How to Find Self-Love and Acceptance Through Grief and Fear

SAMHSA’s National Helpline

  • What Is Substance Abuse Treatment and How Does It Work? A Booklet for Children and Their Families This program was developed for family members of those who suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction difficulties. Questions regarding substance abuse, including its symptoms, different forms of therapy, and rehabilitation are addressed in this section. This publication addresses the issues of children whose parents have drug misuse or addiction disorders. Addiction to alcohol and drugs may occur in even the most loving of families. This book describes how alcohol and drug addiction have an impact on the entire family. He describes the process of drug and alcohol addiction therapy, how family interventions may be a first step toward recovery, and how to assist children in homes afflicted by alcoholism and drug misuse. It’s Not Your Fault (National Association of Colleges and Employers) (PDF | 12 KB) Assures kids who have parents who misuse alcohol or drugs that “It’s not your fault!” and that they are not alone in their struggles with substance addiction. A resource list is provided, which encourages kids to seek emotional assistance from other adults, school counselors, and youth support organizations such as Alateen, among other places. It Hurts So Much: It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way The organization provides information on alcohol and drug addiction to youngsters whose parents or friends’ parents may be struggling with substance misuse issues. The author encourages young people to look out for one another by talking about their problems and joining support organizations such as Alateen. When There Has Been an Attempt: A Guide to Taking Care of a Family Member Once you have received treatment in the emergency department, Aids family members in dealing with the aftermath of a relative’s suicide attempt by providing information and resources. Provides an overview of the emergency department treatment procedure, a list of questions to ask regarding follow-up care, and information on how to limit risk and maintain safety while at home. Family therapy can be beneficial for people who are recovering from mental illness or substance abuse. This course examines the function of family therapy in the treatment of mental illness and substance misuse. A family therapy session is described in detail, along with the people that conduct them. It also includes information on the usefulness of family therapy in the rehabilitation process. Please visit the SAMHSA Store for further resources.

How to Find Self-Love and Acceptance Through Grief and Fear

Subscribe to Outside+ now to get unique access to all of our content, including sequences, instructor tips, video lessons, and much more. Robert and I were heading to the cinema to watch Inglourious Basterds when he nudged me to the other side of the pavement. We had been dating for four years at the time. He constantly insists (and continues to insist) on walking on the side of the road that is closest to the street. I wasn’t expecting that, so when he shoved me, I was on the verge of losing my balance.

Taleghany?’ he said, pulled me in the direction of the wall, which I related to tugging the hair of a girl you like from behind her back on the playground.

  1. “Would you want to?” I inquire.
  2. Is this how you’re going to ask me to be your wife?” It most certainly was.
  3. A tiny diamond engagement ring was hidden within the box.
  4. “I’ve been waiting for you for ten years,” he explained.
  5. Check out these other articles: 5 Pillars of Finding a True Love Connection Keeping my last name was something I was determined to do.
  6. Jen Pastiloff, Melvin’s daughter, will always be a part of my identity.
  7. I am an Avoider rather than a Facer.

In my body, the patterns of storing my sorrow have formed neuronal pathways that allow me to binge-watch Netflix for hours on end beneath the covers rather than confronting what is truly going on.

As a result, I waited.

My mother, on the other hand, was completely broke, so I ultimately recommended that we simply be married in court.

The Wayne Dyer books were very appealing to me at the time, and I kept seeing him standing at the door and asking, “How may I serve?” My mother had been attempting to persuade me to read him for years.

Until one day I happened to catch Wayne on PBS and realized that my mother may have known more than I had previously assumed.

However, the first time I heard him utter those life-changing words was in a large auditorium filled with thousands of people, which was a surreal experience.

When he spoke those words, I felt a chill run down my spine.

It made me want to throw up in my mouth since at the time, all I was doing at my waitressing job was serving people all day.

Then it dawned on me.

I often wondered what was wrong with me when my friends landed acting roles but I didn’t, even though I didn’t really want to be an actor.

Why do I feel like I’m not enough?

The city of not-enoughness was like a desert of scarcity, and I felt like I was living in one.

And, oh my God, I have been such a jerk for such a long period of time.

He agreed.

What was my identity?

Is it possible that I thought I was the Wayne Dyer of the yoga world?

And there was always someone there to provide a helping hand.

Look around for those who can assist you in identifying your fabricated stories and calling them out on it.

“Say for example, I could ask if they would allow me to cancel my Sunday yoga class and instead have a party and invite everyone, but I would warn them that they would not be allowed to bring gifts.” We may ask people to bring money, and if anyone wants to sing, talk, or perform music, or do anything else, they are very than welcome to do so.

