Sadness and grief are feelings that are normal. Although sadness and grieving may not be the most comfortable feelings to experience, if you do not allow yourself to feel these feeling and cut yourself off from them, these feelings will manifest themselves in some way whether it is in dreams, bodily pains, or masked behind other feelings (i.e., anger). The following article, which I read today on Everyday Health by Ms. Diana Rodriguez, has interesting suggestions about how to deal with sad feelings and grieving. Here is the link:
Coping With Grief: How to Handle Your Emotions -EverydayHealth.com
One of the most important things Ms. Rodriguez discusses in this article is that “Your mind and body need time to grieve after a traumatic event. If you deprive yourself of the grieving process, you may find that you have more difficulty accepting what has happened or that unresolved feelings and issues may flare up later on.” As Ms. Rodriguez also discusses, many often think of grieving as something to be done only when you lose a loved one. However, grieving also occurs after the loss of a job, a significant relationship (despite whether it was a happy or miserable union), a miscarriage, finding out about one’s infertility, or financial decline. All of these life changes, as well as many other life transitions, which are too many to mention here, must also be given the time needed for grieving and healing.
Many may wonder, but how do you grieve? What does that look like? Grieving could be just simply giving yourself the time and space to cry, creatively process your feelings (i.e., write, make art, listen to music), talk to a friend or therapist, or just lay there and think. Instead of doing these healthy grieving activities, sometimes we may want to take a short cut to the grieving process by drinking alcohol, doing recreational drugs, or avoiding the feelings of sadness all together. Although these strategies may feel good in the short-term they may be harmful in the long-term, both psychologically and physically.
One book I have found helpful and practical in helping with the grieving process is “Healing your Grieving Body: 100 Physical Practices for Mourners” by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD and Kirby J. Duvall, MD. You can get an inexpensive copy in Amazon (currently, a used copy is as low as .98¢). Many of the practices may be applied to any form of grief as mentioned above; the suggestions are not just for losing a loved one. The authors highly emphasize caring for the body, while in the grieving process, which I completely agree with and recommend. Remember the body and mind are one.
There may be times that you may need your own private space to process your sadness because you may not want to burden your friends or significant other. Please feel free to call me. We can arrange for some short-term therapy to address your grief or feelings of sadness. Sessions can be as short as 30 minutes.
Grieving is a patient journey to closure that cannot be rushed.
By: Diana Gil Velez
Diana is a NYC based Art Therapist, Psychotherapist, and Visual Artist.