Grief often arises at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. It could come after the death of a loved one, friend, or pet. You can be mourning the passing of your youth, the life you had envisioned for yourself, or the kid you had hoped to raise in the future. But whatever loved one you have lost, it is important that you take care of your spiritual health so you won’t get yourself into another problem.
Before we go ahead to share the tips to help you care for your spiritual health after the death of a loved one, we would love to let you know what spiritual health is and the importance of caring for your spiritual health after losing a loved one.
What Is Spiritual Health?
Wellness on a spiritual level recognizes our quest for a greater purpose in life. When our spiritual lives are in good shape, we feel more connected to both a higher force and those around us. Our daily decisions are clearer to us, and we act in a way that is more in line with our views and values.
Spirituality is a belief or worldview that recognizes that there is more to life than what we can experience through our senses; there is more to the universe than mechanics and theory; there is more to our consciousness than electrical impulses in the brain; and more to our existence than our body and its basic needs.
The spirit cannot be classified as a component of the body or the mind. The three are interconnected and have an impact on one another. By improving your spiritual life, you can contribute to the healing process. Spirituality may not be able to cure you, but it can help you cope with the pain and difficulties that accompany illness.
Spiritual health is achieved when you feel at peace with life. It is when you are able to find hope and comfort in even the hardest of times. It can help to support you as you experience life fully. Spirituality is unique to everyone.
The Importance Of Caring For Your Spiritual Self After Losing A Loved One
We think that maintaining your overall health needs to give your mind and spirit as much care as your physical body. A greater sense of inner peace and more empathetic interactions are just two of the many advantages of having a strong spiritual foundation.
Your whole health greatly depends on your spiritual well-being. Prayer, meditation, and other spiritual exercises not only help us feel better and sometimes even recover more quickly, but they also shape who we are as people. No matter if you engage in a very personal spiritual practice or not
Other importance of caring for your spiritual health include:
IT CAN HELP YOU THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS
Putting your spiritual health first can mean different things to different people. But if you consistently put it last or don't think about it at all, your life will lose its significance.
When you prioritize your spiritual health and care for your spiritual health after losing a loved one, there is every tendency that you will get relived and feel better.
HELPS YOU MAKE SUCCESSFUL DECISIONS
People that explore spirituality typically concentrate on being or becoming the best version of themselves. Being mindful of your actions, behaviors, and decisions comes naturally when you place value on living your best life.
A person's capacity to make moral decisions and abstain from harmful behaviors is influenced by their level of compassion and concern for the world around them. When you take your spiritual health seriously, your decision-making instinct will be better and more concise.
MORE INTERACTIONS WITH OTHERS
Taking care of your spiritual health keeps you in touch with your loved ones, including family and friends.
Opportunities to interact with people considerably increase when one engages in different spiritual exercises or services. These interactions and gathering foster a stronger sense of community. Time and time again, caring and meaningful relationships have been demonstrated to improve mental and emotional health.
Although religious or spiritual groups are not the only ones who gain from the association, these spiritual associations frequently better reflect our very core values.
Persistently feeling the need to live up to our values is incredibly draining, and it can lead to bad self- and life perceptions. It is vital to clarify that this does not refer to depression brought on by a chemical imbalance or any other conditions, drug interactions, or other factors that may cause depression.
The depression we're discussing here stems from a persistent misalignment between our inner principles and our behavior. When what we observe in the world conflicts with our worldview, it negatively impacts our sense of well-being.
Spending time on spiritual activities can help us immensely in identifying these conflicts and moving through them in order to help close the gap or inspire us to take action. Sometimes, just realizing this gap might be enough to dispel bad ideas. We may experience a strong sense of wisdom and power.
LIFE GETS A NEW PURPOSE
One of the most important reasons why many people value spirituality is the quest to understand "the purpose of life." People are motivated to improve themselves by their yearning for a higher purpose and "something sacred" that is greater than themselves. Your knowledge of what it means to be a human can grow as a result of reflecting on who you are.
As a result, spiritual individuals frequently pause and appreciate all of life's experiences. People who are spiritually well-rounded may be more aware of the modest, everyday activities and thus have a greater experience of the simple pleasures in life.
