Stress can make everyday worries, including grief, feel worse and harder to manage. Our brains are like computers. There is only so much that we can process at once. When we reach a certain level, things just start to fall apart. For computers, this means it takes longer to process information or to load content. For humans, it can slow us down in other ways, such as reduced short-term memory, trouble finding the right words, misplacing things, increased irritability, etc.
It affects us in other ways too. Unlike computers, people also have to cope with emotions. Feelings of anxiety and stress also build up other emotions like fear, depression, grief, and anger. We might become short and snippy with others, or perhaps shut down altogether. Feelings of grief may suddenly intensify even if they had subsided for a while.
The opposite may occur too. An overwhelming amount of stress or anxiety may lead to emotional numbing. Instead of feeling all the big, intense emotions, it can suddenly feel like all the emotions get turned off. This may seem like a gift if an individual has been overwhelmed with negative emotions, but it generally means that all the positive emotions get numbed as well.
So, what’s a person to do? Try these tips to keep stress in check:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Sleep: 8-9 hours are ideal
- Avoid triggers
- Social media
- Unhealthy relationships
- Mindfulness meditation
- Talk to a friend
- Talk to a professional
- If stress is triggering your grief or vice versa, call Faith and Hope, a Hospice in Pasadena. We are here to support you with your grief.