During times of stress or loss we can be at increased risk for injuries and setbacks. One goal of Body Aware Grieving is to avoid creating new problems while we learn to recover from any current difficulties. [Read more…]
The most important aspect of Body Aware Grieving compared with other available services related to grief recovery is our focus on physical health. Even when we may not feel we are being affected by stress, sadness or anger, our bodies display symptoms that let us know we are functioning at less than our full capacity.
We are each so unique and different from one another. There is no reason to try and compare one person’s pain to anyone else. While the word “grief” is most commonly used in reference to a death, any reason we may be disappointed or struggling is equally important.
Common signs that we need to take better care of ourselves include: stomach or digestive issues, back or neck pain, fatigue, sleeplessness, muscle tension especially in the jaw and shoulders, dizziness, inability to concentrate, incessant crying, under or over-eating, overuse of medication, drugs or alcohol, getting colds or the flu repeatedly.
Even years after a romantic breakup you may find it hard to stop thinking about the person you love. Other people become overwhelmed when they observe the natural signs of aging happening to their face, body or ability to function. It is common to struggle with low self-esteem, even depression, after losing a job, business or accumulated amount of money. There are even people who envy those of us who are in mourning and wonder if they are ‘normal’ because they don’t seem to care enough about anyone or anything in their life to feel loss.
Physical signs of stress may be subtle, at least at first, or can become more extreme if we choose to ignore them. One of the most vital moments in healing can occur when we realize that we are having a problem that is not passing on it’s own. Perhaps instead of feeling ‘weak’ when we realize we may need help, it can be exciting to explore, “How can I get through my current situation with the least amount of extra suffering?” THAT is a question that can begin to lead us towards becoming healthier and happier.
The source of why we are upset is not specifically important. Regardless of why our emotional or physical health is being diminished, we just want to find ways to console and care for ourselves as easily as possible. If you or someone you care about is going through a challenging time, please go to the Healing Techniques section in our sidebar for a choice of wellness activities.
Best wishes to you,
photo © Adam Weiss firstname.lastname@example.org
This video from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention highlights statistics about veterans and the risks they can face for depression and suicide. Let’s learn more how we can help these brave men and women who work to keep us safe, healthier when they return to civilian life.
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How many of us wish there was a reliable formula that would help us predict when we will feel better after an illness, loss or disappointment? It would be excellent if we could be guaranteed that after a specific period of time or because we took care of ourselves in a skillful way that our pain, whether physical or emotional, would be relieved.
It is easy to feel indignant, frustrated or disappointed. It is common to feel, “I took actions intended to make myself feel better and yet do not have as much of an improvement as I prefer or feel I deserve.”
Recovery can be fickle. Some people may seem to ‘bounce back’ after the loss of a loved one, becoming unemployed or the end of a romance. Others of us may be very confused wondering some of the following: “My father died over 6 months ago. Why am I still so miserable like it happened yesterday?”; “How can I be depressed over losing a job I didn’t even enjoy anyway?”; or “If I have a new girlfriend already, why do I keep checking the Facebook page for news about my last one?”
Unfortunately there is no systematic way to assure ourselves that a specific period of time or healing ritual will produce the results we prefer. One of the best ways to move forward with greater ease is to understand the erratic nature of grief. There are times it seems our mood is heavy or upset no matter what we try to do to console or lift ourselves up.
There can also be wonderful surprises as well. It is possible that during a dark period, almost at random, the sun may hit our face and shoulders in a certain way that suddenly melts layers of our sadness or stress. Occasionally seeing a person in a worse situation than our own can open us up and out of our own story and back into gratitude for all the goodness we still have in our lives. Unexpected moments can include a hug, burst of physical movement, word of advice, funny joke, or new opportunity that lets us know it is okay to enter a new phase of feeling better.
It is better not to rush ourselves or become impatient. When we are ready, moments can come when we realize that no matter what painful or traumatizing experience we have endured there are likely other people throughout the history of the world who have recovered from a similar difficulty. Each of our problems is simultaneously very personal and yet also part of what we go through as humans.
Let’s remember to be kind to each other and ourselves. We can understand that any one of us may be trying to feel better following an event, either recent or quite long ago, that challenged our spirit. Feeling better after a loss may look different for each of us.
We would love to hear from you! Has a person or experience ever surprised you that suddenly helped brighten a dark experience? What are your suggestions on how to move past a time when you felt stuck or hopeless?