Why You Feel This Way 😢Feb 05, 2023
All too often I see clients criticizing themselves for feeling common emotions experienced in grief.
I get it! I was there too. And it makes total sense because none of us have been taught how to handle our emotions!
Grief is a natural response to a loss. But, due to the range and intensity of the feelings & emotions that arise after a loss, you might feel overwhelmed, disoriented, physically exhausted or concerned that your unique response isn’t appropriate.
The questioning, self-criticism, confusion and “having emotions about your emotions” creates additional unnecessary suffering to the grieving process. There is no right or wrong way to grieve! All of your emotions are valid.
I invite you to keep reading about 7 common feelings & emotions in grief, in hopes that your unique experience might feel normalized and validated. 👇
SHOCK & DENIAL Shock & denial arise due to your body’s inability to process and accept that something terrible has happened to you.
They might manifest as fatigue, lack of motivation, numbness, disbelief, and sleeplessness among other sensations. Life doesn’t feel real; it doesn’t make sense; and can feel totally meaningless. While numbness can be confused with “not caring” — this sensation is your body trying to protect itself from the pain.
Denial is your denial body’s natural “shock absorber. It’s your mind trying to catch up and process everything that occurred.
Stuck is a feeling of overwhelm, a sense of paralysis, or notion of powerlessness that you might feel after a loss. It’s that feeling of wanting to move forward with life, but you just can’t!
You feel stuck when your nervous system gets trapped in a state of hyperactivity (triggered by something highly traumatic occurring). This causes your flight or fight survival response to get caught in a loop.
You feel frozen and feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, sadness and guilt become all encompassing. Your attention is then fixed on negative thought patterns and you get stuck in them!
Sadness is one of the most natural, expected and universal responses to grief and loss.
In your body, it can feel like emptiness, despair, heaviness, yearning or even deep loneliness. Sadness can also result in high stress and even affect your immune systems and appetite.
While crying is one form of sadness, you can still feel sad without tears. Depression is another expression of sadness and an appropriate response to a great loss. It’s natural to withdraw from life when you are in the intense fog, disorientation and processing of life after loss.
*While depression is expected, if you can’t break the cycle then clinical depression should be addressed and consulted by a professional.
Anger is your body’s natural response to a perceived or real threat.
Death is a threat. It’s a reminder of our own mortality and that the world is not a safe and predictable place. Not only that, death isn’t fair — especially when it comes to someone we love. It feels like you got cheated or
served an injustice. You have a right to feel angry!
On a physiological level, anger triggers your body’s fight or flight response. This causes your body to release adrenaline, muscles to tighten, heart rate and blood pressure to increase, and body’s temperature to rise.
If anger isn’t addressed, this constant flood of stress chemicals can actually lead to short and long-term health problems such as headaches, digestion problems, depression and anxiety.
Guilt and grief go hand in hand. You might have regrets, self-blame and thoughts about what you should have, would have or could have done differently surrounding their death.
Guilt stems from your desire to rectify your final moments with your person; can keep you stuck in the past; and from moving thru other emotions experienced in grief.
There is healthy guilt – meaning you actually did something wrong; and there’s unhealthyguilt – which is a story you are creating.
As you search for a “reason” behind your person’s death, you might
find yourself more comfortable blaming yourself – feeling guilty – rather than accepting that you live in a world of chaos and uncertainty – where you feel powerless.
Guilt is valid. And it needs to be processed and challenged to be released.
Anxiety occurs in relation to a stress, which is a physiological and psychological response to a real or perceived threat.
After a loss, everything is foreign and new – so your body perceives this as a highly threatening landscape.
There’s several factors that contribute to anxiety after a loss…
- The intense & varied emotions brought on by grief.
- How your body & mind are learning to embrace and cope with these changes.
- The threat to your own mortality and future losses
- Logistical issues like managing finances and the deceased’s belongings or estate, etc.
- Supporting other family member's grief
- Unresolved issues or fear of forgetting your person.
- Unprocessed grief and past trauma
Emotionally, you might feel tense, jumpy, restless, irritable and
sometimes start anticipating the worst. Physically you might experience a racing heart, shortness of breath, sleeplessness and headaches, among other sensations.
Loneliness is your body’s natural response to fear.
It can feel like actual hollowness, and sometimes even out of control, paralyzed, or spiraling. This can be attributed to fear and your body’s natural fight or flight response.
It’s important to understand that loneliness is a feeling — meaning it’s a physiological response to a THOUGHT.
Individual loneliness is defined by what you WANT vs. what you HAVE — which will look for everyone.
You might feel lonely because you WANT your person but what you HAVE is a void. You might feel lonely because you WANT others to understand you but what you HAVE is judgment and criticism.
It’s important to get curious about the thoughts that drive this feeling for you.
I believe that ....
- Learning how to name your emotions
- Feel them in a safe & supported way
- Process them through movement AND talking about it
- Befriend them as a guide to healing
Can not just help survive the grief ... but THRIVE!
And I teach this in my 8-week program moveTHRU Grief Live
This work is the entry way into releasing conditioning, sub-conscious patterns and limiting beliefs that prevent you from living with meaning and purpose.
Over the course of eight weeks, I'll help you...
⚡️Collapse time around your suffering
⚡️Integrate your loss
⚡️Befriend your emotions as a pathway to healing
⚡️Feel more confident & empowered when grief arises
not just now, but for your life-long journey ahead!
I LOVE my grief! And when I feel an emotion, I use that as information to guide me closer to what matters, what's aligned, and what I truly desire in this limited time here on earth.
If you want to learn to EMBRACE grief and live FULLY in the face of DEATH, this is where to start.
Join our moveTHRU Grief Live 8-week deep dive into your emotions to feel and heal thru movement & mindset.
I hope to move thru grief with you in order to move forward with life! 🖤
Love & light,
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