Where Does Grief Manifest In The Body

Some people get colds or the flu when they are under a lot of stress. During a period of acute grief, they may realize that they are more prone to these disorders. This is due to the fact that sadness can weaken the immune system in adulthood.

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According to a 2014 study, older persons who were grieving, specifically after the death of a spouse, were unable to maintain a stress hormone balance. As a result, their neutrophil function was compromised. This means that older persons are less likely to produce certain types of white blood cells throughout the grieving process, leaving them vulnerable to infections.

What part of the body does grief affect?

Amy Davis, a 32-year-old from Bristol, Tennessee, got ill with grief after losing a close family member, Molly, 38, to cancer. Davis writes, “Early grieving was profoundly bodily for me.” “After the initial shock and excitement wore off, I suffered from great exhaustion for several months, with nausea, headaches, food aversion, disrupted sleep cycles, dizziness, and sun sensitivity. It was incredibly tough to accomplish anything. If there's one thing I want people to understand about grieving, it's how dreadful your body can feel.”

What is the source of these bodily symptoms? A number of studies have revealed the strong consequences of mourning on the body. Grief causes inflammation, which can exacerbate existing health problems and create new ones. It wreaks havoc on the immune system, leaving you exposed to illness. Grief's sadness can raise blood pressure and increase the danger of blood clots. Intense sadness can wreak havoc on the heart muscle, resulting in “broken heart syndrome,” a type of cardiac disease with symptoms similar to a heart attack.

The emotional and physical components of bereavement are linked by stress. Physical and mental stress are processed by the same systems in the body, and emotional stress can activate the nervous system just as easily as physical threats. Increased adrenaline and blood pressure can contribute to chronic medical issues when stress becomes persistent.

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Emotional pain activates the same brain regions as physical pain, according to research. This could explain why painkillers like opioids and Tylenol have been demonstrated to help with emotional pain.

Where does grief reside in the body?

While Western medicine emphasizes the psychological components of psychosomatic illnesses, pathological damage to the internal organs is very real and is a key concern when a client presents with such a complaint to a TCM therapist. Excessive emotional activity is widely documented for causing severe energy imbalances, blockages, and organ limitations.

Almost no one can resist feeling angry, sad, concerned, or afraid at times. It's vital to remember that one's mental and spiritual lives should not be confused with one's emotional life, which can be fleeting. It's also worth noting that being alive and vibrant without being overwhelmed by strong emotions is entirely achievable.

Excessive, protracted, or both emotions, as described above, are simply a cause of disease. Despite the fact that they are a direct cause, they also have a healthy counterpart. The same mental energy that creates and “nurtures” excessive emotions can be used toward more productive and satisfying goals. Each emotion is only one side of the coin when it comes to illness causes. The other side is a mental energy that is related to the organ in question, whether it is the liver, gallbladder, spleen, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, heart, small intestine, large intestine, or lungs. Because the functions of a healthy liver/gallbladder network manifest in a good balance of firmness and flexibility, assertiveness, decisiveness, creativity, and commitment to growth and development, the same mental and affective qualities of the liver that may give rise to anger and resentment over many years can be harnessed and used for very creative mental development.

Excessive emotions, according to TCM, function as stimuli, disrupting the Mind and Soul, altering the balance of internal organs and the harmony of Qi (energy) and Blood, and perhaps causing sickness. As a result, emotional stress is an internal cause of illness that directly affects the organs. However, and this is critical, the status of our internal organs can have an impact on our emotional state.

Furthermore, because the heart houses the Mind, all emotions influence the heart indirectly in addition to directly influencing the appropriate organ. Emotional strain has an effect on our hearts that we can detect and feel.


Grief is the emotion of the lungs and big intestine, which are metal-related organs. Loss of any kind can lead to a feeling of being sapped of energy and having trouble bowel function. Grief can linger for a long time and go unresolved until we decide to let it go. This lung energy deficiency can lead to despair and an unwillingness to ‘let go' of things when grieving is unresolved and becomes chronic. This could obstruct lung function and oxygen circulation in the long run. Because our lungs regulate the flow of energy in our bodies, it's critical that we allow ourselves to deal with painful occurrences rather than suffocate them.


Fear is the emotion of the kidneys and bladder, which are both water-related organs. It is a typical adaptive emotion that, if neglected, can become chronic. When we are coping with worry, such as a change in life direction or uncertain living arrangements, kidney problems are common. When we are terrified, our kidneys fight to keep up with the energy, and we can practically wet our pants.


