of grief, you tin find healthier ways to cope.

Mom and grieving daughter sitting together, mom comforting daughter

What is grief?

Grief is a natural response to loss. It’due south the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you lot honey is taken away. Often, the pain of loss tin feel overwhelming. You may experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to atheism, guilt, and profound sadness. The hurting of grief tin also disrupt your physical health, making it hard to sleep, swallow, or even recall straight. These are normal reactions to loss—and the more significant the loss, the more intense your grief will exist.

Coping with the loss of someone or something you honey is one of life’s biggest challenges. You may associate grieving with the death of a loved i—which is often the cause of the most intense type of grief—but whatsoever loss tin crusade grief, including:

  1. Divorce or relationship breakup
  2. Loss of health
  3. Losing a job
  4. Loss of financial stability
  5. A miscarriage
  6. Retirement
  1. Expiry of a pet
  2. Loss of a cherished dream
  3. A loved one’south serious illness
  4. Loss of a friendship
  5. Loss of safety subsequently a trauma
  6. Selling the family home

Fifty-fifty subtle losses in life can trigger a sense of grief. For instance, you lot might grieve after moving away from home, graduating from college, or changing jobs.

Whatsoever your loss, it’s personal to y’all, and then don’t feel ashamed about how you feel, or believe that it’s somehow only appropriate to grieve for certain things. If the person, creature, relationship, or state of affairs was meaning to you, it’s normal to grieve the loss you’re experiencing. Whatever the cause of your grief, though, there are healthy means to cope with the pain that, in time, tin ease your sadness and aid y’all come to terms with your loss, discover new meaning, and eventually move on with your life.

The grief of losing a loved 1

Whether it’south a close friend, spouse, partner, parent, child, or other relative, few things are equally painful as losing someone you love. After such a significant loss, life may never seem quite the same once more. But in time, you tin ease your sorrow, start to expect to the future, and somewhen come to terms with your loss.

Read: Bereavement: Grieving the Loss of a Loved One.

The grieving process

Grieving is a highly individual experience; there’s no correct or incorrect way to grieve. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping way, your life experience, your organized religion, and how meaning the loss was to you.

Inevitably, the grieving procedure takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t exist forced or hurried—andat that place is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatsoever your grief experience, it’southward important to exist patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.

Myths and facts almost grief and grieving
Myth: The hurting will go abroad faster if you ignore it

Trying to ignore your hurting or keep information technology from surfacing volition only go far worse in the long run. For real healing, information technology is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it.

Myth: It’s important to “exist strong” in the face up of loss.

Feeling lamentable, frightened, or solitary is a normal reaction to loss. Crying doesn’t hateful you are weak. Yous don’t need to “protect” your family or friends past putting on a brave forepart. Showing your true feelings can help them and you.

Myth: If you don’t cry, it means you aren’t sorry most the loss.

Crying is a normal response to sadness, merely it’southward non the only one. Those who don’t cry may feel the pain simply every bit deeply as others. They may simply have other ways of showing it.

Myth: Grieving should last about a year.

There is no specific time frame for grieving. How long information technology takes differs from person to person.

Myth: Moving on with your life ways forgetting about your loss.

Moving on means you’ve accepted your loss—but that’s not the same every bit forgetting. You tin can move on with your life and keep the memory of someone or something y’all lost as an of import part of you. In fact, every bit we move through life, these memories can go more and more than integral to defining the people we are.

How to deal with the grieving process

While grieving a loss is an inevitable part of life, there are ways to help cope with the hurting, come up to terms with your grief, and eventually, find a fashion to pick up the pieces and move on with your life.

  1. Acknowledge your pain.
  2. Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions.
  3. Empathise that your grieving procedure will exist unique to y’all.
  4. Seek out face-to-face support from people who care well-nigh y’all.
  5. Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically.
  6. Recognize the difference between grief and depression.

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The stages of grief

In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what became known as the “5 stages of grief.” These stages of grief were based on her studies of the feelings of patients facing last illness, simply many people have generalized them to other types of negative life changes and losses, such as the death of a loved one or a break-upwards.

