Guest Column by Gedalia Genin / firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that unresolved grief and loss can manifest as sadness, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, fatigue and hormone imbalance?
Did you know that you can naturally restore your innate wholeness?
We all experience grief and loss in our lives — from losing a pet or a loved one to suffering a miscarriage to sending a child off to college. Grief and loss are part of our human experience.
Sometimes after a loss the best we can do is denial. We often bury these experiences, and the effects strike the body. Chronic headaches, neck tension and sinus issues are all related to mental stress.
The Jewish tradition has a unique ritual for mourning. Seven days are spent sitting on a low bench to mourn and be present with one’s grief.
However, even years after a loss, the body can hold the shock or trauma as if it happened yesterday. I see this every day in my practice.
Our bodies are storehouses of all our experiences: beliefs about ourselves, our conditioning, our past and present hurts and traumas. All our thoughts, feelings and perceptions play key roles in how our bodies and minds are functioning today.
For example, internalized anger can affect the nervous system and immune system. Chronic anger can create elevated blood pressure, hives, asthma, migraines, lower back pain, depression, muscle tension and even a shortened life span. Feelings of grief can catalyze loneliness, isolation, depression and anxiety. Stress can compromise the immune system and raise cortisol levels, creating hormonal imbalances, loss of sleep and other negative symptoms.
So what can you do?
- Writing is one way to move the energy of emotion. Even writing a letter and not sending it can be effective in communicating something you would not do in person.
- Creativity of any kind — painting, jewelry, woodworking, gardening, poetry, dance, clay — is a way to move out of the story and to move energy. It’s like alchemy.
- Meditation, prayer and intention are ways of coping with grief and loss. Our thoughts create our emotions and our reality. They create a certain frequency that can be raised with sound, color and movement, leaving us with a sense of feeling grounded and present.
- Feel the feelings, honor them, but choose a healthy way to express them. Simply allowing someone else to listen without judgment is helpful.
Although denial is one way to cope, other alternatives allow for integration and wholeness.
Gedalia Genin (www.gedaliahhealingarts.com), an alternative health practitioner and naturopath at Centre Spring MD, is passionate about helping women and children transform health using natural modalities.