4 Human Needs To Think About To Overcome Grief And Improve Your Mental Health

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The grief that an individual may experience after losing someone they love typically causes mental health issues to arise if you do not accept the helping hand that others are offering to you. After all, you tend to close in on yourself and get stuck in the dark corners of your mind. Instead of moving on and allowing the soul of that loved one to rest in peace, you might keep on calling for them, asking why they left you early. The more days pass by with these thoughts swirling in your head, the more depression, anxiety, and perhaps even mania may affect you and prevent you from overcoming grief.

Now, considering you are reading this blog because you want to get over your negative feelings – or a friend asks for your help, but you have no idea what to do – you should know that there are four human needs that you ought to fulfill to feel good again. Like what Lisa S. Larsen, PsyD used to say, “When it’s too hard to cope with all of this alone, you might find it helpful to have someone who understands trauma and loss in your corner.” A grieving person is most likely at a loss due to the unfortunate events that took place in their life; that’s why they may be unaware of what those are right now. However, if there is at least one concerned fellow who will remind or help them achieve the following, the sun might shine brightly on this individual once more.

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The first thing that you need is variety. When you stay in the same place for days or weeks, after all, your subconscious may consider it as a location for grieving. Hence, you might not feel a sense of urgency to move forward and let go of your negative emotions.  You need to remember that “The best progress happens when you apply what you’ve learned outside that setting, in your real life.” Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D. often says.

What you can do is change some things to turn on that switch in your brain that will enable you to feel something other than sadness. For instance, move in with a friend or parents until your feelings stabilize. Try a new activity that you never imagined yourself doing. Look for another company to work for if necessary as well to see some variation in your life.


“Many people mistakenly believe that if you can’t see it like you can a broken bone, it must be less significant and therefore can be overcome by simply using willpower. If not, they mistakenly believe that people who suffer from depression are weak.” Simon Rego, PsyD once said. But, No! A probable reason why you cannot accept the death of a loved one is that, among all your relatives or friends, that is someone whom you feel most significant to. The person perhaps used to get in touch with you every day; you might have had meals or went everywhere together. When they passed away, therefore, you assumed that no one would see you as unique as they did in the past.

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Nonetheless, that is not true. If it’s significance that you need to experience again, you can find recognition in other areas. Say, volunteer to help in an animal shelter or take on a new role in the office. Aside from that, let your living loved ones in your life. You may be special in their eyes too, but you have not realized it yet.


Love springs from the fact that you feel a deep connection to someone. This emotion will not come to life if you do not pay attention to the sweet gestures that others send your way or the gifts they give in kind. And without love in your heart, you may always think that you are alone, that nobody cares for you.

Things may improve, however, once you prioritize connecting with everyone. For instance, say hi to the barista in your favorite cafe and ask how their day is going, spend a few minutes exchanging pleasantries to your co-passengers in the bus or elevator, or text your siblings, friends or parents regularly. Such interactions may be small, but they are more than enough to lessen your loneliness.

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This need does not merely mean that you have to contribute money to the church or the society to feel good about yourself. A better gift that you can offer is yourself. After all, any relationship, whether it is personal or professional, will not work if you only take what the other parties give. Their generosity may dwindle in time, especially when these people realize that you are no different from a parasite that feeds off its host. Thus, to avoid destroying your bond with people, you should strive to make a contribution emotionally and physically.

Final Thoughts

Take some time to let the ideas sink in your troubled mind. It is not surprising if you read all of them and still think, “No, that is impossible. I will have to carry this grief in my heart forever.” However, try to answer this question truthfully: would the person you are grieving for be happy wherever they may be upon seeing you wasting your life over an irreversible situation?

When you feel ready to live again, focus on fulfilling the four human needs mentioned above. And if you need a psychologist’s help, you can get it online at BetterHelp. They have some of the best mental health professionals in the industry today. Good luck!


Effective Activities To Help You Recover From Grief

Experiencing extreme sadness and coping with grief are the two most challenging aspects of our lives. It doesn’t necessarily mean the death of a loved one, but it can also be a heartbreak. Anger, shock, sadness, emptiness, and all the negative feelings are there. A good therapist’s advice, however, can pave the way towards one’s healing.

A tragic event can happen in a blink of an eye, but its effects feel like they will last for a lifetime. During these times, the mind is so focused on the negative side of life, and all other aspects of living have become dull and lifeless. It is a painful phase of one’s life, but as they say, life goes on. If you are grieving right now (or maybe you know someone who is), then here are some activities that will effectively make the situation easier.

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Jog Or Run Around The Park

Breathe in fresh air and let yourself witness the sunlight once more. Go out and do your physical body some favor. Run, jog, or even walk around the neighborhood or the park. There are scientific reasons why this simple exercise makes you feel good instantaneously. This short workout is known to stimulate the body’s “feel-good” hormones called the endorphins and enkephalins. “Whether you suffer from seasonal affective disorder or not, the evidence is strong that getting outside just for a little bit can be very helpful.” Andrea Bonior, PhD, clinical psychologist explains.

It is also another outlet for you to interact with others and smile once again. Isolation, most of the time, will worsen during the grieving period and can even give way for a damaging self- talk. Go out and interact with others even with a simple nod just for you to see that you are not alone and there is still a colorful life outside.

Treat Yourself

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Binge! Stop the calorie count and treat yourself to your favorite restaurant or dessert shop. Grieving makes it hard for you to eat adequately, and if you notice, you haven’t been getting the proper nutrition that you need for the past days. Let yourself taste once again how good it feels like to eat your favorite food. Don’t deprive your body with the proper nutrition as it can also affect the way your brain thinks and functions. “In research conducted only in the last few decades, scientists have discovered that the gut releases a hormone when you eat food that helps regulate the levels of sugar in your blood and slows down the emptying of your stomach.” William Anderson LMHC elaborates.

Plan A Mini Vacation

You need to feel alive after that tragic and life-changing loss you’ve been through. Don’t confine yourself in that place where you can feel the painful memory of yesterday. Get a fresh start! Engross yourself with searching online for budget destinations you can explore with your close friends. “Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.” Richard Shuster, PsyD said. Trust us: your friends are excited as well to see you alive and active once again.

Join Support Groups

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The worst part of grieving is you thinking that the world has forsaken you. Maybe you are already starting to compare your life with others’. You may be asking why this is all happening to you while other people are having the time of their lives. Moreover, even the guilt you are feeling makes it hard for you to open up with other people.

Counselors always advise their patients to join peer support groups to meet with people who are undergoing the same vast of emotions as you. They say that sometimes it is easier for a person to open up to someone who understands their grief without any judgment on the part of the listener. In support groups, it is sure that you will get honest pieces of advice, solace, and unconditional acceptance.

Go Out And Socialize

Have dinner with your friends or a lunch out with your family, or even invite your best friend to a coffee shop and talk about life. It’s about gearing your mind away from the painful loss. Occupy your mind with something good for the meantime until you get used to it.

The plan is to get yourself busy after you allow yourself to cry and feel the numbness and sadness surrounding you. While grieving itself is a normal part of the process, prolonging it and not doing anything to alleviate it compromises your overall health. The negative emotions flowing in you can significantly affect your mental health and may even lead to suicidal thoughts.

Remember that life goes on and this is not how your life should end. Acceptance is indeed the toughest part of the process, but with the proper coping, the pain will not last any longer. Talking and opening up to a very close friend, family member, or a professional therapist is an excellent first step towards healing.