Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things you will ever work through. Grief impacts people in different ways and each person has their own way of coping or dealing with loss. There is no way to truly measure grief, nor is there a magic pill you can take to treat it. We know that grief commonly affects us in similar ways; there is just no way to tell exactly how it will affect you until you are going through it. Here are 5 ways that grief can affect your health.
1. Heart Problems
The heartbreak you feel when you’ve lost someone you love may seem like it is more of a feeling rather than an actual physical symptom, but sometimes this isn’t the case. Studies have shown that a person’s risk of having a heart attack in the first 24 hours after losing a significant other is over 20 times higher than normal. This is often referred to as Broken Heart Syndrome.
Grief has many stages, and it never ends – it just gets less noticeable. If you have lost someone you love and feel like there is no point to life anymore, rest assured that you are not alone. Death is harder for some people to process. If you feel like you aren’t strong enough to cope with an open casket funeral, then don’t. You don’t want to push yourself into a deeper depression by forcing yourself into situations you aren’t ready to deal with. If this is the case for you, rather explore other options like a cremation. If the fire and brimstone isn’t for you, then opt for a fire-free water cremation instead.
3. Weakened Immune System
After losing someone you love, your immune system often takes a knock. We forget about our mental health sometimes and grief can take a massive toll on your mental well-being which, in turn, has a negative impact on your body’s ability to fight off infections. After suffering a loss many people find themselves falling ill. Keep an eye on your symptoms and take immune boosters to try and lessen the impact of grief.
During the grieving process, you might find your sleeping patterns are disturbed and you develop mild to moderate insomnia. This is perfectly normal but it can be disruptive to your life. If you feel like you need to, take a sleeping tablet temporarily to make sure you get enough rest. Without adequate rest every night, you are putting your body at risk for developing serious health issues.
Many of us develop temporary anxiety issues when attempting to cope with the loss of someone we loved. Grief can be a very complicated process and it is not unusual for the effects of grief to last a long time. Extreme or persistent worrying is normal when coping with loss. It is, however, very important that you seek professional help if your anxiety does not subside over time, or if it causes problems within your personal or work life.
There is no one size fits all for grief; the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone – things will get easier but it does take time.