  • Oh my God, this is such a brilliant concept.” “All OK,” he said.
  • OK.
  • In addition, if you have found peace via yoga, here is why you should continue with the practice.
  • In the morning, I went to a donation-based yoga studio and taught a yoga session.
  • I dashed home to shower and change my clothes.
  • I wore a black dress that I borrowed from a friend, along with a tiny bit of mascara.
  • For our vows, we were required to hold each other’s hands under a wreath of exquisite white flowers, which was placed in front of us by the judge who married us, a witty and friendly woman.
  • For the same reason that I couldn’t envision the future, I couldn’t imagine myself getting married.

I hadn’t considered myself deserving of one. Even though I was 35 years old, my mind would still stop if I tried to think about anything that was more than a month in the future. You may also be interested in A Meditation for Returning to Your True Home

Finding “Now What?”

In my empowerment seminars, I discuss how tremendously difficult it is to overcome old habits of behavior. How we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves while we’re having a hard time. We are all in a state of battle. It’s just a normal aspect of being human. When I asked someone what she wanted to let go of, she would write down the same things over and over again, and I knew she was coming to my seminars for a reason. I didn’t pass any judgment. I was in my late 30s and early 40s at the time and was doing exactly the same thing.

  • When I had to think about anything other than the present instant in which I was now located, I would become anxious.
  • It was via their words that I came to understand myself.
  • I witnessed these women doing this, forking out a large sum of money to attend a bizarre yoga course and create a list that they would promptly put in a drawer and forget about it.
  • You may also be interested in: What Is Your Emotional Body Type?
  • After they finished drafting their lists, I started asking them to question themselves, “Now what?” If I was asking people to do something, I had no choice but to do the same thing myself.
  • She introduced me to Wayne Dyer, and without him, I would have never been on the adventure that I am currently on.
  • I’m not sure.” I really like him, but I’m not sure I’m ready to be in a relationship with him.

Arriving home from the restaurant, I enjoy having the option of doing my workout without having to interact with anyone and being able to stay on the internet all night if I so want.

“Oh my God, Mom,” I said.

But, yuck, you’re quite correct.

I’m madly in love with you.

To put it another way, my mother was encouraging me to question myself, “Now what?” Because I wanted to maintain my self-destructive tendencies, I would have talked myself out of letting myself to get involved in a romantic relationship.


For the rest of my life, “Now what?” will be my biggest difficulty, as it will most likely be for you as well.

The first step was to question myself, “What do I do now?” “Yes, I’ll accompany you on your date,” was the new phrase.

Nonetheless, I gradually dipped my toes into them like if I were entering a pool of icy water.

Each time I considered breaking a routine that wasn’t helping me, I took a deep breath, asked myself, “Now what?” and then dove into the water with both feet.

My journey did not occur in a vacuum, and neither will yours.

Look around for those who can assist you in identifying your fabricated stories and calling them out on it. Choose people who will ask you, like my mother did, “Do you want to continue receiving what you’ve always received?” See also3 Anxiety-Relieving Truths That Will Make You Feel Better, Fast

A Leap of Faith

It wasn’t about the amount of money (which I didn’t have, and which my mother didn’t have) that I’d be spending, but about something far larger that had begun to come together for me as a yogi, as a leader of yoga retreats, and, eventually, as the writer I’d always dreamed of being. When I composed this, I was thinking about how precious this moment is. Not only does it symbolize the beginning of a new chapter in my life, but it is also a symbol of the yoga (which literally means “union”) of the human spirit.

  • This coming Sunday, February 28, 2010, we will not only be celebrating the union of two persons (Jennifer Pastiloff and Robert Taleghany), but also the union of two different cultures: one in need, and the other in a position to give back.
  • A wok, on the other hand, would be fantastic.
  • For my wedding, a woman who had taken my yoga courses for years applied my makeup as a wedding present, and I didn’t wear shoes since the yoga studio enforced the guideline that no shoes were allowed.
  • As you can expect, I didn’t do a very good job of planning because I just had wine, cheese, and crackers.
  • My friends and I ate Mexican food and drank donated wine while raising money for Haiti and celebrating my new life in our bare feet.
  • See alsoYoga Instructor Lisa Rueff Aids in the Healing of Haiti Anybody who wanted to sing music, read poetry, or otherwise step up on stage was encouraged to do so.
  • Some people read poetry, while others prayed.

Annabel, a friend of mine, delivered a speech.

I recall thinking to myself that I needed to stand up and say something.

It wasn’t even the wine’s fault.

Once I got to the top, I didn’t want to come down again.

After I closed my eyes, I envisioned my father in there as well, attempting to smoke inside as if it were still the 1980s and making everyone laugh despite the fact that he would have hated for me to leave him.

“Of course, I understand what you’re talking about,” I’d respond.

