Understanding the Emotional Impact of Grief on Mental Health

Understanding the Emotional Impact of Grief on Mental Health


Despite being a common human experience, grief is frequently misconstrued and ignored in discourses about mental health. Grief may be brought on by the death of a loved one, the breakdown of a Relationship, or a major life transition, and it can have a tremendous impact on our mental health. This article delves into the complex relationship between mental health and grief, examining its different aspects and providing advice on coping strategies. 

Understanding Grief

An intricate and varied emotional reaction to loss is grief. It includes a variety of emotions, such as confusion, guilt, rage, and despair. There is no standard time frame or recommended emotional pattern for the grieving process, which makes it very individualised. The five stages of mourning are notably described by psychologist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross as follows: denial, Anger, bargaining, Depression, and acceptance. Although these phases offer a structure for comprehending bereavement, it's crucial to acknowledge that individual experiences differ in terms of timing or sequence.

Impact on Mental Health

Grief is not just a transitory stage; it can affect mental health in a significant and long-lasting way. People who have experienced loss—whether it be from the passing of a loved one, the breakup of a relationship, or another major life event—may struggle for a while to overcome a variety of emotional difficulties. 

Furthermore, grieving frequently hurts one's physical health. Fatigue, Sleep issue, and appetite loss are among the symptoms that many bereaved people report having, and they can make their mental pain much worse. Physical and mental symptoms can interact to produce a vicious cycle that makes it challenging for people to function.

One cannot stress the importance of unresolved grief. Persistent depressive, gloomy, and despairing feelings can seriously hinder one's capacity to discover happiness or purpose in life. Chronic mental health disorders like major depressive disorder may become more likely to develop in those who experience long-term emotional suffering (Latham & Prigerson, 2004). Without the right assistance and guidance, people could end up stuck in a never-ending cycle of hopelessness with no way out.

In essence, there are many different and extensive effects of grieving on mental health. It has an impact on people not just during the short time following a loss, but also in the long run on their emotional health and general quality of life. Promoting healing and Resilience in persons who are grieving requires acknowledging the importance of grief and treating its psychological repercussions with empathy and assistance.

Coping Strategies

  1. Expressing emotions: During the grieving process, it's important to recognise and deal with emotions. Finding appropriate outlets for emotions, such as writing in a journal, speaking with a reliable friend, or creating art or music, can help bring about comfort and speed up the healing process. According to research by Pennebaker and Beall (1986), writing expressively about traumatic situations might enhance emotional health and lessen distress.

  2. Seeking support: Having a network of friends, relatives, or a grief support group by your side can be a source of consolation and understanding when things go tough. Better mental health outcomes for bereaved adults have been repeatedly related to social support (Stroebe, Schut, & Stroebe, 2007). Furthermore, getting professional assistance from a therapist or counsellor with training in grief counselling can offer priceless support and direction customised to your requirements.

  3. Practising self-care: When grieving, it's critical to look after your mental and physical health. Give comfort and happiness-inducing activities (exercise, meditation, time in nature, hobbies) top priority. Studies have demonstrated the potential of self-care routines to lower stress, elevate mood, and promote general well-being (Burton et al., 2017).

  4. Honouring the memory: A sense of closure and connection can be achieved by finding heartfelt methods to remember the person or object you've lost. A remembrance book or collage, a tree planted in their honour, involvement in a charitable event, or deeds of kindness can all be done in their honour. Because they give the grieving process structure and significance, rituals and traditions can also be quite important (Neimeyer & Sands, 2011).

  5. Allowing time: Grieving progresses gradually and non-linearly, taking its own time to resolve. Have patience with yourself and permit yourself to feel all the feelings that come with being bereaved. Recognise that recovery takes time and try not to have unreasonably high expectations for yourself during your healing process. According to research by Bonanno (2004), most people have an innate ability to adjust and move on from loss over time, exhibiting resilience in the face of difficulty.

You can manage the grieving process with more resilience and self-compassion if you apply these coping methods to your everyday life. Recall that healing is a gradual process that is particular to each person and that it is acceptable to ask for assistance and support when necessary.


Although grief is a normal and inevitable aspect of life, if it is not dealt with, it can have a significant negative impact on mental health. People can traverse the mourning process with better resilience and self-compassion if they understand the emotional effect of sorrow and employ appropriate coping skills. Therapists in delhi can offer easily accessible and handy support to individuals experiencing bereavement when they need it. Furthermore, consulting with the Best psychologist delhi can provide specialised knowledge and individualised care to support people in recovering from their loss and finding purpose in it. Recall that assistance is available for those who seek it out, so you don't have to handle grief alone.

You can schedule an appointment with the best psychologists in Delhi at the Psychowellness Center, with locations in Delhi NCR, NOIDA, Faridabad, Janakpuri, Dwarka, and Vasant Vihar.

Contribution: Dr (Prof) R K Suri, Clinical Psychologist, life coach & mentor TalktoAngel &. MS. Nicole Fernandes, Psychologist.