IMPROVES HAPPINESS & CONTENTMENT
A positive outlook, a sense of self-worth, distinct ideals, and self-acceptance are common characteristics of those with improved spiritual health. People who need to reexamine or work on their spiritual welfare may experience emptiness, self-judgment, a sense of meaninglessness, and contradictory values.
Spirituality is a state of mind. The happiness and comfort that comes from knowing that everything will turn out as "planned" is satisfying and fosters a sense of tranquility.
A positive view on life and an ability to accept things as they have come naturally to those who embrace this perspective. This way of thinking about life encourages satisfaction and reduces worry, which in turn leads to happiness.
IN HOPELESS SITUATIONS IT PROVIDES HOPE
In what seems to be a hopeless circumstance, having faith or believing in something greater than oneself frequently gives confidence and comfort. Ancient spiritual beliefs can help people heal from traumatic situations and provide hope when things are grim.
People that are spiritual are generous and express gratitude for all of life's blessings, no matter how insignificant. According to psychological research, being grateful is linked to a wide range of beneficial attitudes and behaviors, including optimism, compassion, and general vigor.
STIMULATES PEACE & STRESS RELIEF
Spiritual awareness is intimately linked to introspective practices like meditation or prayer. They are excellent stress relievers that successfully foster inner tranquility. Naturally, meditation works with one's inner self to train the mind and soul to achieve a state of relaxation that frequently fosters the growth of compassion and peace.
Daily difficulties won't have much of an impact on a person's reactionary thoughts or responsive behavior if they have developed a sense of interior ease and spiritual well-being. They will experience and transmit serenity to the outside world as a result.
Before we discuss the tips you have to follow to help you care for your spiritual health after the demise of a loved one, we will discuss in depth what grieving is all about and how to about it.
Grieving The Loss Of A Loved One
Grief is complicated, and you'll probably be swaying between these different stages. You might even discover that while certain stages are completely absent from your experience, others are deeply experienced. You can strengthen your spiritual health by accepting that the grieving process is fluid.
The grief of losing a loved one is unlike anything else. While it's impossible to avoid experiencing strong emotions of sadness, there are healthy approaches to accepting your loss.
Learn more about How Grief Can Change Over Time.
What Is Bereavement?
Bereavement is the period of time you spend grieving and mourning after losing a loved one. The demise of someone you love can be one of the most terrible events you'll ever go through, despite being an inevitable aspect of life that almost everyone endures at some point.
When a close friend, spouse, partner, parent, kid, or other relative passes away, it can be difficult to cope. The intensity and difficulty of your emotions may come in waves, and they could range from great sadness, emptiness, and despair to shock, apathy, remorse, or regret.
Your rage at the circumstances of your loved one's passing could be directed at God, yourself, medical personnel, other family members, or other loved ones. You might even find it difficult to realize that the person is truly gone or to imagine a future in which you will be able to heal and move on from your loss.
Bereavement goes beyond just feeling sad or angry. Grief over a loved one's passing can also result in physical symptoms like changes in food and weight, trouble sleeping, aches and pains, and a weakened immune system that can lead to sickness and other health issues.
How grieving affects you after a loss can depend on a variety of factors, including your personality, the type of support you have around you, and your own health and well-being. It's crucial to realize that there are healthy methods to deal with the suffering and accept your loss, regardless of how much sorrow you're experiencing right now. Even while there may never be a time when life is quite the same again, you can gradually let go of your grief, begin to look to the future with hope and optimism, and move on with your life.
Acknowledging The Pain Of Losing A Loved One
The circumstances surrounding your loved one's passing, how long you grieved before their passing, your bond with them, and your prior bereavement experiences all have a role in how strong your emotions are. Of course, just as no two relationships or losses are ever the same, so are any two losses.
In other words, the more significant the deceased was in your life, and the more feelings you had for them, regardless of their relationship to you, the greater the impact their loss is likely to have.
LOSS OF A SPOUSE OR PARTNER
When you lose a romantic partner or spouse, you frequently also have to cope with the stress of practical concerns like funeral plans and financial concerns. This is in addition to the emotional toll that grieving takes on you. Along with dealing with your own pain, you may also need to explain your spouse's passing to your kids and figure out how to console them.