I was never quite sure what I was feeling.


I recall that after my father passed away, I said that I didn’t care.

Only, I don’t give a damn.

I was a mess.

I wished I had kept up with treatment throughout the course of the years.

It’s always seemed overpowering, much like dating has done thus far.

The only thing that came close to helping me get past my funk was listening to Wayne Dyer and doing yoga.

I’d never dealt with my sadness, my eating issue, or my connection with my mother until this point in my life. I was still married, despite all of this. He’s a true grown-up. What do I do with the guilt and drama that don’t belong to me or that belonged to me once? Goodbye.

Lightening the Load

The next day, I went to the local Red Cross office with our gifts in hand. I can’t recall feeling this amazing in my life before. I didn’t know how I was going to keep on with this idea of service. In life, we accumulate so much shit that we are constantly adding new shit on top of the old shit, and we rarely remember the shit that we already have, so when we receive a new espresso maker, we act delighted and use it for a short period of time before putting it in the cupboard with the other things that don’t fit on the counter and then forgetting about them all because they are hidden.

  • Inside our bodies, we go through the same motions.
  • That is alright with us.
  • I’m a cynic and a snob.
  • Because there’s so much stuff around, they constantly leave a trail and knock something over.
  • It used to happen when I worked at a restaurant that the men in the kitchen would put stuff in my bag.
  • We had a terrific blue cornbread recipe that we served in a nice tiny cast iron pan that I always had in my bag when I was there.
  • I’d get excited every now and again because, hey, I wanted a cast iron skillet!
See also:  Chelsea Jackson Roberts Explores Barbados and the Yoga of Travel

It’s the way things are, though, isn’t it?

What is this sense of guilt?

What is this spicy sauce?

Is this a source of embarrassment?

What is all of this fuss about?

It’s difficult to forget that you have a cast iron skillet in your possession until it’s too late.

We’ll be honest: going back with something you didn’t steal is a little awkward.

It’s possible that you don’t find it humiliating and that you just want to preserve the cast iron skillet because you believe everyone should have one.

And that’s exactly what we do: I recognize that it isn’t my responsibility, but I’ll retain it since I’m definitely deserving of it.

It doesn’t work like that.

See alsoAn Intention-Setting Practice to Nourish the Soul for further information.

Those things that have been delivered to us that dig into our shoulders and cause us anguish, and yet we continue to claim “No, I’m alright.” I get what you’re saying.

Leaving the Red Cross, I recalled the days when I was at the restaurant with my bag, and I thought of my hiking buddy Joe, who advised me to “carry only what you need.” After I got married, I started thinking about what I would be able to carry.

I feel sick to my stomach when I think of being rid of my father’s memories.

But what about the rest of it?


I did, however, receive a large number of woks.

In my retreat, I observed how I was able to bring people together, and I saw the same thing happen at my wedding and on the internet.

This excerpt is taken from Jennifer Pastiloff’s bookOn Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard, which was published by Dutton, an imprint of the Penguin Publishing Group, a part of Penguin Random House, LLC, and written by Jennifer Pastiloff.

Jennifer Pastiloff is the copyright holder for 2019.


Check out to find out more about Jen’s On Being Human retreat and what we gained from her.

Self esteem – Better Health Channel

  • Your sense of self-worth is your judgment of yourself. Everyone experiences moments of insecurity from time to time, but those who have low self-esteem are uncomfortable or dissatisfied with themselves the most of the time. It requires effort and dedication on a daily basis to improve one’s self-esteem.

This page was created in conjunction with and with the approval of the following individuals: This page was created in conjunction with and with the approval of the following individuals:

Content disclaimer

The material included on this website is given solely for informational reasons. Information regarding a therapy, service, product, or treatment is not intended to be an endorsement or support of that therapy, service, product, or treatment, nor is it intended to be a substitute for advice from your doctor or other qualified health professional. Although the information and resources featured on this website are extensive in nature, they do not purport to be a full guide to the therapy, product, or treatment discussed on the website.

The State of Victoria and the Department of Health accept no responsibility for any actions taken as a result of a user’s reliance on the content published on this website.

Greater self-acceptance improves emotional well-being

The Harvard Health Publishing collection of archival content is made available to our readers as a courtesy by Harvard Health Publishing. Please take note of the date on which each article was published or evaluated. No information on this site, regardless of when it was published, should ever be considered as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained healthcare professional. Follow me on Twitter at @srinipillay. “An individual’s acceptance of all of his or her traits, whether favorable or bad,” according to the definition, is “self-acceptance.” It entails accepting one’s own physique, protecting oneself from negative judgment, and having faith in one’s own abilities.