Worry is an emotion related with the earth element's spleen/stomach/pancreas network. Too much introspection, fear, and insecurity might stifle our ability to assimilate – it merely ties up our energy. We find it difficult to absorb and accept a scenario or life occurrence when we are worried to the point of worry. We will be unable to digest the events and meals we bring into our lives due to a lack of trust and ease with them. We may feel sleepy, sluggish, and unable to concentrate as a result of this. Also, there's a bit of a paradox here: too much mental stimulation, like overwork, can lead to mental heaviness. A swollen spleen can potentially be the source of persistent weight gain.

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The emotions of the liver and gallbladder, organs related with the wood element, are anger and rage. Emotions like hatred, fury, or irritation might suggest that this energy is in excess, and our liver can be damaged if we experience these emotions frequently. Headaches and dizziness are frequent at this point. Long-term sentiments of repressed anger, such as resentment, annoyance, and impatience, can develop an imbalance in the liver and gallbladder. A bad diet, as well as body contaminants such as chemicals, medications, and molds, can produce imbalance, just as they might with other organs.

Avoiding angry outbursts is beneficial to the liver and gallbladder. There's also a pattern associated to hepatic energy stagnation that presents as mood swings or manic-depressive states. When the energy doesn't move, one can feel low, and when the energy moves or releases under particular circumstances, one can experience a manic state.


The heart and small intestine, organs connected with the fire element, express joy. We fuel our heart and small intestinal energies when we experience profound joy and happiness. We have a clear mind and are able to digest information. When we don't have enough joy in our lives, our hearts suffer, and we can feel stuck, cognitively jumbled, and sleepless. Mania, also known as obsessive joy, is a mental and emotional disease caused by an excess of dispersed heart energy. Agitation, sleeplessness, and palpitations can all be symptoms of overstimulated heart activity. To put it another way, even pleasant feelings can be out of whack.

There are 4 origins of anxiety according to TCM:

1: Energy blockage in the lungs and large intestine can cause shallow and irregular breathing, as well as retention of breath. Anxiety can have a negative impact on the large intestine, making one more susceptible to ulcerative colitis and IBS.

2: Kidney and bladder problems could also be to blame for this feeling. Our adrenal glands control our stress response, and chronic adrenal disorders can lead to worry. The adrenal glands, like the kidneys, are recognized by TCM as being part of the kidney yang component. Anxiety can also be produced by a misalignment of the kidneys and a raging heart fire, which results in rapid heart palpitations.

3: When long-standing anger and annoyance go unaddressed, anxiety might result from a liver imbalance. Anxiety shows as nervous tension, irritation, and insomnia in this scenario.

4: Anxiety arises from a spleen and stomach imbalance, which causes excessive concern and pensiveness. After eating, this might induce stomach enlargement and bloating.

It's critical to understand what goes on inside the body and which disorders affect our neurological system and vice versa.

How do grief manifest itself?

People are typically unaware of these, but mourning can have physical effects in addition to emotional ones. This has something to do with the situation's tension. Everyone is impacted differently, but you can have the following symptoms:

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What does grief look like in the brain?

When making everyday decisions, your judgment may appear blurred. Grief Brain manifests itself in these ways. Don't worry; this is a normal aspect of the grieving process. Grief, despair, loneliness, and a slew of other emotions have flooded your mind.

What are the 7 signs of grieving?

Another prominent paradigm for expressing the various complex sensations of loss is the seven stages of mourning. The following are the seven stages:

  • Guilt and pain. You may believe that the loss is overwhelming and that your feelings and needs are making other people's lives more difficult.
  • Anger and bargaining are two sides of the same coin. You can lash out, telling God or a higher force that if they just give you respite from these feelings, you'll do everything they want.
  • Depression. This could be a time of loneliness and solitude while you absorb and think on the loss.
  • The increasing trend has begun. The stages of grieving, such as wrath and pain, have faded by this time, and you're left in a more calm and relaxed state.
  • Reconstruction and perseverance. You can start putting your life back together and moving forward.
  • Acceptance and optimism This is a gradual acceptance of the new way of life, as well as a sense of hope for the future.

