Grief and its effects on the body

Following on from our topic on Lungs and Grief which happened completely by chance, it got us thinking more about how grief can physically impact the body.

We wanted to find out more about how grief affects the body because of the comments and feedback we got. It has made us want to explore further as it is very important….

Please see Grief and its effects on the body which covers:

  1. Introduction
  2. Illustrative examples: Grief and its effects on the body
  3. Grief and its effects on the body
  4. How to release Grief from the body
  5. Focus and Grief
  6. The Bible and Grief
  7. Our final thoughts/Our YouTube video

© Copyright 2019 Grief Probate Journey Blog *PLEASE NOTE THIS INFORMATION IS SOURCED FROM UK and AMERICAN WEBSITES* It is also based on our own experience. *We are not experts in this field, we are speaking purely on our own experience with information sought from the internet to give further examples. *

1. Introduction

Following on from our topic on Lungs and Grief which happened completely by chance, it got us thinking more about how grief can physically impact the body.

We wanted to find out more about how grief affects the body because of the comments and feedback we got. It has made us want to explore further as it is very important.

In our own grief journey, we are aware of some of the ways we have been affected physically, for example, upset stomach in stressful times, hives in anxious times.

I myself am now suffering from high blood pressure, my sister has recently been diagnosed with chrons related arthritis and inflammation.

Reading this explanation of what grief can do to the body resonates with us in so many ways.

What does grief do to your body?

“Grief increases inflammation, which can worsen health problems you already have and cause new ones. It batters the immune system, leaving you depleted and vulnerable to infection. The heartbreak of grief can increase blood pressure and the risk of blood clots”. (11 Jul 2019).

This is something that has affected me. Since 2016 I have had high blood pressure. 2016 is the year our Dad was hospitalised. Since December 2020 my blood pressure reached the point that I am now on daily medication for it. (We have a topic on Stress and Blood Pressure).

Along our Grief Journey, we aim to continue trying our best to help and spread awareness of Grief, Health and Wellbeing.

Please see Grief and its effects on the body:


2. Illustrative examples: Grief and its effects on the body



3. Grief and its effects on the body

3.1 The Grief Experience: Survey Shows It’s Complicated

“(July 11, 2019) — People grieve a lost friendship or relationship at a level similar to the death of a close family member or friend — and no matter what you’re grieving, other people may expect you to bounce back long before you’re ready, a new WebMD survey finds”….

3.2 Where does the body store grief?

“The energy of the trauma is stored in our bodies’ tissues (primarily muscles and fascia) until it can be released. This stored trauma typically leads to pain and progressively erodes a body’s health. Emotions are the vehicles the body relies on to find balance after a trauma”.

3.3 Does grief make you gain weight?

It is completely normal, maybe even healthy, to gain weight while you are grieving. It’s called “comfort food” for a reason. … There’s a wonderful German word for the pounds you put on while grieving: Kummerspeck. (28 Jul 2015).

3.4 How does grief make you lose weight?

“Studies show that appetites are often diminished, which can lead to serious weight loss. A common effect of grief on one’s physical health is a loss of appetite and, in turn, significant (or at least mild) weight loss”. (5 Sept 2018).

This is something that I can relate too. I lost a very good friend in 2007. This was the first close friend that I experienced passing away. I didnt realise how much it had affected me until I started noticing my clothes were no longer fitting me. I lost two stone in about two weeks. This was a great shock to me. When I acknowledged this happenend and in such a short space of time, I knew I needed to work on myself so that deal with things in a different way. My main thought process with this was, if I lose weight so drastically when someone passes away, eventually there will be nothing left of me. Two months after my friend passed away, our Great Uncle sadly passed away. We were very close to him. Thankfully I had managed to regain weight, and the loss of my Great Uncle did not cause my weight to go any lower.

3.5 What are the side effects of losing a loved one?

“Depression and grief”

  • “extreme hopelessness”.
  • “insomnia”.
  • “loss of appetite”.
  • “suicidal thoughts”.
  • “persistent feelings of worthlessness”.
  • “marked mental and physical sluggishness”. (4 Jan 2019)

3.6 Can grief make you feel dizzy?

“Early grief was intensely physical for me,” Davis says. “After the shock and adrenaline of the first weeks wore off, I went through a couple of months of extreme fatigue, with nausea, headaches, food aversion, mixed-up sleep cycles, dizziness, and sun sensitivity. (11 Jul 2019).