There are a variety of possible explanations for this, but one commonly recognized hypothesis is that, because we acquire our self-esteem in part as a result of others’ appreciation of us, persons who have poor self-acceptance may have grown up with parents who were emotionally absent from their lives.

In other words, regular amounts of praise have no effect on their self-esteem since they do not “move the needle.” Some persons who have poor self-acceptance attempt to boost their confidence by doing great things.

This is due to the fact that success is a poor substitute for closeness.

For them, true care is difficult to believe in; thus, when genuine caring does come their way, they are wary of it.

Although self-acceptance (or lack thereof) does not exist in a vacuum, it does have significant implications for your physical and psychological well-being, as shown below. As a result, it is important to understand the nature of these consequences and what you may do to mitigate their impact.

The emotional and physical consequences of low self-acceptance

Your psychological well-being can suffer if you do not accept yourself, and you may find that positive therapies are less effective for you than they are for those who have a higher level of self-acceptance. For example, many individuals find that practicing mindfulness can help them lessen the negative effects of stress. However, if you are unable to accept yourself, it becomes less effective. Not accepting yourself can also make you feel more nervous about your physical appearance if you have a medical ailment such as asrheumatoid arthritis.

To make matters worse, those who believe they are unworthy have less gray matter in the brain areas that help them regulate their emotions and cope with stress.

This absence of gray matter may also manifest itself in areas of the brainstem that are involved in the processing of stress and anxiety.

As a result, low self-esteem can impair emotional control in two ways: directly, by disturbing the brain areas that regulate it, and indirectly, by boosting stress signals in your brain, which in turn disrupt these brain regions.

How to bolster your self-acceptance

You may experience psychological distress if you do not accept yourself, and you may find that positive therapies are less effective for you than for those who have a greater sense of self-acceptance and self-acceptance. Numerous people have reported that practicing mindfulness can help them cope with stress. This method, however, becomes less successful when you cannot accept yourself. Not accepting oneself might also make you feel more nervous about your physical health if you have a medical ailment such as rheumatoid arthritis.

  • To make matters worse, those who believe they are unworthy have less gray matter in the brain areas that help them regulate their emotions and cope with stress.
  • These deficits in gray matter may also manifest themselves in areas of the brainstem that are involved in the processing of stressful and anxious situations.
  • As a result, low self-acceptance can impair emotional regulation in two ways: directly, by interfering with the brain areas that regulate it, and indirectly, by boosting stress signals in your brain, which in turn interfere with these regions.
  • For example, reframing is the process of identifying ways in which negative criticism may be used to your advantage.
  • Self-acceptance can be fundamentally unconscious — that is, it might exist at a level beyond our conscious control — and hence difficult to recognize.
  • You do not feel “together” when this occurs.
  • Self-transcendence can be quite beneficial in this case.
  • Instead, you rely on an effortless sensation of being connected to the rest of the world.
  • The ultimate objective is to find harmony with some system in a heartfelt and genuine manner.
  • Fortunately, just like with self-acceptance, self-transcendence causes physiological changes in the brain as well as psychological ones.

As previously stated, this same area has an influence on one’s sense of self-acceptance. Self-transcendence can be achieved through transcendental meditation, which is another potential option to examine. It lowers cortisol levels and hence lowers your stress reaction.

Meditation as a path to self-acceptance

Supressing unwanted emotions such as self-hatred, focused on the good qualities of oneself, and reframing bad events in such a way that you see the potential in them are all examples of self-regulation. In this case, reframing would include searching for ways in which negative criticism might be used to help you improve. Self-control, on the other hand, may be less effective than we believe it to be. Having a negative self-image can be fundamentally unconscious — that is, it might persist on a level that is beyond our conscious awareness.

  • Self-transcendence can be beneficial in this case.
  • An effortless sense of oneness with the world replaces it as your preferred mode of operation instead.
  • The ultimate objective is to find harmony with some system in a heartfelt and genuine way.
  • Fortunately, just like with self-acceptance, self-transcendence causes physiological changes in the brain as well as behavioral ones.
  • Self-acceptance is influenced by the same area, as previously explained.
  • It has been shown to lower cortisol levels and diminish the stress response in certain people.

Find the ways to self-acceptance that work for you

Not all of these strategies are effective for everyone. Furthermore, while double-blind placebo-controlled studies continue to be the scientific gold standard for determining if a particular intervention “works,” they have their own limitations. They teach us very little about what will work for an individual since an individual is, by definition, distinct from everyone else, including research participants, and hence cannot be generalized. Consequently, it is critical to accomplish what is most effective for you.

Begin experimenting with what works for you right now.

Please include a note of the date of the most recent review or update for each article.

No information on this site, regardless of when it was published, should ever be considered as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained healthcare professional. Commenting on this article has been disabled for the time being.

