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3 Ways Being Social Can Help You Cope With Grief

3 Ways Being Social Can Help You Cope With Grief

by  Sally Perkins

Sooner or later we all experience grief over the loss of someone we love. For most people, the pain is palpable and lasting, but not so disabling that they can’t get out of bed. For some, it is a different matter as 15% of the bereaved population experience complicated grief, an acute form of grieving that persists more than six months after a death. When a person experiences this type of grief, life has no meaning and joy ceases to exist. This condition has been linked to higher incidence of drinking, suicide attempts, and even cancer, that’s why it is important to find ways to heal from a loss. Some of the best ways to do it are by being social, attending parties, and even dancing out your troubles to a DJ’s playlist. All these can help to restore your spirits and promote inner healing as being in a joyous setting with people who care about you can do much to help you cope with grief. 

Why it’s difficult to be social when you’re grieving

After a loved one dies, a grieving person may find that it’s difficult to re-enter the social scene. Apart from still feeling the pain of your loss, you may find that you feel disconnected from your friends and relatives, and initiating contact with your loved ones may prove to be daunting. Most people who are in mourning may also feel discomfort around old friends, and vice versa. There’s also the fact that you may not want anyone to bring up your loss in such a public setting. While no one expects you to be the life of the party, being social and attending events such as a wedding or a birthday party can help you cope with grief. Here’s how being social can help you heal from your loss.

It prevents you from becoming isolated

Anyone who is experiencing depression after a loss will often distance himself from family and friends. However, social isolation will not only lead to loneliness, but it can also increase the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Moreover, it increases the risk of death by at least 50%.

You get to meet new people

Meeting new people at a dinner party or at a wedding can distract you from your grief, even for just a short time. Learning about someone else’s interests and hobbies can be helpful and it gets you thinking about the things that you can do that could make you feel better.

You get to reconnect with your loved ones

While it’s typical to think of your deceased loved one during this difficult time, it’s also important to form strong bonds with the people who are still around and who love you unconditionally. Being social can help you reconnect with your relatives and friends who care about you, and you’ll be reminded that no matter how much you’re hurting, you’re not alone in your journey.

If you’ve never attended a social function or event after your loss, start by accepting an invitation to go out for coffee with a few close friends, then as you get more comfortable, perhaps you can attend a dinner party. Once you feel more secure, try attending a friend’s wedding or other special occasions. Coping with loss and grief can be difficult, but don’t forget to live your life and reconnect with the people who love you. Being social is a concrete step towards moving forward and healing from your loss.



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