Grieving the loss of your partner also means you will have to grieve the daily routine you had shared together, a shared past, and a future you had planned together. You might experience feelings of isolation, hopelessness, and anxiety. You might even feel furious at your loved one for leaving you or guilty about failing in some way to safeguard your relationship.
LOSS OF A PARENT
One traumatic event that can occur in childhood for younger children is losing a mother or father. Your foundation might be shaken and a vast, terrifying vacuum left in your existence when someone you relied on passes away. This person loved you without condition. Additionally, it is typical for young children to place the blame on a parent's passing on themselves, which exacerbates the grief.
It can be very destabilizing to lose a parent, even as an adult child. It's easy to become lost and to have all those old childhood insecurities come rushing back. If your parent lived a long and fulfilling life, it might give you some comfort, but their passing may also make you reflect on your own mortality.
A person who has lost both parents is suddenly a member of an older generation—a generation without parents—and must also mourn their childhood. Furthermore, if you and your parent had a difficult relationship, their passing may leave you struggling with a range of confusing feelings.
LOSS OF A CHILD
Losing a child always has terrible effects. Not only are you losing the individual, but you are also losing the years of potential, hopes, and dreams that lay ahead. The trauma may be more severe, the bereavement process may be more difficult to manage, and the grief may be more profound.
Parental guilt can frequently be debilitating because you feel accountable for your child's wellbeing and safety. Losing a child carries a heavier sense of injustice, regardless of whether they were lost during pregnancy, as a baby, or after they had grown up and moved out. It feels odd for a parent to outlive their child, which makes it more difficult to find meaning in and accept their passing.
Parenting any remaining children can become emotionally difficult after losing a child, which can put a great deal of strain on your relationship with your spouse or partner.
Learn more on Dealing with Grief after the Loss of a Child.
LOSS OF A FRIEND
We experience happiness, understanding, and companionship through close friendships. In actuality, they're essential to our health and wellbeing, so it makes sense that we would feel their loss so keenly.
The closeness of your friendship may not be given the same significance as a family member or romantic partner, which can make it easy to feel marginalized when a close friend passes away. As a result, you may experience what is known as disenfranchised grief, in which your loss is minimized, and you may feel stigmatized or judged for feeling the loss so strongly.
No matter your relationship with the deceased, it's critical to keep in mind that everyone experiences grief differently. There is absolutely no one right way to respond. It's acceptable to feel how you feel when you lose a loved one. Even though some people cry to express their sorrow and some people don't cry at all, both groups are still affected by the loss.
Don't judge yourself, believe that you should be acting differently, or attempt to put a time limit on your grief. It takes time to grieve someone's passing.
When Bereavement Doesn't Ease Up
You might never fully recover from the loss of a loved one. However, as you start to accept your loss and move on with your life, it's normal for challenging emotions like sadness or anger to gradually lessen over time.
A sign that your grief has progressed into a more serious issue, such as complicated grief or major depression, is if you don't feel better over time or if your pain is getting worse.
Depression Versus Grief
Although they share many symptoms, it can be difficult to distinguish between grief and depression; there are some ways to do so:
• Grief can be an uphill battle. It involves a variety of feelings, including good and bad days. Even in the midst of the grieving process, you will occasionally experience joy or happiness.
• In contrast, depression is characterized by persistent feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Other signs that one may experience that suggest depression, and not grief, include:
• Strong and pervasive guilt.
• Suicidal thoughts or preoccupation with passing away.
• Feelings of worthlessness or despair.
• Sluggish speech and bodily motions.
• Inability to conduct normal activities at work, school, or home.
• Perceiving or hearing unreal things.
What Is Complicated Grief?
Even though the sorrow of losing someone you never love completely goes away, it shouldn't take up all the attention. A condition known as continuous complex bereavement disorder or complicated grief may be present in you if the agony of the loss is so intense and ongoing that it prevents you from moving on with your life.
Being in a prolonged, intense state of mourning resembles complicated grief. Even years after the death may pass before you are able to accept it, or you may become so preoccupied with the deceased that it interferes with your daily activities and strains your other relationships.
