How to Process and Overcome Grief After Tragedy
Tragedies can have a lasting effect on people around the world. Just because it doesn’t happen in your neighborhood, doesn’t mean you won’t experience emotions related to the event. You feel sadness for the ones suffering. You feel anger towards the ones who caused the tragedy. You may even feel guilty because you cannot be there to help in person.
There are several stages to the grief process including denial and anger, all the way to acceptance. Too often, we are stalled in one of these stages. This causes us to be incapable of fully coping with our symptoms.
Coping with the symptoms of grief can be accomplished, however. One way to process difficult emotion is by using this acronym: Grounding Reflection Insight Empathy Feeling
Grounding is the act of connecting your body to the Earth. The simplest method is simply walking outside barefoot.
We’re starting to learn that grounding has many physical and emotional benefits.
Grounding is one way to connect with nature. When grieving, it’s natural to want to stay inside, but getting outdoors can have many benefits for grief.
Walking around the nearest lawn or park for a few minutes after kicking off your shoes or sandals. Sit on a park bench while letting your feet touch the ground. Try yoga or meditation outdoors with bare feet.
Reflection is serious thought or consideration. It’s a normal human practice, but it’s difficult to take time to reflect today. There are many distractions and stimuli especially with smartphones.
Reflection is often needed for proper grieving yet many of us don’t like reflecting. But reflection is part of self-awareness. It’s necessary for understanding the world around you.
Insight is the discovery of why the world is the way it is. It’s not a destination. It’s an ongoing process of learning about the world and the people that inhabit it. It’s the process of learning the inner workings of nature. How we live together and why we act the way we act.
With insight we can learn the why and work to change for the better. Starting with ourselves.
Empathy is the ability to see the world through the eyes of another. When tragedy strikes somewhere in the world it’s difficult to understand why the tragedy occurred especially if someone caused the tragedy.
Part of grieving is putting forth empathy even for those that do harm to others. Trying to understand why someone would act a certain way helps you work through your grief. The natural tendency is to assume that some people are bad.
But there is much to learn from trying to see the world through their eyes and their experiences.
Allowing yourself to feel. Acknowledging the emotions your experience in life especially during trying times like when tragedy strikes. We all have strong feelings. It doesn’t matter if something happens directly to us or to others in the world. Embracing those feelings and seeking to understand them are part of grief.
Additional Ways To Process Difficult Emotion
On a personal level, coping with grief can include activities to help you heal and move forward in life. As a group, activities to cope with grief include working together to serve those in need. Below are a few holistic coping techniques to aid you in overcoming your grief in the wake of national tragedies.
Your body is connected. It is connected to the earth, other people, and the universe. From your head to your toes, energy is flow through you. This energy keeps you moving, it keeps you healthy.
When you experience some sort of imbalance, like from a tragedy, the flow may be interrupted and cause your energy flow to become imbalanced. If this is the case, you can benefit from energy healing.
Working with an energy healer can help return your balance. Whether it is through reiki or other therapeutic methods, the healer can transfer energy from them to you. They can also use your own energy to help you regain balance.
Research shows 38 percent of Americans using alternative and complementary methods of treatment for healing such as energy healing. You can be a part of this group too.
Start an Online Support Group
One way to cope with grief on a larger level can be with the use of a support group. To reach others around the world who may be feeling the same as you, start an online support group. You can use your social media outlets to create a group for free.
Connecting with others has proven to have powerful emotional healing value. Hearing from those who have similar thoughts and feelings, and you offering feedback to them, helps all of you cope with grief.
Being authentic and listening to the emotional needs of others will help you enhance the relationships you build during this time.
Serve Those in Need
When you help someone else in need, you receive many blessings in return. Serving others can help you cope with your grief, as well has healing.
Serving others shows compassion and goodwill towards others. Reports state that the act of service can offer increased happiness and satisfaction in our own lives.
There are spiritual benefits you gain when serving others also. The rewarding feeling you get when you see that your actions made someone else smile is one example.
The Brainwave Research Institute reports meditation can help calm the mind and lower anxieties typically associated with grief.
Other ways meditation can help you cope with grief include the lowering of tension in the body. It can also help you focus on the needs of your body and mind, as well as relationships with others.
You may not realize the damage being done to your body due to the stress caused by grief. After all, you are just trying to survive each day. But by practicing mindfulness, even for just a brief period during each day, healing will be quicker and have positive results.