Published in IJCP December 2022
Spiritual Update
Managing Grief by Free Expressive Writing
December 13, 2022 | ijcp

The loss of a loved one is often painful. The resultant grief makes it hard to eat, sleep and leads to loss of interest in routine life, affecting behavior and judgment.

Some can feel agitated, some may feel like crying, some may want to withdraw from the world and others may struggle with feelings of sorrow, anger, guilt, despair, irritability or anxiety.

It is well known that disclosing your emotions by way of writing can boost your immune function and your mood and well-being. On the contrary, holding in strong feelings can increase blood pressure and heart rate.

One can write on a piece of paper, in his personal book, on the open website or keep it in the mind. One doesn’t have to preserve the emotions and can throw away the writings.

In absence of deeply troubling situations, such as suicide or a violent death, which are best explored with the help of an experienced therapist, one can choose writing as a way to express the grief.

  • Start writing for 15 to 30 minutes a day for 3 to 4 days.
  • Continue up to a week if it is helping.
  • Continue writing for 15 to 30 minutes once a week for a month.
  • Writing has stronger effects when it extends for more number of days.
  • Remember, writing about grief and loss can trigger strong emotions (one may cry or feel deeply upset).
  • Several people find journal writing valuable and report feeling better afterward.
  • Don’t worry about grammar or sentence structure.
  • Truly let go. Write down how you feel and why you feel that way.

(Source: Harvard News Letter)