Overwhelmed by grief? Here’s how to get through tough emotions

If you have ever experienced loss in any shape or form, you might know how paralyzing the grief that comes with it can be. Sometimes you can keep grief in check and maintain some normality in your days; other times the grief can be overwhelming, making it a challenge to do anything.

For those particularly difficult days where the grief feels insurmountable, grief expert David Kessler has a few key tips to help you wade through hard-hitting emotions.

Discover your go-to emotions: Kessler believes it can be helpful to discover which emotions trigger your underlying grief. These emotions can be different for everyone. For Kessler, that feeling is anger: “Anger is pain’s bodyguard,” he says, “I have to remind myself if I’m starting to feel anger, it means I’m in pain.” Whatever your specific go-to emotions are, try to dig a little deeper and figure out if those emotions are your tell-all signs of grief. 

Let those feelings happen: After identifying your emotions as grief, the best thing to do is just “let yourself have a bad day.” That might sound odd, but suppressing those emotions won’t do you any good either: eventually, those feelings will bubble up. By embracing those feelings of grief, you help them get out of your system more quickly, which will help you make way for better feelings.

The takeaway: Though there’s no one way to deal with grief, Kessler says that embracing the feelings you have and staying compassionate with yourself can help you move through the different stages of loss.

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