Grief is a powerful feeling and it can have physical and mental effects on your health. It affects everybody in different ways and everyone deals with it differently too. But one thing’s for sure, there’s no denying that it can take its toll on both our health and wellbeing. Here are just a few ways in which grief and dealing with the loss of a loved one can impact your health.
A feeling of anxiety
It’s incredibly hard to come to terms with the loss of someone close to you, so it’s common for people to feel an enormous sense of anxiety and loneliness at the thought of not seeing that person again.
A lack of sleep
At night our minds become overrun with thoughts when grieving, which makes getting a decent night’s sleep seem almost impossible. As a result, grief can often lead to exhaustion, leaving you run down and susceptible to heightened emotions.
Whether you’re making plans with funeral directors, trying to support your family or just struggling to cope with your own feelings, there’s no doubt that grief can have a huge impact on your stress levels and it can often feel like there’s so much going on and so little time to mourn. Services such as those offered by Beyond Life can help, however, by giving practical advice and support when you need it the most.
An irregular heartbeat
The stress of losing a loved one can cause an increase in adrenaline, which has the ability to alter your heartbeat and give you a tight feeling in your chest. Vulnerable people are proven to be at a higher risk of cardiovascular illness in the first few months after losing someone close to them.
A lower immune system
A person who is grieving is more likely to suffer from a weakened immune system and is therefore at a higher risk of catching an infection. This is especially the case if you’re dealing with loss at an older age, with things such as headaches, colds and the flu being the most common complaints.
It’s hard to look after yourself properly when grieving somebody. You’re not sleeping as well and you certainly don’t feel like cooking, so you won’t be eating well either. Add to that the mental struggles that you’re going through and you’re likely to notice your skin not looking so healthy as a result.
It goes without saying that the death of a loved one can lead many of us to experience some sort of depression. For some it can seem short-lived, whereas others can suffer the effects for years. It’s important to reach out for the support of those closest to you and to seek medical advice too.
The consequence of many of the above factors can cause people to turn to the likes of alcohol, cigarettes, painkillers, sleeping tablets and other forms of medication to try and combat everything that they’re going through. But this is only detrimental to your health and can, ultimately, lead to addiction.
Grief is a natural response which many people struggle to get over and some never do. Instead, it’s all about finding a new ‘normal’, looking after yourself, eating well, sleeping well and surrounding yourself with people who are going to help you through.