Grief: Coping with the loss of your loved one

According to research, the majority of people may recover from loss on their own with the passage of time provided they have social support and maintain good lifestyle practices. Date created: January 1, 2020Read time: 4 minutes Coping with the death of a close friend or family member is one of the most difficult problems that many of us will encounter in our lives. Losing a spouse, a sibling or a parent might cause us to experience exceptionally acute sadness. Despite the fact that we recognize loss as a normal part of life, we might still be overtaken by shock and disorientation, which can result in protracted bouts of melancholy or despair.

  1. Everyone responds to death in a unique way, and each individual has their own set of coping skills for dealing with bereavement.
  2. A person’s ability to cope with a loss may take months or even years to develop.
  3. If you are grieving, don’t anticipate to go through stages of sorrow, as research reveals that the majority of people do not go through stages in a sequential manner.
  4. When you are able to look back on the relationship and adjust to the loss, it may take some time and reflection.
  5. While some people may experience loss for a longer amount of time, others may find themselves unable to carry out their everyday tasks.
See also:  Painless Pigeon

Moving on with life

When a close friend or family passes away, we must grieve for a long period of time. However, study shows that this period may also serve as a catalyst for a newfound meaning in one’s life, giving one’s life purpose and direction. Individuals who are grieving may find it beneficial to employ some of the tactics listed below to aid them in the processing and acceptance of their loss:

  • Share your feelings over the death of a loved one with friends or coworkers to better comprehend what has happened and to commemorate your friend or family member. Avoidance can lead to isolation and can interfere with the healing process that is taking place with your support networks. Accept the emotions you’re experiencing. The feelings you may experience range from grief to anger to tiredness and everything in between. All of these sentiments are natural, and it’s crucial to know when you’re experiencing any of these emotions. If you are feeling trapped or overwhelmed by these emotions, it may be beneficial to speak with a certified psychologist or other mental health expert who can assist you in coping with your feelings and figuring out how to get back on track. Take good care of yourself and your loved ones as well. Eating nutritious meals, engaging in physical activity, and getting enough sleep may all benefit your physical and mental health. The process of mourning may be physically taxing on the body. Preserve regular contact with your loved ones to ensure that they are continuing to take the required healthy actions to maintain their wellbeing. Reach out and provide a hand to those who are suffering from a loss. Spending time with the deceased’s loved ones may be extremely beneficial for everyone involved. These modest gestures, such as sharing tales or listening to your loved one’s favorite music, may make a significant difference in the lives of some people. In addition to making others feel better, helping others may make you feel better as well
  • Remember and honor the lives of your loved ones. For friends and family members who have lost a loved one, the anniversary of their death may be a terrible moment, but it can also be a time of reflection and celebration of their lives. It is possible that you may decide to collect funds for a favorite charity of the departed, that you will give a newborn a family name, or that you will create a garden in their memory. Whichever option you select will be acceptable provided as it allows you to respect your unique connection in a way that feels right to you.

How psychologists can help

Psychologists are specially qualified to assist individuals in coping with the dread, shame, and worry that often accompany the loss of a loved one or a close friend. If you want assistance in coping with your sorrow or handling a loss, you should seek the advice of a psychologist or other qualified mental health expert. Psychologists can assist people in strengthening their resilience and developing coping techniques to help them get through difficult times. Psychologists in practice utilize a number of evidence-based therapies — the most popular of which is psychotherapy — to assist people in making positive changes in their lives.

This article was derived from a blog post written by Katherine C.

The whole text of articles from the American Psychological Association’s Help Center may be used and disseminated for nonprofit purposes as long as the American Psychological Association is acknowledged.

Any exceptions to this rule, such as excerpting, paraphrasing, or replication in a commercial work, must be submitted in writing to the American Psychological Association (APA). It is not permitted to reproduce images from the APA Help Center.

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What to Know About the Five Stages of Grief

In the aftermath of a loved one’s death, the anguish we endure can be excruciating. Understandably, mourning is a difficult experience, and we may question whether the suffering will ever be over. We go through a range of emotional states, such as rage, perplexity, and melancholy, amongst other things. Verywell’s Emily Roberts created the illustration. ​

The 5 Stages of Grief

When we lose a loved one, according to the theory created by psychiatristElisabeth Kübler-Ross, we go through five different stages of mourning. These include denial; anger; bargaining; sadness; and eventually acceptance.


The first step of this theory, denial, aids us in reducing the tremendous pain of loss to a manageable level. While we are dealing with the fact of our loss, we are also attempting to deal with the emotional agony that has resulted. In certain cases, it might be difficult to accept the fact that we have lost a significant person in our life, especially when we may have only spoken with this person the previous week or even the day before. In this time of grief, our perception of reality has been entirely altered.

