A beloved person or pet passes. After the initial shock what pops into your head?
If you’re like most humans it’s I shoulda, coulda, woulda saved them if only… We beat ourselves up with the notion that somehow we could have altered the events. We know must go on…but, the grief is unbearable.
Not only when we lose a beloved person or pet, but also when we become separated from a loved one, lose a job, position or income, when a pet runs away, when we experience an empty nest or during a major life change such as moving, divorce and yes, even positive things like retiring.
Grief and bereavement is our opportunity to mourn and heal.
The process is always difficult, but becomes more bearable when you acknowledge it, find support to help you through it and allow time for it to work. Without support or coping skills the grief process is hindered. If grief isn’t gently processed and begins to take over your life you may begin to feel hopeless, helpless or worthless. You may become obsessed with thoughts about what could have been done to prevent the death or loss.
If it is not resolved it could result in intense feelings of guilt or anger that can interfere with the healing process…and your life.
When grief turns to depression
In some cases, unprocessed grief may lead to depression.
How does grief differ from depression?
Psychologist Kay Jamisen defines grief as “the capacity to be consoled.” She notes that this is a consequential distinction between grief and depression. With depression a person may feel alone on an island of self-loathing and typically sadness is constant and intractable. In bereavement, sadness is intermittent and malleable.
It comes in waves, often in response to some reminder of the lost loved one.
These times of sadness are typically interspersed with positive thoughts and memories. You feel that someday life will return to “normal.” You are able to maintain your self-esteem and connection with family and friends. Depression presents itself differently.
It may manifest as trouble sleeping, fatigue, a poor appetite, crying spells, self-pity, intense loneliness and feeling isolated, empty, lost or anxious.
The light at the end of the tunnel…EFT for anxiety related to grief
Grief is primarily an emotional state of being that often creates anxiety. EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) works as a fast, effective, long lasting method of releasing your anxiety and therefore softening the bereavement process.
When anxiety is relieved the things that get in the way of healing grief like avoiding emotions, engaging in compulsive behaviors, minimizing your feelings, overworking on the job or engaging in substance abuse to deal with the emotional discomfort can be relieved as well.
What is EFT and how can it be used for avoiding depression?
EFT is an evidence based practice of energy psychology.
It works with the energy anatomy of our bodies to clear the blockages causing negative emotions. EFT teaches the body to be okay with what is right now. It sends a calming signal to the amygdala that you are safe.
Grief can be softened with EFT.
When a beloved person or pet passes people are sometimes left with regret, hurt feelings, guilt, shame, feelings of letting the person or pet down and the feeling that somehow they could have, should have saved them. EFT can remove the emotions that can inflict terrible pain and suffering and lengthen the time it takes to recover. EFT can help you resume functioning and gradually move on with your life while maintaining the memory of your loved one.
Those utilizing EFT when grieving state that EFT was the only thing that worked for them. I believe that if we can release the emotions that complicate and prolong grief that we may also be able to prevent the depression that may manifest during or following intense grief.
There’s lots of EFT videos online, why can’t I do it myself?
Yes, there are many wonderful tapping videos online that can bring you comfort, but by working with a certified EFT practitioner you can get to the core of the issue and release it, typically forever.
A certified EFT practitioner is able to read the body’s metaphors and offer an objective view of the situation.
It is very difficult for us to dig deep ourselves. Very often we can’t see what is right in front of us. An EFT practitioner will provide an objective, compassionate perspective of what you have experienced.
For example, I assisted a client with the release of 30 year old guilt and grief from the loss of her mother. By offering a different perspective to the description of her mom’s passing, she finally released the guilt, shed a few tears and got closure….after 30 years.
Grieving for a loved one is difficult, no question.
EFT is an efficient, effective alternative to relieve anxiety and soften grief. It is chemical free and quickly and gently gets to the source, clears it and lightens you grief. EFT works!
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