Complicated grief has the following symptoms:
• A strong yearning and desire for your departed loved one.
• Obtrusive ideas or visuals of the individual.
• Denying the death or expressing disbelief.
• Visualizing a deceased loved one in your mind.
• Looking for the deceased in familiar locations.
• Steering clear of things that bring back bad memories.
• Extreme bitterness or rage at your loss
• Feeling that life is pointless or empty.
Complicated Grief & Trauma
Complicated grief might present as psychological trauma or PTSD if your loved one's death was unexpected, violent, or in any other way very upsetting or stressful.
When a loved one passes away, traumatization can leave you feeling helpless and battling with distressing emotions, anxiety, and memories that won't go away. However, you can make healing changes and continue living your life if you have the right guidance.
Getting Professional Help & Support
It is recommended that you get the help of a mental health professional as soon as possible if you're exhibiting signs of trauma, complicated grief, or clinical depression. If untreated, these conditions can cause severe emotional harm, grave health issues, and even suicide. Treatment, however, can aid in your recovery.
If you need more professional assistance to help you get better then you can check out this link here for more materials and resources that will help you get better while grieving.
Now that we have discussed about what grieving is all about and how to go about it, we can now go ahead to give you our 10 tips to help you care for your spiritual health after the death of a loved one.
10 Tips For Helping You Care For Your Spiritual Health After The Loss Of A Loved One
Although it cannot completely eradicate grief, meditation can alter how pain is perceived. The body and mind can find serenity during trying times by engaging in meditation for grief. Meditation can help you strengthen your spirituality regardless of what religion you follow or what kind of belief system you have.
Numerous grief-related symptoms, including poor concentration, physical pain, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia, can be helped by meditation. We can focus, concentrate, and grow compassion toward ourselves and others through meditation. Our immune system and general health are strengthened by meditation.
Meditation is similar to mental exercise in that it strengthens the brain, just as physical exercise does the same for the body. Practice is necessary for meditation, which is a form of mind control that centers the mind and prevents it from wandering aimlessly.
Grieving people can honor their bond with the deceased through meditation. It supports the integration of uplifting memories into life after loss. However, if the relationship was complicated, it could be difficult because it's important to accept unpleasant feelings and deal with regret and resentment.
By mastering meditation techniques, one can regulate their thoughts during a painful time and lessen both their mental and physical pain. This kind of compassion-building has positive effects on one's physical, emotional, and social welfare.
Yoga is a traditional Indian exercise that has been done for thousands of years. It may both calm the mind and build physical strength. It has also been proven that those that are grieving can benefit from it.
Yoga has been linked to stress reduction in studies. Additionally, it can aid in coping with grief since the postures ease stress and tension, divert attention from the hurt of loss, increase blood flow to joints and ligaments, and lessen grief-related tiredness and fatigue.
Grief is a psychological experience, but there is also a complex relationship between the body and the mind. A six-week yoga treatment program for grief, according to a 2009 study, significantly improved participants' appetite, energy levels, sleep, body stiffness, relaxation, concentration, and focus.
Yoga offers a safe environment to work through challenging emotions and aids in letting go of the mental and physical tension that grieving causes in the body. When someone genuinely needs to find some peace, it enables them to do so. Yoga also encourages self-care and blends it with grieving, allowing one to continue to feel a connection to the deceased.
By mastering meditation techniques, one can regulate their thoughts during a painful time and lessen both their mental and physical pain. This kind of compassion-building has positive effects on one's physical, emotional, and social welfare.
UNDERSTAND THE GRIEF PROCESS
The five phases of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—are well-known to almost everyone. But many individuals are unaware that the grieving process doesn't go in a straightforward manner, starting with denial and ending with acceptance.
It's crucial to keep in mind that everyone's grief process is unique and might be complicated. You might not follow these instructions perfectly, or you might experience new emotions after you thought you had passed through the stages of grief. You might begin to recover from a loss by giving yourself permission to feel sadness in your own way.
