Physical Effects of Grief

sad girl sitting by the window

It’s widely known that the grieving process takes a toll on a person emotionally and mentally, but grief can also have negative effects on your body. When you’re going through a painful or traumatic loss, like after a Denver car accident, your entire well-being can be turned upside down. It’s important to be proactive and stay ahead of these potential issues by understanding the physical effects of grief.

Disrupted Sleep Patterns

Anyone that has experienced a loss knows that your mind will take you through all sorts of thoughts and emotions. One of the first things that will be affected is your sleep. Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much can cause even more problems such as zapped energy levels, poor coordination and cognitive responses, feelings of lethargy, and irregular blood pressure.

Energy Loss

As expected, when you’re going through a rough period of grief and your sleep schedule is out of whack, you’re going to feel tired and have lower than normal energy levels. Your body isn’t able to heal itself during normal solid periods of rest, so you could experience fatigue, overall feelings of lethargy, and a foggy-headed feeling that makes it even harder to get anything done.

Nervousness and Anxiousness

Feelings of anxiety and nervousness in your thoughts can manifest in physical ways. You might have trouble concentrating and find yourself unable to relax. You could become very fidgety or become very tense, and in some cases, people’s anxiety can become so bad that they have uncontrollable anxiety attacks, which are your body’s response to what your mind is feeling.

Pain and Discomfort

The mental and emotional stress of losing a loved one, especially in cases requiring these wrongful death attorneys in the Bay Area, can cause a whole host of physical symptoms. Combined with sleep disruptions, energy loss, and nervousness, grief can manifest itself in the form of:

  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Tense muscles that lead to body aches and pain in your neck, back, and shoulders
  • And an overall feeling of not being well.

Digestive Problems

Once your sleep patterns are off and you’re not feeling well, the next thing that might cause you physical problems is disrupted eating habits. You might not feel like eating at all, so you’re not getting the proper nutrition you need to get your body through such a difficult time. You might start to feel stomach pain, nausea, or have issues with constipation or diarrhea. 

Weakened Immune System

Stress can have horrible effects on your body. One of these effects is suppression or weakening of your immune system, which makes you more susceptible to catching a cold or the flu, or if you already have a health condition grief and the stress that comes with it can make an already existing health problem worse.

Weight Gain or Weight Loss

Stress from grief can cause a person to greatly change their eating habits. Some people might eat more or eat foods that are unhealthy to cope with their feelings. Others may not eat at all because they don’t have the energy to prepare a meal, or they might even forget to eat. Oftentimes, we don’t think about taking care of ourselves the way we should when we’re hurting.

How to Cope With the Physical Effects of Grief

If It’s Manageable

Going through the grieving process is going to look different for every person. If possible, try to remember to get rest and take time to relax your mind and body. Make sure you’re eating properly and drinking plenty of water, which will help with feelings of fatigue. If possible, get up and get moving, even if it’s just a short walk outside or some stretching. You’ll feel much better.

If It Feels Like Too Much

Sometimes, feelings of grief can seem unbearable or as if they’re not improving as time goes on. However, if it becomes too much or you’re experiencing thoughts, emotions, or physical problems that aren’t getting better over time, you should contact your doctor or a grief hotline. Grief is painful and difficult, but it’s also normal and there’s nothing wrong with seeking help. 

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