The five stages of grief

“This can’t be happening to me.”



is this happening? Who is to blame?”


“Brand this non happen, and in return I will ____.”


“I’yard besides distressing to do annihilation.”


“I’m at peace with what happened.”

If you are experiencing any of these emotions following a loss, it may aid to know that your reaction is natural and that you’ll heal in time. However, not everyone who grieves goes through all of these stages—and that’south okay. Contrary to popular belief,you do not take to go through each phase in order to heal.

In fact, some people resolve their grief without going throughany
of these stages. And if you lot do get through these stages of grief, you probably won’t experience them in a peachy, sequential guild, so don’t worry about what you “should” be feeling or which stage you’re supposed to exist in.

Kübler-Ross herself never intended for these stages to be a rigid framework that applies to everyone who mourns. In her terminal book before her decease in 2004, she said of the five stages of grief: “They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into peachy packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, butthere is non a typical response to loss, as in that location is no typical loss.Our grieving is equally private every bit our lives.”

Grief can be a roller coaster

Instead of a series of stages, we might also think of the grieving process as a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Similar many roller coasters, the ride tends to be rougher in the beginning, the lows may be deeper and longer.

The difficult periods should become less intense and shorter equally time goes by, simply it takes time to piece of work through a loss. Even years after a loss, especially at special events such as a family wedding ceremony or the nativity of a child, nosotros may even so experience a potent sense of grief.

Hospice Foundation of America

Symptoms of grief

While loss affects people in different ways, many of us feel the following symptoms when we’re grieving. But remember that most anything that you experience in the early on stages of grief is normal—including feeling like you’re going crazy, feeling similar you’re in a bad dream, or questioning your religious or spiritual beliefs.

Emotional symptoms of grief

Stupor and atheism.
Right after a loss, it tin be hard to accept what happened. Yous may feel numb, have trouble assertive that the loss really happened, or even deny the truth. If a pet or someone you love has died, for example, y’all may continue expecting them to show up, even though you know they’re gone.

Profound sadness is probably the virtually universally experienced symptom of grief. You may have feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or deep loneliness. You may also cry a lot or feel emotionally unstable.

Yous may regret or experience guilty nigh things y’all did or didn’t say or do. You may likewise feel guilty nigh sure feelings (feeling relieved when a person died subsequently a long, difficult illness, for instance). You may even feel guilty for not doing more to prevent your loss, even if it was completely out of your hands.

A significant loss can trigger a host of worries and fears. If you lot’ve lost your partner, your job, or your home, for instance, you may feel anxious, helpless, or insecure nearly the future. You may fifty-fifty take panic attacks. The death of a loved one can trigger fears about your own mortality, of facing life without that person, or the responsibilities you at present confront alone.

[Read: Dealing with Dubiousness]

Even if the loss was nobody’s fault, you may feel angry and resentful. If y’all lost a loved ane, yous may exist angry with yourself, God, the doctors, or even the person who died for abandoning you lot. You may feel the need to blame someone for the injustice that was done to you.

Physical symptoms of grief

Nosotros oftentimes think of grief as a strictly emotional process, but grief oftentimes involves concrete problems, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Lowered amnesty
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Aches and pains
  • Insomnia

Types of grief

Since the experience of grieving following the loss of someone or something of import to yous tends to be unique to y’all, information technology’s difficult to label any blazon of grief equally either “normal” or “abnormal”. However, in that location are types of grief that fall outside the expected symptoms and reactions described above. These include:

Anticipatory grief

Every bit the name suggests, anticipatory grief develops before a meaning loss occurs rather than after. If a loved i is terminally sick, for example, you have an aging pet, or you know that your retirement or job loss is imminent y’all may get-go grieving your loss before information technology has fully unfolded.