You can strengthen your spiritual health by accepting the ebbs and flows of the grieving process. Keep in mind that none of these phases have a set duration. One person may go through the stages quickly—in a couple of weeks, for example—while another person may take months or even years to do so. It's very natural for you to go through these stages in the time that you do.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS
Because grieving can be such a terrible experience, some people willfully choose to suppress their emotions in an effort to prevent the agony. Avoidance does not work when dealing with grief. Even while avoiding grief may seem like the wisest course of action, you will eventually have to face and experience it.
Grief-related emotions can range widely. Your emotions may fluctuate a lot, which is quite natural. Recognize your emotions in both yourself and others. You could feel depressed, guilty, angry, or remorseful while you grieve. Additionally, it is natural for feelings of relief to the surface, especially if the loved one has been in pain.
This spectrum of feelings is typical of the grieving process. It is healthy to move through the grieving process by acknowledging and expressing it. Others are likely to do the same as you share your emotions and remember your loved one's life, which can aid in both of your healing processes.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Sometimes, grief can be so overwhelming that it makes it difficult to recognize your own needs. Grief and self-care are crucial factors to take into account. It may seem inconsequential at the time, but it is actually quite vital.
Numerous definitions exist for taking care of oneself, and it is definitely a subjective experience that only you can judge. What exactly does taking care of oneself mean to you? During difficult circumstances, remaining physically well, getting enough sleep, and maintaining friendships are all important methods to maintain your well-being.
Saying no to additional tasks or responsibilities for a period can help you take care of yourself. Grief can be draining, and you may need to conserve your energy as you wait for it to pass. Self-care is a crucial area of concentration during times of loss if you want to progress toward recovery. It is not egotistical, self-centered, or greedy. In order to honor your own health and wellness while you bounce back after a significant loss, practice self-care. Self-compassion is self-care.
Another crucial part of self-care is eating well. It may be tough to eat enough food during grieving. A poor diet and a reduced capacity to eat properly can occasionally be brought on by despair, anxiety, and the physical symptoms of grief. It is even more important to eat a balanced diet because of these demands on your bodily and emotional well-being.
It's crucial to consume a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to control depressive symptoms and cope with grief. Maintaining a healthy diet during times of grieving also requires avoiding empty carbs, sugary foods, and alcohol. Making your food choices matter can have a huge impact on how your body feels and recovers, even if you tend to consume tiny quantities at a time during the day.
Grief can leave us speechless, whether it comes on suddenly and unexpectedly or as a wave of agony from a previous loss. Our thoughts are racing, making it difficult to concentrate on the tasks at hand. When you lose a close family member, the first thing you should do is pray, even when it seems like the last thing you can do.
The weight of grief is lifted through prayer, which also gives us access to God's power and consolation. The God who gives comfort will reach out to you when you feel as though you are drowning in suffering and will guide you through it.
Sincere prayers enable us to express our concerns, anxieties, and questions with God from the bottom of our hearts. By bringing our sorrow to God, we are able to concentrate on His truths and promises. Scripture and other people's prayers might provide you with ideas for heartfelt prayers when you are at a loss for words.
UNDERSTAND THAT GRIEF IS UNPREDICTABLE
Grief can leave you feeling utterly uncontrollable, which is unsettling and can cause a lot of misery. It's normal for the grieving process to be unpredictable. You could find yourself crying at odd times. During times of mourning, powerful emotions can suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, take control of any given moment.
You might find yourself giving in to the ebbs and flows of feeling as you go through the grieving process. It could appear as though these intense emotions are in control of you, and that is very natural. It will be more difficult to move on from mourning the more you try to suppress your emotions and retain control.
No one should ever assume that you are "over" it or have recovered from your loss. Grief has no set duration and is personal and specific to the person experiencing it. At a moment of profound loss, it is normal for your feelings to be erratic.
BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF
Be patient and give yourself time as you go through the variety of feelings that comes with grieving. There may be certain periods when you question whether you'll ever feel well again. Trust yourself to heal as you sit through those times. It will take time, and it will happen. Treat yourself with kindness.
Honoring your needs means paying attention to what your body, mind, and spirit are requesting, just as you would with a loved one who has passed away. We frequently have conflicting standards for ourselves and others. Give yourself the same compassion and love that you would provide to a friend who is mourning by asking how you would treat them.
