What are the symptoms of grief?
Grief is an exceptionally powerful emotion and can present with a number of physical and psychological symptoms. Though grieving will look different for everyone, symptoms typically include:
- Anxiety or inability to relax
- Persistent anger
- Lingering feelings of betrayal or guilt
- Difficulty concentrating
- Withdrawal from loved ones
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in spirituality
- Weight loss
- Appetite changes
- Suppression of the immune system
The benefits of grief counseling
If you are still struggling with persistent feelings of despair after the bereavement period of grief, counseling can help. It can’t change what happened, but counseling can change how you process grief. Here’s how grief counseling can best benefit you.
1. Accepting the reality and permanence of the loss
Grief isn’t always something you experience right away. Many people find themselves in denial about the reality and permanence of their loss. This makes it difficult to process and accept what has happened. Grief counseling can help you understand and accept the fact that you’ve suffered from a major loss.
2. Expressing and understanding emotions in a safe space
Expressing and understanding emotions somewhere free of judgment is crucial to working through what has happened to you. Holding everything in and repressing your emotions can lead to further stress, anxiety, and sadness. A safe space to let it all out can make a significant difference in the management of your grief.
3. Identifying healthy coping mechanisms
When something terrible occurs, it can be difficult to deal with it in healthy ways. Some people who experience grief turn to dependency and self-destructive behaviors to avoid dealing with the grief. Others find themselves overeating or sleeping too little or too much. Therapy can help you identify healthy coping mechanisms that will work for you.
4. Overcoming guilt associated with loss
Many people who experience a loss will experience feelings of guilt—for things they’ve said or done, or for things they wish they’d said or done. These guilty feelings can be exceptionally difficult to overcome. Talk therapy can help you accept the reality that no relationship is perfect and identify constructive ways to deal with should-haves and shouldn’t-haves.
5. Setting realistic goals to move forward and live well
Moving forward can be a difficult concept to grasp after experiencing a loss. For many people, it’s the most difficult part of the grieving process. And facing it alone only makes it that much more challenging. Grief counseling can help you continue to lead a full life after your loss while still honoring your loved one’s passing.
Improve your well-being with grief counseling in Chicago
If you have recently experienced a loss, talk therapy with a licensed counselor can help you navigate this difficult time. At Wellington Counseling Group, we take an incredibly supportive approach to grief counseling so you can find acceptance and maintain control over your life after loss.
Contact us today to learn more about grief counseling in Chicago.