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To Really Overcome Grief, You Have to Experience These 5 Stages

To Really Overcome Grief, You Have to Experience These 5 Stages

There are 5 cycles or stages one usually processes through their emotions [1] when dealing with this horrible issue. Learning to overcome the grief cycle can be a daunting task. Grief sets in and takes places sometimes as a result of a death of a loved one or a super stressing situation you feel like you have failed in are two major factors that may cause grief to occur. We all need to learn about self forgiveness and how to keep our emotions in check when going through this type of trauma.

Grief usually does not kill like cancer [2] or disease but sometimes one takes drastic measures while trying to live a normal life in the cycle of grieving. Overwhelming feelings, denial, helplesness withdrawing from others, acute depression and anxiety usually appear with grief. Adapting to grief has 5 stages.

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Grief Cycle Takes 5 Steps

1. Denial and Isolation: “This really isn’t happening, this can’t be happening”

Denial and Isolation [3] happens when one first learns of an end of life illness, loss, or death of someone close to you is to deny the situation. They often go into a mold of “This really isn’t happening, this can’t be happening,” they often tell themselves. However, it’s a reaction from our minds to control overwhelming feelings. This is a defense mechanism that buffers sudden shock one faces. We block out the truth and try to hide the facts. This is called a rapid response that pulls us through the first stages of pain.

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2. Anger: “Why? Tell me why!”

Second stage is hiding the effects of denying the situation and the isolation sets in [4] , reality and pain soon takes hold to one’s emotions. The intense emotion makes us very vulnerable and redirected instead as anger. The anger may be turned toward objects, strangers, friends or family. Anger also may be directed toward the death of a loved one. Emotionally it is not uncommon that one may resent the person that’s left us or leaving us with the pain. We feel guilty for emotions of anger which only elevates the anger.

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3. Helplessness and Vulnerability:  “If I’d only done this or that, things would have been different…”

Third stage of grief is feelings of helplessness and vulnerability [5] is often a sign we need to regain control over a situation. Some thoughts that we think in this stage are “If I’d only done this or that, things would have been different. Most people try and come up with answers for grief in thinking they should have gotten more help or tried something different or perhaps a second opioions. Some also tries to make a deal with God or high powers as an attempt to post-pone death, pain or suffering, known as a defense mechanism to cope.

4. Depression: “Nothing would help…”

Sadness and regret follow, causing bouts of depression. We worry about end of life expenses, what are we going to do and so many more thoughts of things that we need to do or how other’s depends on us that puts a mental strain on our lives. Depression can be helped [6] with many medications and also a good cognitive behavioral therapy. Family and support are also big contributors in helping depression from a grief cycle.

5. Acceptance: “It’ll never be the same again, but I’ve grown stronger too”

The last cycle in grief is acceptance to the situation. This stage of mourning is a rare commodity not given to everyone. With a sudden death or an unexpected one, we may never recooperate from the anger and denial. Some think they must be strong and igore these feelings but recovery one must accept the situation for what it is. This cycle is feelings of withdrawal and calmness. This is not when happiness returns, more-over a recovery cycle to trauma from a grief-filled situation.

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Reference

[1] PsychCentral: The 5 Stages of Grief & Loss
[2] MayoClinic: What Is Grief?
[3] WahiawaUnitedMethodistChurch: Death and Dying for The Terminal Patient
[4] GriefHealing: Loneliness and Solitude in Grief
[5] Women’sThreapyServices: Helplessness in Grief and Loss, Death and Dying
[6] TNNursery: Dealing With Depression During Grief

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Tammy Sons

Master Gardener, Horticulurist, Arborist

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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