It takes time to grieve. There isn't a way to avoid it. When we have strong feelings for someone who has passed away, this is a normal process we go through. Give yourself the same love, kindness, patience, and compassion you would extend to a friend.
REACH OUT TO OTHERS DEALING WITH LOSS
Reaching out to those who are experiencing loss is one of the finest ways to navigate your grief and recover from it. Supporting others who are grieving is a win-win situation. Sitting next to others who are experiencing loss and grief at the same time is a profound experience.
When grieving, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of normalcy. Talking with others who are grieving can help. The sense of community among those who are grieving can give everyone involved hope and healing.
Reaching out to mourning members of the community, as well as loved ones who have suffered the same loss, can be quite beneficial. Nobody should be left to grieve alone. Being with people who are going through the same emotions as you are and talking about how sorrow has affected your life can be helpful.
Your grief experience may surprise you in how similar it is to others, and talking about it honestly can provide an unmatched amount of healing. A therapeutic experience that might aid in the grief process and speed up recovery is connecting with others and expressing shared emotions.
Read: 10 Ways To Support A Family Member Or Friend After They’ve Suffered A Loss
ACCEPT YOUR NEW REALITY
The acceptance phase is one of the last phases of grief. It could seem unlikely early on in the grieving process that you would ever be able to embrace this new reality without your loved one. It takes a lot of effort to accept grief and loss during the mourning process. There are various stages of grief, and it's acceptable to go through them at different times as you're healing—or even to go back to earlier phases right when you thought you were done with them.
As you adjust to this new reality that involves loss and sadness, you can finally come to understand the significance of your loss or realize how profoundly this grieving process has affected you. Through this profound agony and loss, grief may be a gift that helps you see the value in life and reconnect with your essential principles.
Grief can appear in a variety of ways that feel more like a blessing than you could have anticipated as you come to terms with your new situation. Be patient as you develop, experience emotions, and recover. Setting up acceptance of progress along the process will be a part of adjusting to your new reality. When healing starts, guilt feelings are frequently present. Keep in mind that your recovery is a gift of sadness and that it pays tribute to your loved one. To heal and move past sadness is a normal, healthy part of the process; it is not a betrayal.
The loss of a loved one always leaves us in shambles but there are some certain materials and items that can help us in the grief process aside these tips that we have mentioned here. You can check out this link here to find out more about how this can help you get better>> A perfect harmony of ashes and artistry.
Spiritual Health & Frequently Asked Questions
How do you deal with grief spiritually?
Dealing with grief spiritually has to do with taking care of our spiritual life when we lose our loved ones. You must go close to God at this period and always pray whenever you feel like you are losing it. This will help you stay strong and take away any negative thoughts.
How does grief affect spirituality?
Grief can have a negative impact on your life if you don’t handle it carefully. You may begin to doubt the existence of God, feel betrayed, and even feel guilty for the death of your loved one. It is totally fine to feel this way but do not give in to these thoughts. Follow our 10 tips, and you will be fine.
How do you keep yourself mentally healthy after losing someone?
If you must stay mentally healthy after the loss of a loved one, then you must take care of yourself. Ensure you eat well, meditate if you can, work out and interact with people around you.
Why is spiritual Health Important?
Spiritual health is important for a lot of reasons. Spiritual health strengthens our relationships with others around us. It also impacts our lives in a way that supports our life purpose and values and breathes positivity into the spaces we occupy. When you are healthy spiritually, you will also be healthy mentally and physically.
Spiritual Health And Awareness To Move Forward
It's critical to keep in mind that every person experiences loss in a unique way. Even while you might go through all five stages of grief, you might also find it challenging to categorize your emotions into any particular stage. When coping with loss, be patient with yourself and your emotions.
Give yourself some time to sort through all of your feelings, and then talk to loved ones or a healthcare professional about your experiences when you're ready to. Remember that you don't have to do anything special if you are helping someone who has lost a close one, like a spouse or sibling. Just give them space to speak when they're ready.
September 21, 2022 by Jeri K. Augustus