As an example, consider the following stages of a breakup or divorce:

  • “She would never do something like this to me,” she says, shocked. She'll realize she's made a mistake and return here tomorrow.”
  • “How could she do this to me?” “How could she do this to me?” How self-centered is she? “How did I get myself into this mess?”
  • “If she'll give me another chance, I'll be a better boyfriend,” she rages. I'll spoil her and give her whatever she wants.”
  • “I'll never have another relationship,” says depression. I'm destined to disappoint everyone.”
  • “The end was difficult, but there may be a time in the future where I could picture myself in another relationship,” she says.
  • “I need to assess that relationship and learn from my faults,” says the reconstructed person.
  • Acceptance and optimism: “I have a lot to offer someone else.” “All I have to do now is meet them.”

What is pre grieving?

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia. Anticipatory grief is a type of grieving that occurs before a loss occurs. The impending loss is usually the death of a close relative due to illness.

How do you release trauma trapped in the body?

20 stress-relieving and trauma-recovery tips:

  • The “fight” reflex can trap energy or stress in your fists, hands, arms, and shoulders.
  • I'll say it again: if you start weeping, try to let yourself cry/sob/wail naturally until it ends.

Fear Is Physical

Fear is felt in the head, but it also causes a powerful physical reaction in the body. Your amygdala (a little organ in the centre of your brain) gets to work as soon as you recognize fear. It wakes up your neurological system, triggering your body's fear response. Cortisol and adrenaline are stress hormones that are released. Your heart rate and blood pressure rise. You begin to breathe more rapidly. Even your blood flow shifts, with blood flowing away from your heart and into your limbs, making it simpler for you to hurl punches or flee for your life. Your body is gearing up for a fight-or-flight situation.

Fear Can Make You Foggy

Some portions of your brain are firing on all cylinders, while others are shutting down. The cerebral cortex (brain area that controls logic and judgment) becomes activated when the amygdala detects fear.

Do you ever get over grief?

  • When you lose someone important to you, your sadness never goes away completely, but you can learn to manage with it over time.
  • Talking with loved ones about your pain, recalling all of the wonderful in your life, engaging in your favorite activities, and consulting a grief counselor are all useful coping tactics.
  • You'll never “get over” the loss of a loved one, but as you accept the loss, the painful feelings you're experiencing will lessen.
  • While these painful sentiments may first distract you, there is much to learn from the loss of a loved one, such as how wonderful life and love can be.

You just got the heartbreaking news that your loved one has passed away. Your cluttered, frazzled mind seems like it's going 100 miles per hour right now, and even several weeks later. Is my grief ever going to go away? Will I ever be able to move on from this tragedy? When will things improve? More than anything, you wish you knew all the answers. Fortunately, Kriss Kevorkian, PhD, MSW, is here to assist me in answering these difficult concerns and providing you with some reassuring answers:

What stage is grief crying?

As you come to terms with your loss, your emotions may come in waves. You can't stop the process, but understanding why you're feeling that way can help. Grief affects everyone differently. You may have heard of the phases of sorrow, which are no longer regarded the best approach to think about grief.

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  • Denial: It's natural to think to yourself, “This isn't happening,” when you first learn of a loss. You can be startled or numb. This is a transient solution to the rush of intense emotion. It's a form of self-defense.
  • Anger: As the reality of your loss sinks in, you become enraged. You may feel helpless and frustrated. Anger develops from these feelings. You could direct it at other individuals, a greater force, or life as a whole. It's natural to be upset with a loved one who has died and left you alone.
  • Bargaining: At this point, you're thinking about what you could have done differently to avoid the loss. “If only…” and “What if…” are common thoughts. You could also try to reach an agreement with a higher power.
  • Sadness sets in as you realize the magnitude of the loss and its impact on your life. Crying, sleep problems, and a loss of appetite are all symptoms of depression. You could feel helpless, remorseful, and lonely.
  • Acceptance: You accept the reality of your loss in this final stage of mourning. It is unchangeable. Even if you're still heartbroken, you can begin to go on with your life.

Can grief hit you years later?

Delayed grief is exactly what it sounds like: grief that you don't completely feel until a long time after your loss. Those who have a delayed grief reaction generally describe it as a sudden and overwhelming despair. It could take weeks or months, or even years, to arrive after the funeral.

So, what causes this to occur? The shock of a loss or the desire to solve urgent practical concerns can cause us to consciously or unconsciously ‘hold off' on grieving. It then comes back to haunt us later, maybe prompted by another loss or even something minor and insignificant.

This delayed mourning reaction is, in some ways, to be welcomed once it arrives. After all, it allows us to work through our emotions and, eventually, heal.