[Read: When a Loved 1 is Terminally Ill]

Like conventional grief, anticipatory grief can involve a mix of confusing emotions, particularly acrimony. Some people even equate information technology to giving up hope and turn down to permit themselves to grieve earlier their loss has occurred. However, anticipatory grief tin as well give you chance to prepare for your loss, resolve any unfinished business, or say your goodbyes, for case.

Disenfranchised grief

Disenfranchised grief can occur when your loss is devalued, stigmatized, or cannot be openly mourned. Some people may minimize the loss of a task, a pet, or a friendship, for example, every bit something that’s not worth grieving over. You may experience stigmatized if you suffered a miscarriage or lost a loved one to suicide.

Disenfranchised grief can as well occur when your human relationship to a deceased is not recognized. Some people may consider it inappropriate to grieve for a piece of work colleague, classmate, or neighbor, for example. Every bit a close friend or same-sex partner you may be denied the same sympathy and agreement as a blood relative. This can make it even more than difficult to come to terms with your loss and navigate the grieving process.

Complicated grief

The pain at a significant loss may never completely disappear, merely it should ease upward over time. When it doesn’t—and information technology keeps you from resuming your daily life and relationships—information technology may be a sign of complicated grief.

Complicated grief commonly arises from the death of a loved one, where the loss has left you stuck in a state of bereavement. Y’all may be unable to have your loved ane has gone, search for them in familiar places, experience intense longing, or fifty-fifty experience that life isn’t worth living.

If y’all’re experiencing complicated grief and the pain from your loss remains unresolved, information technology’southward important to reach out for back up and take the steps that will enable yous to heal.

Seeking support for grief and loss

The pain of grief can often crusade y’all to want to withdraw from others and retreat into your shell. But having the confront-to-face up support of other people is vital to healing from loss. Fifty-fifty if you’re non comfortable talking about your feelings under normal circumstances, it’south of import to express them when you lot’re grieving.

While sharing your loss tin make the burden of grief easier to carry, that doesn’t mean that every time yous interact with friends and family, you demand to talk well-nigh your loss. Comfort tin also come from merely existence around others who care nearly you. The key is not to isolate yourself.

Turn to friends and family members.
Now is the time to lean on the people who care about y’all, even if you lot have pride in being strong and self-sufficient. Rather than fugitive them, depict friends and loved ones close, spend fourth dimension together face to confront, and accept the assistance that’s offered. Oft, people desire to help but don’t know how, so tell them what you demand—whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, or just someone to hang out with. If you don’t experience you have anyone you tin can regularly connect with in person, it’s never too late to build new friendships.

Accept that many people feel awkward when trying to comfort someone who’s grieving.
Grief can exist a confusing, sometimes frightening emotion for many people, specially if they haven’t experienced a similar loss themselves. They may feel unsure virtually how to comfort you lot and end upwardly proverb or doing the wrong things. But don’t utilise that equally an alibi to retreat into your shell and avoid social contact. If a friend or loved one reaches out to yous, information technology’s because they intendance.

Draw comfort from your faith.
If you follow a religious tradition, encompass the comfort its mourning rituals can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you lot—such as praying, meditating, or going to church—tin can offering solace. If yous’re questioning your faith in the wake of the loss, talk to a clergy member or others in your religious community.

Bring together a support grouping.
Grief can feel very lone, even when yous have loved ones around. Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can aid. To notice a bereavement support group in your area, contact local hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and counseling centers, or see the links below.

[Read: Support Groups: Types, Benefits, and What to Expect]

Talk to a therapist or grief counselor.
If your grief feels like too much to carry, find a mental health professional with experience in grief counseling. An experienced therapist can help you work through intense emotions and overcome obstacles to your grieving.

Beware how you use social media

Social media tin exist useful in letting others know about your loss and reaching out for support. Notwithstanding, it tin can as well attract Net trolls who post inappropriate, insensitive, or fifty-fifty calumniating messages. To spare yourself additional pain and heartache at this time, yous may want to limit your social media utilise to closed groups rather than public postings that tin be commented on by anyone.

