Grief is an inevitable part of life and an emotion that can be quite overwhelming to experience. It can be brought on by many things, from losing a loved one to being diagnosed with a serious medical condition or even a job loss. When someone is grieving, there are a lot of emotional and mental symptoms that are often discussed- things like sadness, depression, and anxiety.
However, what is not often talked about are the many physical symptoms that can manifest when someone is grieving. Some of these symptoms can be alarming, while others can be subtle. In this article, we’ll discuss ten physical symptoms you may be feeling and didn’t know was grief.
One of the most common physical symptoms of grief is fatigue. Grief can take an enormous toll on your body and mind and often leave you feeling mentally and physically drained. Though it may be difficult, it’s essential that those who are grieving make an effort to rest as much as possible.
When someone is grieving, they may find it challenging to get quality sleep. While they may feel tired all the time, getting a full night’s sleep is something they will struggle with. Worry, anxiety, and stress may keep them up at night, leading to further exhaustion, which can make it difficult to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. If you’re struggling with insomnia, it may be helpful to try some relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga in the evening to help you relax your mind before bed. All-natural melatonin may also help you get to sleep.
Change in Appetite
It is common to experience appetite changes while grieving. Some individuals overeat, while others may find they have little to no appetite at all. If the latter is true, try to take a one-a-day multivitamin to ensure your body is getting some minerals. Try to eat a balanced diet, if you can. For those who tend to be emotional eaters, keeping your kitchen stocked with healthy food is ideal.
Physical Aches and Pains
Grief can cause unexplained aches and pains, including headaches, stomach pains, and muscle tension. These may come and go and can spread through the body. It’s important to make sure you take breaks throughout the day, drink water, and stretch to help alleviate these physical symptoms. Yoga can be effective in reducing muscle tension. You may also opt to book a relaxing massage.
Weakened Immune System
Studies have shown that prolonged grief can weaken the immune system, causing an increased risk of illnesses and infections. It’s important to eat well, exercise, and take care of yourself to avoid further illness during this time. Speak to your doctor or health care provider if you are coming down with infections and illnesses more often.
Grief can bring on stomach pain, nausea, and digestive issues. While these symptoms can be uncomfortable, they’re typically temporary and short-lived. However, if they persist, it may be helpful to seek advice from a medical professional. Drinking herbal tea and plenty of water throughout the day may help relieve some of these issues. Also, watch what you eat. If you are an emotional eater, try to reduce your junk food intake and increase your fruit, veggies, and healthy foods.
For some individuals, grieving may make breathing more challenging. This can manifest as shortness of breath or shallow breathing. It’s important to take steps to regulate your breathing through relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or gentle exercise.
High Blood Pressure
Prolonged grief can lead to hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. It’s essential to remain mindful of your diet and exercise, as well as thinking positive thoughts to reduce stress and your risk of developing high blood pressure. Practicing mindfulness may help ease your anxiety and grief, even just a little.
Many people who are grieving often complain of having chest pain. This may be due to muscle tension, shortness of breath, or a feeling of ‘heaviness’ in the chest. If you experience chest pain, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately to rule out any other underlying causes.
Rash and hives are also physical symptoms of grief. Stress can cause skin irritations, so it is essential to take care of your skin health at this time. If you notice a rash forming, apply some natural antiseptic such as aloe vera gel or even a mixture of coconut oil and tea tree oil.
Grief is a natural process, but it can bring along with it several uncomfortable physical symptoms. While it’s important to try to manage your symptoms, it’s also essential to remember that everyone’s grieving process is different, and there is no ‘right’ way to grieve.
If you’re struggling with physical symptoms of grief, don’t hesitate to reach out, talk to someone, and seek medical aid if necessary. Remember that it takes time to heal and recover and that with patience and self-care, you can find inner peace and solace.
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