Grief is not a cookie-cutter process. Every person experiences a different range of emotions as they mourn the loss of a loved one. A professional grief counselor can guide you through these emotional obstacles, but some may come up unexpectedly. A song you hear on the radio or an outfit you see in a store could bring back memories you forgot you had. The tips below will help you handle unexpected grief triggers in your life.
Identify The Specific Trigger
If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with sadness at an unexpected time, try to pinpoint what is triggering the grief. For example, let’s say you’re watching a show and one of the characters is in the hospital. The sounds and imagery from that scene may remind you of times you spent with your loved one in ICU. If you identify what is causing you to grieve, you will have an easier time avoiding or dealing with those triggers when they come up again in the future.
Find A Place to Reflect In Private
If you are in a public setting, find someplace quiet and private to process your emotions. Excuse yourself to the restroom, go to your car, step into an empty room – do whatever it takes to give yourself a chance to mourn. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to pray, pray. If you need to talk to someone, pick up your phone and give that person a call. Even if you only get a five-minute break, you can get a chance to regroup and move forward with your day.
Take Time To Sort Through Your Loved One’s Belongings
Many unexpected grief triggers happen while sorting through a loved one’s belongings. A shirt in the back of a drawer may bring back memories of special moments together. Give yourself plenty of time to sort through a person’s belongings because each item has the potential to be a stress trigger. You may only get through one box a week, but that will give you time to heal in between emotional episodes.
Talk About Your Experience
After you encounter an unexpected grief trigger, talk to someone about why you felt the way you did and the steps you took to overcome your emotions. This could be a friend, a family member, or a professional grief counselor. Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan has several specialized grief counselors on hand who would be happy to work with you. As you discuss your experience, you will gain a better understanding of why you felt that way and what you can do to make the trigger less powerful in the future.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Grief Triggers
The grieving process is emotional, stressful, and overwhelming at times, but that does not mean you should avoid it entirely. Just because something makes you feel sad or upset doesn’t mean you should avoid it for good. The goal is to get to a point where the positive memories outweigh the negative ones, and the only way you can do that is by facing your fear – gradually. Work with your grief counselor to condition your mind and your body when you encounter your grief trigger, and you won’t feel the same flood of emotions the next time you’re in that situation.
For more information about how to handle grief triggers, contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers to set up an appointment with a grief counselor in Michigan.