Taking intendance of yourself as you grieve

When you’re grieving, information technology’due south more important than always to take care of yourself. The stress of a major loss can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will assistance you lot get through this hard time.

Face your feelings.

Y’all can try to suppress your grief, simply you can’t avoid it forever. In guild to heal, you take to acknowledge the hurting. Trying to avoid feelings of sadness and loss only prolongs the grieving process. Unresolved grief tin likewise lead to complications such as low, anxiety, substance abuse, and health problems.

Express your feelings in a tangible or creative way.
Fifty-fifty if you’re not able to talk about your loss with others, it tin can assistance to write down your thoughts and feelings in a periodical, for example. Or you lot could release your emotions by making a scrapbook or volunteering for a cause related to your loss.

Endeavour to maintain your hobbies and interests.
At that place’s comfort in routine and getting back to the activities that bring you joy and connect you closer to others can help you come to terms with your loss and aid the grieving process.

Don’t let anyone tell y’all how to feel, and don’t tell yourself how to feel either.

Your grief is your ain, and no one else can tell yous when information technology’due south time to “movement on” or “get over information technology.” Let yourself experience whatever you feel without embarrassment or judgment. It’due south okay to exist angry, to yell at the heavens, to weep or not to cry. Information technology’s also okay to laugh, to observe moments of joy, and to let become when you’re prepare.

Look later your physical health.
The mind and body are connected. When you feel good for you physically, you’ll be better able to cope emotionally. Combat stress and fatigue by getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. Don’t use alcohol or drugs to numb the pain of grief or elevator your mood artificially.

[Read: Cocky-Medicating Depression, Anxiety, and Stress]

Plan ahead for grief “triggers.”
Anniversaries, holidays, and important milestones can reawaken painful memories and feelings. Be prepared for an emotional wallop, and know that it’s completely normal. You can program ahead by making sure that y’all’re not lone, for example, or past marking your loss in a creative way.


Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course

Authors: Melinda Smith, G.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.

    • References

      Depressive Disorders. (2013). In
      Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. American Psychiatric Clan.

      Zisook, S., & Shear, K. (2009). Grief and bereavement: What psychiatrists need to know.
      World Psychiatry, 8(2), 67–74.

      Stroebe, M., Schut, H., & Stroebe, W. (2007). Health outcomes of bereavement.
      The Lancet, 370(9603), 1960–1973.

      Simon, N. M., Wall, Yard. Thousand., Keshaviah, A., Dryman, K. T., LeBlanc, N. J., & Shear, Thousand. 1000. (2011). Informing the symptom profile of complicated grief.
      Low and Anxiety, 28(2), 118–126.

      Corr, C. A. (1999). Enhancing the Concept of Disenfranchised Grief.
      OMEGA – Periodical of Decease and Dying, 38(1), i–20.

      Johansson, A. 1000., & Grimby, A. (2012). Anticipatory grief among close relatives of patients in hospice and palliative wards.
      The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care, 29(two), 134–138.

    Grief and loss resources


    In the U.S.: Crisis Phone call Center at 775-784-8090

    UK: Cruse Bereavement Care at 0808 808 1677

    Australia: GriefLine at (03) 9935 7400

    Other support:

    Find a GriefShare group meeting near y’all – Worldwide directory of support groups for people grieving the death of a family member or friend. (GriefShare)

    Find Back up – Directory of programs and support groups in the U.S. for children experiencing grief and loss. (National Alliance for Grieving Children)

    Affiliate Locator for finding help for grieving the loss of a child in the U.S. and International Support for finding assistance in other countries. (The Compassionate Friends)

    If you’re feeling suicidal…

    Seek assist immediately. Please read Suicide Aid, talk to someone you trust, or call a suicide helpline:

    • In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255.
    • In the UK, call 08457 90 90 xc.
    • In Australia, phone call 13 eleven xiv.
    • Or visit IASP to discover a helpline in your land.

    Effectually the spider web

    Last updated: October 13, 2022

    Describe the Relationship Between Loss and Stress