Grieving Well & Anxiety Panic Disorders

Taking time to grieve effectively when we experience a loss can help us avoid developing aggravated anxiety-related conditions. Repressed negative emotions are the major causes of anxiety disorders. And there is hardly a faster way to accumulate such unpleasant emotions like when we experience a loss of a loved one or of something very important to us.

Whether it is a death of a closed friend, a family member, or that of a favorite pet, or a death of relationship (divorce/separation), or that of a cherished job, or even a death of a major dream in your life, it is important that you recognize that your emotional mind requires a reasonable period of mourning – and this “reasonable period of mourning” is different in every individual.

The trauma of loss can hugely affects the human soul and somehow confuse the brain’s functionality. But taking the time to grieve after experiencing a tragedy of loss is the only way the part of your brain responsible for your emotional well-being can recover adequately and slowly come to terms with your loss. Otherwise,  emotional entropy and stagnation becomes inevitable.

When you get involved in a relationship or in something that draws enormously from your emotional bank account, such as marriage, family relationships, a business venture, a major dream, a dream job etc., your brain rewires itself to accommodate that experience, leading to the activation of customized mappings in your cortex.

But these mappings still continue to exist even after the death of a loved one, a relationship or a job. In other words, as far as your brain is concerned it still operates its mappings as though you have not experienced any loss. It’s very much like the famous phantom limb mystery – when an amputee feels in his mind that he stills has all his limbs intact – and can still feel the pain and even a urge to scratch his amputated limb as though it was still there.

This is exactly the same thing that happens to you when you lose someone or something important to you. Your emotional brain is still running the old program and 100% attached to what you lost. But it is during the grieving process that the brain picks up the reality and begin to rewire itself in accordance with the new reality in your life. But if you dismiss the grieving process or you abort it prematurely, chances are that the brain will fail to completely update its rewiring. And the cortex can literally get stuck to the past programming (it’s like a computer that is still running an outdated program).

As a result, your entire being becomes very contrary to the new reality of your life. This emotional fixation is the beginning of psychosomatic illnesses, such as stress disorders, heart disease, anxiety attacks, panic attacks, insomnia, OCD, depression etc. By the way, if you suffer from any of the above conditions, download my FREE eBook: The Essential Guide To Anxiety Panic Recovery. It’s already helped many people.

Looking back into my life, I cannot believe how so much I underestimated the importance of effective mourning which should have uncluttered my mind from negative emotions and allowed me to fully recover and heal. Many years ago when a family friend broke the sad news to me that mother had passed away, I steered at her somehow stunned and in complete bewilderment. I never cried nor expressed any emotional frailty. It was so weird that people around me were concerned about my inability to grieve, given how important my mother was to me.

But a few years later, having bottled in my sorrows and unexpressed rage, My emotional mind finally exploded. I couldn’t hold it in any more and I had an emotional breakdown which tormented me for some time until I got some help.

If you feel you have not really moved on from a major loss in your life, try these following tips:

  1. Take time to grieve.  Grieving has its own process that has to be adhered to, according to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross five stages of grief – denial, bargaining, anger, sadness and acceptance. As you may have noticed, acceptance is the last stage, meaning that it takes a while to get there, even though some of us tend to put up a persona that suggests we are already accepted our trauma and are ready to move on –  only to come crashing down again in a short while (like I did). So you must move past the denial stage, and the bargaining stage (when you attempt to negotiate with some kind of Supreme Power to bring back your lost one or job).  Then be patient in rising above the anger stage and the sadness stage until you arrive at the place of acceptance – when you can truly start to move on with your life. During the time of grieving, ensure you feel the pain. Connect to the emotional cord that ties you with the thing or person you’ve lost. Enter into the place of pain, until it becomes real to you. Remember, you cannot leave a place you have never been. So, you must go to that place of emotional distress during your grieving process, before you can walk away from it.
  2. Process your emotions through writing. When you write down your pain, anger, disappointment, and frustrations, you engage your emotional brain for a faster recovery. Also you create a very effective outlet for emotions which could have been negatively suppressed.
  3. Identify someone trustworthy you can speak to when needed. When grieving, there can be a sudden surge of emotions such that your own coping mechanisms may not be sufficient. In this situation, talking to someone about how you feel can be very important to your emotional well-being. It is one of the most powerful ways of coping with grief. If, for some reason, you are not comfortable talking to anyone around you, arrange to talk to a counsellor.
  4. Believe that you will come through it all. One of biggest dangers when mourning is the fear that you may never be able to move on from it. Belief is crucial. It releases energizing chemicals into your bloodstream and empowers your mind and nervous system for positive energy, optimism, and productivity.

Wishing you all the very best!

Wale

P:S: If you feel that lack of effective grieving in the past is now affecting your emotional well-being, making you to suffer from depression, anxiety attacks or any other anxiety-related condition, click here to request for my free Anxiety Recovery Program.

How Grieving Can Help Cure Your Anxiety was originally published on Wale Oladipo

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