Anxiety: Coping with Anxiety After Loss
Have you ever dealt with an awful tragedy that put your anxiety over the edge? Anxiety can be an overlooked symptom after coping with a loss. Suddenly, our structured world changed when someone we loved passed away. It can make us anxious over our own health, increase our chances of panic attacks, and cause us to fear we will lose someone else we love.
Loss can change the way we think. Everything that reminds us of the one we lost becomes a trigger. We become more vulnerable when we realize just how precious life can be. It is important to remember that there is no specific timeline for how you will move through grief. Everyone heals differently. While we may not be in control over death, we do have control over how to react to it to protect our own mental health.
Here are some suggestions on how best to cope with anxiety after loss.
Check-In with Yourself
After experiencing a loss, it is common to not want to acknowledge your grief. You may think that strength lies in moving on with your life like nothing happened. But, you cannot deny that you lost someone you cared about. Use this time to check in with your feelings.
Ask yourself if you are avoiding your feelings because you do not want to feel any more pain or fear of thinking of that person. By knowing how you are dealing with your grief, you will know what you need to work on to get better.
Write Your Grief
Grief can bring anxious thoughts into your head. You cannot help but focus on these thoughts which get in the way of living your life. A healthier outlet is by allowing your thoughts to flow on paper. Writing is a great way to process our emotions and release tension.
You can write how your day is going, poetry, or even a letter to your recently deceased about what you would tell them if they were here. This can be a great release for your feelings.
Explore Your Connection to Your Loved One
Part of our anxiety comes from knowing we will never see our loved ones again. While that may be true, there are other ways to connect to them even if they are not physically here.
Making a spiritual connection with your loved one can help combat anxiety when you have an awareness that they are still with us in some sense. You will find more peace when you open yourself up to the idea that your relationship with your loved one continues even in death.
Do Not Be Alone
When we are grieving, we seem to think we are alone in our thoughts. Remember that people die every day. Someone has either been in your shoes or is currently grieving as you are.
One way you will know for sure about this is to join a grief or anxiety support group. You can hear the stories of other people going through their grief and tell your own story when you are ready.
You can also reach out to your friends and family about what you are going through. If they have known this person like you have, they may be going through their own struggles as well. A therapist can also help you process your grief and anxiety and come up with a personalized plan for you to move forward.
Healing is not about getting over the loss of a person as that is not going to happen. Overcoming grief and anxiety is about finding meaning in your life even in their absence. If grief and anxiety symptoms still continue, please read more about anxiety therapy and contact a mental health professional to give you the tools you need to get you through this difficult time.