What does it mean to suffer a great loss?
I have not suffered from great loss in my life, yet and for that, I feel lucky. I trust my luck to continue as I work on being a better person every day. Although, often I forget to be a better person to myself on many occasions. I have been this way for most of my life and this is what I taught my children. As the years accumulate this bad behavior towards myself transformed into grief. This is another way grief appears in our lives besides suffering a traumatic event. It happens slowly and surely, regularly chipping away at your self-esteem and your love for yourself.
So I wrote some books on grief where I give suggestions on what you could do every day to feel better and move beyond it. You can view my amazon page here
In the end, no matter how you developed your grief, it resides in your lungs holding us hostage.
I love to teach Qigong through the seasons, and educate my students about the seasonal elements and the role they play in our lives. In the fall months, we take a closer look at the difficult emotions you may be carrying in your lungs and how they might be affecting your health.
Grief is an overwhelming emotion that stems from a source of sadness and is the cause of many health issues.
How does grief affect you?
Sometimes grief shows up in your life as a sleep disorder. Sleep is crucial for the proper functioning of a human being. Some people may use sleep as an ultimate getaway from these unpleasant emotions and sleep more.
Other grieving people may become insomniacs where they struggle to fall asleep or have irregular sleep-wake rhythms. I am one of those. There have been days when sleep deprivation made it impossible for the brain cells to communicate. These unhealthy sleep patterns can adversely impact your physical health and make it difficult to execute your daily tasks. At first, in my younger years, I got grumpy when I had a bad night. As the years go by it gets harder to manage my life without proper rest, so I am paying more attention to my nighttime rituals that help me get a better night sleep.
Join my free course on Developing sleep rituals for a better night’s sleep.
Another friend of grief is weight gain which is often but not always due to emotional eating. Dr. Libby of my favorite teachers and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition explains that we make meaning out of events to justify eating food that is not right for our bodies.
Pay attention to how you are making meaning to allow yourself indulgences that you know are not good for you and your body
Grief and Stress
Generally, your body’s response to grief is similar to its response to stress, This is why it is common for people to gain weight during or after bereavement. Stress hormones cause the body to accumulate belly fat. It is my experience that this belly fat has a mind of its own. It demands more sugar which floods the blood. This causes cravings in a vicious circle of overeating once again leading you to a host of other health issues that I mentioned above.
On the other spectrum, you might not want to eat anything at all. When we are too stressed the stress hormones may shut down the digestive system to avoid processing any food. Interestingly you may not have an appetite yet still accumulate stress-related belly fat. Fun right?
What about the immune system?
One of the functions of the immune system is to protect the body from infections and illnesses. When a person is not eating enough or eating too much, not sleeping enough, or sleeping too much the immune system may become weakened and fail to do its job.
Not eating enough nutritious food will adversely affect your overall well-being. To combat my grief I make sure to pile up green vegetables and do long sessions of Qigong stretching.
Getting enough exercise is most important to keeping the immune system functioning well.
As stated above, grief often comes along with other emotions such as stress. For example, grieving over a relationship that has just broken can put a lot of stress on your mental condition. You may worry about not finding another partner, or terribly miss spending time with your ex-partner. If not appropriately dealt with, prolonged grief can increase the chances of broken heart syndrome which has similar symptoms to that of a heart attack. You may feel chest pains or shortness of breath but this is a temporary condition.
Always check with your doctor to be sure it isn’t something more serious.
People suffering from this heart-related syndrome may find some peace when they follow my heart-centered Qi Gong videos to nurture the heart meridians and release the sadness they carry in their hearts. The heart season is the summer season.I filmed these videos during the summer months. I will write more about that then.
and my centering Qigong video
There is no cure for grief but there are ways of mitigating the grief. If you want to mitigate your grief during the fall season:
Access the Autumn Seasonal Course here.
Watch the recording of the previous live workshop.
I have written a series of books on how to manage grief with mindfulness, Tai Chi, Qigong stretches, and nutritious eating. I know it can be hard but even five minutes a day of these important practices can accumulate into life-changing behaviors. You can view my author’s page here.
This photo was taken by Master Yuan when I was training in China in 2019. This is what you get when Shifu says that’s a cool move, come let’s go outside and take a picture.
I cut grief with my sword…