The loss of a loved one is one of life’s most difficult experiences. The grief that follows can seem never-ending, leaving many wondering if there are ways to healthily speed up the grieving process. While everyone’s journey through grief is unique, there are evidence-based strategies that can help you find acceptance faster.
Understanding Stages of Grief
Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s model describes 5 common stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It’s important to know these aren’t linear steps, but rather fluid phases people move between. Recognizing these stages provides insight into the experience of grief.
Reaching Acceptance More Quickly
The goal isn’t to ‘get over’ grief rapidly. True healing involves reaching a point of acceptance around the loss.
Here are some tips:
- Allow Yourself to Fully Feel All Emotions
Bottling up prolonged grief disorder slows the process. Let yourself cry, express anger, etc. Grief support groups can help.
- Take Care of Your Physical Body
Proper rest, nutrition, and exercise equip you to handle grieving after the death of a loved one. Don’t neglect self-care.
- Share Memories and Your Story
Sharing feelings of grief with empathetic listeners aids in processing emotions. Reflecting on positive memories can be healing.
- Evaluate Your Coping Mechanisms
Unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse can impair dealing with grief. Seek counselling if needed.
- Embrace Spiritual Beliefs
Practices like prayer or meditation provide strength when grieving a loss.
- Be Patient with Yourself
There’s no set timeframe for grieving. Accept your process and be patient. Healing takes time.
- Prepare For Grief Triggers
Anniversaries, holidays, etc. can trigger grief. Having a plan helps you handle them.
Getting Help for Complicated Grief
While the above can accelerate accepting a loss, seek professional grief counselling if experiencing:
- Prolonged, persistent complex bereavement disorder
- Severe depression and hopelessness
- Inability to function normally
- Intense survivor’s guilt
- Thoughts of suicide
Talk to your doctor, who can connect you with a mental health professional if needed. With time and support, you can work through even complicated grief.