In our thoughts, we may recall the experiences we had with the person who has passed away, and we may question how we will move forward in our lives without this person.

Denial tries to slow down this process and guide us through it one step at a time, rather than risking the possibility of becoming overwhelmed by our emotions as a result of them.

We are also attempting to comprehend and comprehend what is taking place.


After the death of a loved one, it is typical for people to get enraged. We are attempting to adjust to a new reality, and it is possible that we are suffering significant emotional distress. Because there is so much to digest, we may believe that anger provides us with a necessary emotional release. Keep in mind that being angry does not need us becoming extremely vulnerable. It is, on the other hand, more socially acceptable than confessing that we are afraid of anything. Anger helps us to express our feelings without worrying about being judged or rejected.

During times when we may benefit from comfort, connection, and reassurance, this can leave you feeling alone in your experience and seen as unapproachable by others.


After the death of a loved one, it is typical to feel a sense of rage. It is very likely that we are feeling great emotional anguish as we struggle to adjust to a new reality at the moment. As a result of the overwhelming amount of information we must digest, we may believe that rage provides a necessary emotional release for us. Keep in mind that being angry does not need us being extremely exposed in our emotions. In contrast to confessing that we are afraid, it is more socially acceptable to say that we are afraid.

As a result, when we begin to release emotions associated with loss, rage is often the first feeling we experience. During times when we may benefit from comfort, connection, and reassurance, this can leave us feeling alone in our experience and seen as unapproachable by others.

  • “God, if you can heal this person, I promise that my life will be better.”
  • “If you can let this person live, I promise that my life will be better.” The following: “If you can prevent him/her from dying or abandoning me, I promise I’ll never be furious again.”

When we begin to negotiate, we are frequently addressing our demands to a higher power, or something greater than ourselves, with the hope that they will have an impact on a different conclusion. We become acutely conscious of our humanity at these moments when we understand that there is nothing we can do to affect change or achieve a better final result. It is possible that we will respond in protest by negotiating, which would offer us a supposed sense of control over something that is completely out of our control.

We could reflect on our encounters with the person we are grieving and recall all of the times we felt estranged from them or may have caused them sorrow in some way.

We also have a tendency to make the sweeping assumption that, had things turned out differently, we would not be at such a difficult emotional place in our life now.


When we are going through the process of grieving, there comes a point when our imaginations begin to quiet down and we begin to look more closely at the reality of our current circumstance. We no longer believe that bargaining is an option, and we are forced to confront the reality of what is happening. We begin to experience the loss of our loved one more intensely as time goes on. We feel more present and inescapable as our fear begins to decrease and the emotional fog begins to lift, allowing us to face the reality of our loss.

Some of us may feel ourselves withdrawing from others, becoming less friendly, and communicating less about what we are going through with them.


When we reach a point of acceptance, it does not mean that we are no longer experiencing the anguish of loss. However, we are no longer opposing the truth of our circumstance, and we are no longer attempting to change it into something else. It is possible that sadness and regret will still be present during this period, but the emotional survival strategies of denial. bargaining, and rage are less likely to be used.

Click Play to Learn More About the Stages of Grief

When we reach a point of acceptance, it does not mean that we are no longer affected by the agony of losing someone or something. However, we are no longer opposing the truth of our circumstance, and we are no longer attempting to change it into something better. Even while sadness and regret may still be present during this period, the emotional survival strategies of denial, bargaining, and rage are less likely to be used.

Get Advice From The Verywell Mind Podcast

This episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, discusses how to remain mentally strong while coping with sorrow, and how to do it effectively.

Additional Models

However, while the five stages of mourning proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross are widely regarded as one of the most clearly identifiable models of sorrow and loss, there are alternative models of grief that should be taken into consideration. Each model or theory aims to explain patterns in the way grief is seen and processed by the individual. Researchers studying grief and bereavement hope to use these models to provide understanding to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, as well as information that can assist those working in the healing professions in providing effective care to those who are in need of informed guidance on how to cope with their grief.

Attachment Theory and Grief

John Bowlby, a legendary psychologist, devoted his life’s work to investigating the emotional bond that exists between a parent and a kid. Those early experiences of attachment with significant individuals in our life, such as caretakers, according to him, assist to create our feeling of safety, security, and relationships as we grow older. British psychiatrist Colin Murray Parkes established a model of sorrow based on Bowlby’s theory of attachment, which suggests that when a loved one dies, there are four stages of mourning: denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance.

