How Grief Can Effect Your Health: 5 Ways To Accept & Move Forward

The stress of grief can literally kill you. Humans, being intellectual creatures, often try to reason it away, but if the loss is not acknowledged and accepted, the pain of denial can affect your health. People experience loss in many different ways. Some people ignore it and refuse to believe that it affects them; many others handle it with anger. For each unique person, there is a unique way that they handle loss. Some people appear to be paralyzed with their loss. Whether the loss comes from a beloved career, the loss of a relationship, or the actual death of a loved one, the grief felt for the loss is real. If you are overcome with grief and cannot seem to move on, there are some ways that you can manage your loss.


Risk Factors

First, understand that your emotions come from a sense of loss and that you cannot reason it away. Loss is a part of life and if you do not acknowledge the loss and work through the grief, then your health can be affected. The health risks of unresolved grief are serious and can cause a condition known as “complicated grief”, according to the Mayo Clinic. The risk factors of this condition include; suicide or an unexpected or violent death, lack of a support system, closeness with the deceased person, an inability to adapt, and an inability to move through the stages of grief.


Stages of Grief

Research has shown that there are common stages of grief that most people go through. Moving past each stage is a healthy coping strategy. Although it may sound simple, it is not. Each person is unique and so are you and your coping mechanism. Some people move through the stages quickly and others take more time. The experts from The Cremation Society of Ohio say the stages of grief considered most common are shock and denial, bargaining, depression, anger, and finally acceptance. Moving through the stages helps you to adapt to the reality of the loss.


Signs of Inability to Cope:



Compulsive behavior

Minimizing feelings

Avoiding or ignoring emotions

If you find yourself or a loved one experiencing any of these symptoms, there is help.


5 Ways to Acceptance:

Acceptance is the stage that allows you to move on. The loss is still with you, but your natural coping mechanisms have been triggered.

Acknowledge positive and negative feelings and accept them.

Take the time to express feelings and emotions openly. Allow yourself to grieve.

Express your feelings of loss in a journal.

Join a bereavement group.

Seek professional help.


While each person grieves in their own way, there are some common ways to help you through the grieving process. Most people go through the common stages of grief and come out on the other side and are able to move on. Others need more time and help. Do not be afraid to seek the help that you need to move on.