Our bodies hold our story
If you were to describe your feelings about your grief, how might you do this? Paint? Write? Dance? Shout? Lie down in a darkened room? Lash out? Curl up in a ball...? All of the above and more?
When we feel happy, overjoyed, excited... our bodies reflect this don't they? We smile, laugh, sometimes cry with happiness. Remember the phrase 'jump for joy'?
It's the same when we feel angry: we might get red in the face, see red... we might want to or actually throw something or break something, or we might suddenly feel very cold, ice cold...
When we grieve, our bodies also reflect how we feel. We can feel utterly exhausted, our limbs feeling heavy, and every physical movement is a massive effort.
Meanwhile we want to eat everything, or, more commonly, nothing at all, with any food we eat turning to dust in our mouth.
Sleep becomes something that everyone else has but us, with the effects of sleep deprivation adding to our distress.
Dizziness, general disorientation, feeling and acting in a dazed manner: all these are physical expressions of our grief and its impact upon us.
Our bodies communicate to us in authentic ways how we feel. Our mind usually tries to control how we feel, especially when we've learnt to keep our feelings in check, well pressed down, and we ignore the messages which our body is sending to us.
Tuning in to our bodies through simple activities such as breathing deeply, or going for a walk (for starters...) can help us engage with our feelings, so that they begin to less like a great lump of distress, and help us to heal.
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