  • Shock and numbness: Loss seems tough to comprehend at this period of time. When we are trying to cope with our feelings, we are overwhelmed, which is most closely connected to Kübler-stage Ross’s of denial. It has been suggested by Parkes that there is also bodily anguish experienced during this period, which might result in somatic (physical) symptoms. Yearning and looking for something: In this period of grieving, we may begin to search for comfort to replace the emptiness left by our loved one’s death, which is normal. We can attempt to do so by reliving memories through photographs and by seeking for indications from the individual in order to feel more connected to him or her. When we are in this phase, we become extremely focused with the individual who has passed away. Despair and disorganization: During this phase, we may find ourselves questioning our decisions and becoming resentful. When we come to terms with the fact that our loved one will not be back, it can be tough to comprehend and maintain optimism for the future. During this phase, we may feel a little aimless and may find ourselves withdrawing from others while we digest our sorrow. The stages of reorganization and recovery: During this stage, we have more confidence that our hearts and brains will heal. It is important to note that, like with Kübler-Ross’ acceptance stage, melancholy or desire for our loved one does not go away. However, we are making progress toward healing and reconnection with others for support, and we are finding modest methods to rebuild some sense of normality in our everyday lives.
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How to Help When Others Are Grieving

Loss is difficult to accept at this period of shock and numbness. When we try to cope with our feelings, we are overwhelmed, which is strongly connected to Kübler-stage Ross’s of denial. According to Parkes, bodily distress can also be experienced during this period, which might result in somatic (physical) symptoms. Longing and looking for a way: The process of processing loss may lead us to seek consolation to replace the vacuum our loved one has left as we move through this stage of grieving.

  1. As a result of this phase, we become extremely fascinated with the person who has passed away.
  2. Our loved one’s absence from our lives is a reality, and we may have difficulty comprehending or finding hope for the future when we realize this.
  3. Our hearts and brains are being rebuilt throughout the reorganization and recovery phase.
  4. As with Kübler-acceptance Ross’s stage, our feelings of grief or desire for our loved one do not go away completely throughout this stage.
  • Refrain from rescuing or repairing. It’s important to remember that the individual who is mourning does not require fixing. Our attempts to be helpful may include offering encouraging, hopeful words or even comedy in order to assist them cope with their distress. Despite the good intentions, this technique might leave individuals feeling as though their grief is not seen, heard, or real
  • Thus, don’t compel others to accept it. We may be driven by a desire to assist and see the individual feel better that we assume pressuring them to talk about and process their feelings before they are actually ready would benefit them more quickly than waiting. This is not always the case, and in some cases, it can actually be detrimental to their recovery. Make yourself readily available. Allow individuals to grieve in a safe environment. This informs the individual that we are accessible whenever they are ready. We can invite them to have a conversation with us, but we must remember to give understanding and validation if they are not ready at the time of the invitation. Remind them that you are present and that they should not be afraid to come to you

A Word From Verywell

When dealing with loss, it’s crucial to realize that everyone handles it in their own way. It is possible to experience all five phases of grieving at the same time; yet, you may also find it difficult to categorize your feelings into any one of the stages. Allow yourself to be patient with yourself and your feelings while you cope with a loss. Allow yourself time to digest all of your feelings, and then, when you are ready, talk about your experiences with family, friends, or a healthcare professional.

If you are providing assistance to someone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, remember that you are not required to do anything specific, but you should give them the space to talk about it when they are ready.

Healthy grieving

Grief is a normal and natural reaction to experiencing a loss. Even though we anticipate to be grieving the death of a family member or friend, there are a variety of other big losses that might cause sadness. Examples include the following:

  • We find ourselves unexpectedly unable to pursue a long-anticipated opportunity or achieve a life goal
  • Someone close to us is diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening disease.

Grieving such losses is vital because it helps us to ‘free-up’ energy that has been connected to the lost person, object, or experience—allowing us to re-invest that energy in other areas of our lives. We are likely to find it difficult to reinvest until we have properly grieved; a part of us will always be attached to the past, no matter how much time has passed. Grieving is not the same as forgetting. It’s also not a case of drowning in tears. In the course of healthy mourning, we gain the ability to recall the significance of our loss—but with a greater feeling of serenity, rather than with excruciating anguish.

Experiencing Grief

It’s unlikely that any two people will go through sorrow in the same manner. We may notice changes in the way we think and feel, as well as in the way our bodies work and the way we connect with other people. Some of the most prevalent occurrences are as follows:

  • Anger—directed at those who are responsible, at the departed, at ourselves, at God, or at any other convenient target
  • And
  • When a memory is evoked, you may experience intense grief or tears.
  • Loneliness, or a feeling of being cut off from people

There are moments when our reactions are so erratic, passionate, or unreasonable that it appears as though we are going insane. For many grieving people, facing their grief is a terrifying prospect, for fear of being overwhelmed by a torrent of tears or anger if they open the door to their pain. However improbable this may be, enabling people to assist us in our grief is a good insurance policy to ensure that we maintain our equilibrium. No matter how strong our grieving experiences may be, they are only transient in nature.

