What does grief feel like? According to dictionary.apa.org grief is the anguish experienced after significant loss, usually the death of a beloved person. Grief can affect your life and your physical and emotional self in a variety of ways.
Everyone deals with grief differently. Some people cry and show their feelings freely. Others may process things more inwardly. It can even be a combination of both. Have you ever known someone who recently lost someone but never seemed to shed a tear?
It is easy to make assumptions about what people are dealing with when it comes to grief. The important thing to remember is that everyone grieves in their own way. Grief feels like a lot of different things depending on where you are in the journey. Grief is more than just a sadness it can manifest in other ways as well
What Does Grief Feel Like?
Grief feels like emotional pain that you can feel in your physical body. It is amazing how the loss of a loved one is an emotional pain, but you can actually hurt your body. Grief can manifest in the body in many ways. Tension can cause muscle aches even leading to regular headaches and even migraines. The anguish of grief can cause the stomach to be upset even to the point of vomiting. When grief hits hard our bodies can be left weak and depleted of energy.
What does grief feel like emotionally? It is so interesting to describe and explain emotional pain because we often describe it as the physical manifestation of the feelings being experienced. However emotionally, grief is more about what is going on in our mind. It can be repetitive thoughts. Dwelling on regrets and things that could have been done differently to change the outcome of death. It feels like a mind that won’t shut off and is constantly running circles around the worst case scenarios and doubts about the future.
When grief is in full force you can experience brain fog. Your mind is so focused on the what ifs and regrets or other unresolved issues that your mind has nothing left to give. It can feel hard to concentrate. Memory may be lacking and ability to stay on task with your regular workload may feel impossible.
Grief can also affect you spiritually. For some the deep feelings of grief prompt you to dig deeper into your spiritual beliefs as you search for comfort and meaning. Many people find comfort in spiritual or religious beliefs. Having something to believe in can bring comfort and a sense of purpose in your pain. In the same way it is common for those experiencing grief to question their spiritual and religious beliefs because it is hard to understand and accept that such trauma can happen.
Counseling and Support
If you or someone you know is feeling grief you can be comforted in knowing that everyone experiences grief differently. There is no right or wrong way and no set of steps magically make you feel better. Quite frankly, grieving a loss of any kind stinks, it is not easy and it hurts. Creating a strong support system is key to making it through all the ways grief feels. Seek out a professional counselor or therapist. Join a support group. Share your pain with an empathetic friend or family.
No matter what your grief feels like, know that you are not alone in it. Find additional support here.