Grief has a way of coming in waves. Especially in the early days after loss, the varied emotions of grief ebb and flow and often with surprising intensity.
One minute you’re fine and then next you’re a mess. I’m sure you can relate.
I remember once abandoning my grocery store cart full of groceries in the middle of the store because I saw the preemie diapers on the shelf and couldn’t hold it together.
I ran out in tears and sat in my car bawling. I felt powerless over my grief and exhausted from feeling constantly blindsided by my emotions.
It’s not always possible to avoid suddenly breaking out in tears or being overwhelmed with many emotions at once during a season of grief, but I have learned ways to make grief overwhelm a bit more manageable and avoid public emotional breakdowns – at least most of the time.
It’s important to understand that what you are feeling isn’t just emotional, it’s physiological too.
Your grief has a powerful effect on your brain and body chemistry, making previous modes of operation impossible. Tending to your physical health and understanding what is going on in your brain and body will help you support your emotional needs more effectively.
Practicing good self-care will always be helpful in managing grief overwhelm.
Also, adjust your expectations of yourself for a while. What used to be easy before grief won’t be for a while during grief. What used to be no big deal might be a trigger now.
Give yourself lots of grace as you navigate the terrain of grief.
Here are 3 practical things you can do to manage grief overwhelm INSTANTLY and why they help:
Prayer activates alpha waves in the brain. These important brain waves help relieve stress and anxiety, restore a sense of peace and calm, and help you relax.
Saying a prayer in your mind or under your breath will trigger your body’s natural calming mechanisms and actually change the electrical currents in your brain.
Meditation also helps increase alpha wave activity, but it is much easier to pray than to meditate in the middle of the grocery store or at your work meeting.
Take Deep Breaths
Greif overwhelm will often cause you to take fast, shallow breaths as you feel it coming on.
Taking slow, deep breaths also increases alpha waves as well as sends signals to your central nervous system to calm down.
Breathe as if you are filling your belly with air through your nose and out your mouth. The calming effect will be instant.
Both the ritual of drinking tea and the nutrition tea offers strengthen your emotional resolve. Tea is both nurturing and strengthening.
Take time each day to check in with yourself over a cup of tea to stay in touch with your feelings and needs.
Also, take a travel mug of tea with you when you go to places that are emotionally triggering. Each sip will provide the comfort and support you need to manage grief overwhelm.
Want to learn more? Download this FREE grief guide and learn what grief myths might be keeping you stuck in your pain and the truths that can set your free to begin healing.