How Do You Do Grief Work?

Fortunately, a large part of the process of healthy mourning appears to be pre-programmed into our DNA. Loss is such a natural process that much of it will take place without our intervention if we let go of our expectations of how we “should” grieve and let go of part of our desire to be in complete command of the situation. Healthy mourning, on the other hand, is a proactive process; it is not true that “you only need to give it some time.” One approach to think about the work that needs to be done is to think about grief as a set of activities that need to be completed (not necessarily in the order listed above):

  1. Embrace the fact that the loss is irreversible
  2. Acknowledge, express, and understand the entire spectrum of emotions we experience as a result of the loss to become used to a life in which the missing person, item, or event is no longer there
  3. In order to say goodbye and ritualize our journey toward a new peace with the loss,

When it comes to undertaking this important job, good friends, family members, and a personal counselor may all be of assistance. You can also do a lot to assist yourself if you want to. Helping Yourself Through GriefActive, healthy grieving necessitates a sense of balance—a balance between the time you spend directly working on your grief and the time you spend coping with your day-to-day life; a balance between the amount of time you spend with others and the amount of time you spend alone; a balance between seeking help from others and caring for one’s own needs.

Here are some suggestions from people who have found them to be helpful in their healthy mourning.

Please keep in mind that mourning is an active process that requires energy, which will most likely necessitate a temporary withdrawal from your typical activities in order to complete.

Treating yourself with the same consideration, patience, and compassion that you would provide to a trusted friend in a similar circumstance is essential.

  • Go slowly – give yourself as much time as you need rather than setting a timetable for when you should be “over it
  • Expect and accept a loss in your typical level of efficiency and consistency
  • And
  • For a period of time, refrain from taking on new duties or making big life decisions
  • And
  • Talk to a trusted friend or family member on a regular basis about your sadness and recollections
  • Maintaining good eating and sleeping habits should be a top priority.
  • Read—there are many excellent books on sorrow available
  • A list of such is provided at the end of this pamphlet. It is easier to deal with sadness if one understands what is going on
  • Make a plan and give yourself permission to have some FUN WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY. The objective is to achieve equilibrium
  • Keeping a connection object on you or wearing it will serve as a symbolic reminder of your loss and will help you to cope. Be mindful of when you will no longer need to hold this reminder and gently let it go when that moment comes.
  • Inform individuals around you of what is beneficial to you and what is not. The vast majority of individuals would be willing to assist if they understood how
  • Set aside a certain amount of solitary time each day to recall and experience whatever emotions may occur as a result of the recollections
  • Carefully select your entertainment because some films, television shows, and books can exacerbate already intense emotions.
  • Take use of the hundreds of support groups available, where individuals have a remarkable ability to help one another
  • Take use of the hundreds of support groups available, where individuals have a remarkable ability to assist one another
  • Make a connection to the Internet. There are several tools available to persons who are grieving, as well as opportunities to talk with other grievers
  • Instead of suppressing your feelings of rage, find appropriate outlets for them. Walking or playing tennis can help you lose weight
  • Instead of suppressing your feelings of rage, find constructive outlets for your rage. Walking or playing tennis can also be beneficial.

Recommended Reading

More information on the grieving process, as well as ways to assist yourself or someone else who is grieving, may be found in the following wonderful resources:

  • How to continue living after someone you care about passes away. Rando, T.A. (1991)
  • Rando, T.A. (1992)
  • To understand your loss, there are ten crucial touchstones to consider in order to discover hope and mend your heart. Wolfelt, A.D. (2004)
  • Wolfelt, A.D. (2004)
  • What to do when you can’t say anything: Coping with loss and grief in your own way Walton, C. (1996)
  • Walton, C. (1996)
  • The best way to repair a shattered heart is to first overcome the emotional agony that comes with the end of a relationship. The authors (McKenna, P. and Wilbourn, H.) have published an article in 2005 titled
  • The process of surviving, coping, and healing following the death of a loved one is described in detail. Noel, B.Blair, P.D. (2000)
  • Noel, B.Blair, P.D. (2000)
  • Men don’t weep
  • It’s the women who do. T.L. Martin and K.J. Doka (1999)
  • Martin, T.L. and Doka, K.J.
  • Surviving the suicide of a loved one when there is no time to say goodbye. Fine, C. (1997)
  • Fine, C. (1998)
  • After the death of a sibling, the grieving process begins. Donnelly, K.F., and Toomey, M. (2000)
  • Donnelly, K.F.
  • Death in children’s life is something that they can never be too young to understand. P.R. Silverman (2000)
  • Silverman, P.R.

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