Do you know that there are healthy ways to handle grief? In this article, I want to share with you 3 healthy ways to process grief.
Grief is the unwanted guest when we face losses of any kind. It is a heavy mixture of sadness, sorrow, anger, anxiety, depression, and painful longing for what we have lost. Grief envelops our hearts in a dark cloud, and sometimes it seems there is no light at all. We carry grief around like a burden that weighs heavily on our souls. Nevertheless, grief is not something we should retain in us. We need to help it find its way out in healthy ways.
There are many ways to handle grief. Let’s look first at a couple of unhealthy ones.Grief is a heavy mixture of sadness, sorrow, anger, anxiety, depression, and painful longing for what we have lost. #grief #loss #encouragement Click To Tweet
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2 Unhealthy Ways to Handle Grief
The first unhealthy way to deal with grief is to numb and suppress it. Numbing can take various forms. We can numb our grief by distracting ourselves with different activities, work, or people, so we can avoid the moment when we need to face our painful feelings. Numbing is not good because it can lead to developing certain addictions like excessive shopping, TV watching, or excessive eating. The root of these addictions is to replace grief with some activity that brings pleasure. However, this doesn’t work because grief remains and even intensifies.
The second unhealthy way is to express our painful emotions in inappropriate ways, like overreacting in different situations or venting our emotions on people, usually releasing our anger and anxiety in inappropriate and harmful ways. Letting our unrestrained feelings surface in our relationships is not a healthy way to deal with our grief, although it may seem that it brings a kind of alleviation.
3 Healthy Ways to Handle Grief
There are better and healthy ways to handle grief.
#1 Feeling All Our Feelings
The first step to handling grief in a healthy way is to allow ourselves to feel all our painful feelings in their intensity. We usually tend to avoid this because of the pain, but it is exactly when we invite and face these feelings that we can overcome them. Next time when you feel this cutting pain in your stomach, just stop and allow yourself to face it. Feel the different feelings, name them, and acknowledge their existence.
#2 Expressing the Feelings of Grief and the Thoughts Behind
Wrap in words the thoughts behind the feelings of grief and expressing them is the next step. The best way to express our grief is to speak about it or write about it, or even paint it if this is what we love to do. We need a safe person or persons who are empathic, understanding, and caring and who can listen to us without judging.
The safest person to whom we can express our grief is God. Our Lord Jesus is called “the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus knows the depths of grief and He can feel our pain and have great understanding and compassion for us. In fact, He is fully able to empathize because He knows experientially every trial and every kind of suffering. (Hebrews 4:15)
In the Bible, especially in the Psalms, God gives us the right words to convey our painful feeling of grief and express them. This form of psalms when we complain to God while still having our hope and faith in Him is called lament. Here is an example of one beautiful lament: “All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.” (Psalm 38:9-10)The safest person to whom we can express our grief is our Lord Jesus Who is called “the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. #grief #sorrow #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
#3 Give Our Feelings of Grief to Jesus
The last step after we have expressed our grief to a safe person or a white sheet of paper is to give our feelings of grief to Jesus. In an act of faith, we lay them at the foot of the cross.
We choose to surrender the grief in us to the Lord, asking Him to bring true comfort and healing. And we look to Him not only as the safest person for our grief but also as our Healer, Comforter, Restorer, and Redeemer. We ask Him to take our grief and replace it with comfort, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. In a humble act of surrender, we give Him access to our wounds and invite His intervention.
The Lord is Our Healer
The Lord is fully able to heal every wound and redeem every loss. Our grief and suffering are not in vain. He collects every tear we are shedding and works to bring something beautiful from the broken pieces of our shattered dreams, and hearts.
Will you trust Him with your grief today?
More Encouragement and Comfort for You
If you need more resources to encourage and comfort you in your grief journey, I can highly recommend these books. Check them out.
The Book of Comforts by Hadassah Treu
A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry L. Sittser
A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life by Jerry L. Sittser
Restoration Year – a 365 Days Devotional by John Eldredge
All Things New by John Eldredge
It’s not supposed to Be This Way by Lisa Terkeurst
Grieving the Write Way Journal and Workbook by Gary Roe
Suffering and the Heart of God by Diane Langberg
Hope When Life Unravels: Finding God When It Hurts by Adam Dooley
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Have you handled your grief in unhealthy ways? What do you need to do today to handle your grief in a healthy way? Share in the comments. If you found this post helpful, I would be happy if you share it on social media. Thanks.Find out 3 healthy ways to handle grief. #grief #suffering #comfort Click To Tweet
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