02 May 2018

Using Self Expression to Cope With Grief

Man comforting his friendIf you are mourning the loss of a loved one and wondering whether you are recovering at a slower pace than you should, stop. Remember that there is no “normal” way or timeline when it comes to coping with grief. Do not pass judgments on your own strength.

If the feelings intensify though or begin to evolve into depression, you may consider seeking professional support. There are bereavement programs here in Indiana that can guide your journey back to happiness.

Experts found two of the strategies that work, and they are writing and creating. You might say these aren’t your hobbies. Nor are they within your toolbox of skills. But they have helped many who are wrestling with the same difficult emotions.

Here’s what you need to know about these two ways to cope.

Writing

A blank sheet of paper or an empty screen will accept your thoughts without judgment or prejudice. This is why they are very effective tools for self-discovery and self-expression. Even professionals believe you can be your best therapist when you allow yourself to be honest and open about how you really feel.

In a study, psychologists James Pennebaker and Janet D. Seagal studied the effects of 15 minutes of writing on students. The researchers found that those who tackled emotional subjects had fewer trips to the doctor for that year.

But for an even better understanding of the effects of penning down your innermost demons, here is the real-life experience of a father who lost his son.

Creating

Words are not the only means for people to express themselves. The arts have long provided an outlet for thoughts and emotions helping the vulnerable cope with pain, sorrow and grief. Creativity comes from a deep, emotional place.

When you make paintings, crafts, and music that speak about your journey, you can share your story and connect with an audience.

As you wrestle with pain and grief, do remember that love does not die when people do.

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