At first you may be tempted to chuckle at this headline, but then you may be wondering what does it have to do with helping me get past my grief? Quite a lot. Consider what happens when we physically stop moving. Muscles become weak, standing and walking gets difficult, and we lose our sense of balance. In short, we become stiff and freeze up.
This also can happen to our emotional health during times of severe stress, such as grieving a loss. Our culture encourages us to separate our heads from our hearts, with its stoic approach to grieving by encouraging grievers to keep smiling no matter what and above all show no weakness or pain. We are told that no one really gets over a significant loss; once a griever, always a griever. Yet, life must go on. So, suck it up, buttercup. Be strong like a tree. The result is we become frozen in our pain, unable to move. Our hearts become hard, our resiliency is weakened, and we risk losing our ability to cope.
We have all heard about the physical benefits of exercise and how it keeps us limber, especially as we age. Movement also has significant benefits for our emotional health as well. The first bit of advice counselors will often give to their clients is to take a walk. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise helps by releasing “feel-good chemicals” such as neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids; reduce immune system chemicals that can make us feel worse; and increase body temperature, which calms us down. Exercise also helps us gain confidence, take our mind off our troubles, and gets us re-connected socially.
While physical exercise and social interactions are an important part of grief recovery, there is more that you can do. You can choose not to accept the cultural norms about grief that keep grievers emotionally frozen in place. I invite you to enroll in the Grief Recovery Method®. This transformative, action-oriented program provides a safe, confidential opportunity for you to gain a better understanding of grief and the myths and misinformation our society perpetuates about grief and the grieving process. It also teaches a set of specific action steps that will empower you to say goodbye to the pain and heartache caused by loss and move on to a happier life. The Grief Recovery Method has helped thousands of grievers worldwide for more than 30 years. It works.
The Grief Recovery Method is not therapy, but an educational program. It is available in an eight-week grief support group or a seven-week one-on-one format. For more information, please visit www.ekteleo.org or give me a call at 404-771-9335. As a certified grief recovery specialist, I can help. Remember: Grief occurs with all sorts of losses, not just death or divorce.
So, again, if you do not like where you are, move. You are not a tree. Call me. I can help.
© Ekteleo Ministry, 2017. All Rights Reserved.
James, J. W. and Friedman, R. 2009. The Grief Recovery Handbook (20th Anniversary Expanded Edition). Collings Living, New York, NY.
Mayo Clinic. Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms. The Mayo Clinic. Rochester, Minn. October 10, 2014. Accessed on January 6, 2017 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495