How Grief Affects Us Physically

by | Dec 6, 2022 | Pregnancy Loss Counseling

Grief hits us hard. It takes over every part of our life, showing up when we least expect it. It affects our emotions with an intensity that can be scary, but is that where it stops? Does it only stop at our emotions? Or does it affect us physically too?

Grief can have a deep effect on our physical health, even if we don’t always notice it at first. It affects us all differently. Maybe you will be more emotionally affected than physically, or maybe it will be the other way around. Either way, it’s important for us to know how grief can physically manifest.


Sleep Difficulties

Grief can make it hard for us to sleep at night. Maybe we can’t fall asleep for hours, or we wake up in the middle of the night and we can’t go back to sleep at all. Either way, sleep evades us. It might be because we’re scared we’ll dream of the pregnancy loss, or of the baby we won’t get to see grow up.

Fatigue is not an uncommon manifestation of grief. It makes it hard to go about our daily life when we’re exhausted, but if we’re also struggling with insomnia, we might not have a choice. We should try to get some rest whenever we can, even if that means taking a few naps whenever we find the time.

Changes in Appetite

Changes in appetite due to grief are not uncommon, but they manifest differently from person to person. Maybe we fluctuate between being unable to eat or eating a lot more than we normally would because we’re searching for comfort. Or maybe we stick to one of those extremes: not eating enough or overeating. Regardless, we can’t deny the impact grief has on our eating habits.

We might also end up with digestive problems or stomach aches that we can’t explain. It might be our grief that’s making us feel that way. It changes our appetite and our digestive system the same way it changes our sleep patterns.


Weaker Immune System

If we find ourselves falling ill more often than we used to shortly after losing someone, that could be an effect of grief. It can weaken our immune system, and make us more likely to get sick. This is normally what happens to us in times of immense stress, and grieving is not an exception. It’s important that we take care of ourselves as best we can during these difficult times.

Body Pains

Grief isn’t just emotional pain, it’s physical too. It can lead us to experience random pains in places we don’t expect. Maybe our back hurts more often than it used to, or our joints ache. Our muscles might feel stiffer than usual because of the stress that comes with grief. It’s not uncommon to also experience headaches and chest pains.

While it’s important to see a doctor if the chest pains persist over a long time, these pains are just temporary. Grief won’t affect us this way forever.

Grief is a Struggle

Grief isn’t easy. It’s a wave of pain that knocks you down every time you try to get back up. Whether you’re dealing with emotional or physical hardships or a combination of both, you might find it hard to live your life under that kind of burden.

If you’re struggling with grief that is so intense it starts to affect your body, you might want to seek professional help. Schedule an appointment with us, and we’ll help you deal with your grief and help you feel a little more settled. You don’t have to deal with your grief alone.

To learn more about how Mindful Reflections can help, check out our Pregnancy Loss Counseling page.

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