3.7 Can grief age you?

“In a follow-up on previous research, University of Birmingham immunologists claim that you really can be sick with grief. This emotionally-driven sickness gets worse the older you are, the researchers reported in a recent Immunity & Aging study, and is probably caused by an increase in stress hormones”. (9 Sept 2014).

3.8 How does grief affect your digestive system?

“Often connected with the disruption to our normal eating habits or routines, the bereaved often experience temporary problems with their digestive systems, such as constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, a “hollow feeling” in the stomach, queasiness, or feeling nauseated”.

Without a doubt, this is something that has happened to my sister and I. Very often in the stages of dealing with our Dads affairs, we were affected with stomach issues.

3.9 Can grief make your heart hurt?

“Increased blood pressure, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and heart attacks are associated with the stress of grief on the cardiovascular system. We often say that our heartaches or breaks after the death of a loved one”. (4 Sept 2019)

3.10 Grief Can Have Very Real Physical Symptoms | Pathways

“It’s physically exhausting to grieve, so give your body the time it needs to rest, as your … The cognitive effects of grief often times interfere with your ability to think”…

3.11 How does grief affect the body? | Physical effects of grief

“Many people are surprised by the intensity of physical feelings experienced after a bereavement. When someone dies it is very common for our bodies to”…

3.12 When Loss Hurts: 6 Physical Effects of Grief – Blog Therapy

“20 May 2018 — There’s also a specific temporary syndrome brought on by the death of a loved one called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or “broken heart syndrome.” …

3.13 How does grief cause physical pain? – BBC News

“(6 May 2016) — Murdered soldier Lee Rigby’s mother says she has felt daily chest pains since her son’s death”.

3.14 What symptoms are associated with grief and loss of a spouse?

Signs and symptoms of complicated grief may include:

  • “Intense sorrow, pain and rumination over the loss of your loved one”.
  • “Focus on little else but your loved one’s death”.
  • “Extreme focus on reminders of the loved one or excessive avoidance of reminders”.
  • “Intense and persistent longing or pining for the deceased”. More items… (5 Oct 2017)


4. How to release Grief from the body

4.1 How do you release grief from your body?

“Whatever you feel is normal and natural for you. Stay with the sensations of sadness and breathe gently”….

“A Gentle Exercise to Release Sadness”

  1. “Get very cozy and comfortable on your bed or chair”.
  2. “Bring a soft pillow, blanket, or pet to snuggle for comfort”. More items… 4 Nov 2020

4.2 How to overcome grief’s health-damaging effects – Harvard

Grieving over the death of a spouse, friend, or family member exposes people to constant stress that can lead to anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, and more”.


5. Focus and Grief

5.1 Does Grief make it hard to focus?

“Whether it’s a breakup, a divorce or even the loss of a loved one, grief takes over. It reminds us that we are only human. The pain of such loss breaks mental focus and messes with your concentration — and your head”.

5.2 Does grief cause brain fog?

Grief causes brain fog, because not only are you sad and missing the person you’ve lost, but your brain is preoccupied by the “what if” and “if only” thoughts that are a normal and natural reaction to loss. … It is normal to drift out of focus in response to conscious or unconscious memories of the person who died.

5.3 How does grief affect the brain?

“When you’re grieving, a flood of neurochemicals and hormones dance around in your head. “There can be a disruption in hormones that results in specific symptoms, such as disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, fatigue and anxiety,” says Dr. Phillips. When those symptoms converge, your brain function takes a hit”. (4 Jun 2018)

5.4 Why is it hard to make decisions when grieving?

“The passing of a loved one is among life’s most stressful events. The shock makes even small tasks and minor decisionmaking particularly difficult. Given the severe emotional and physical toll that loss can have on those left behind, the mourning period is not the time to make serious decisions or significant changes”. (27 Jul 2020).

5.5 Can grief affect your decision making?

“Sometimes, when people experience a terrible loss, especially if it’s a traumatic loss, they make a life-changing decision in the middle of the intense emotional pain. Such decisions are made often without even realizing it or remembering it”. (7 Oct 2010).

5.6 Is forgetfulness a symptom of grief?

Grief, especially early grief, is not a normal time. It makes perfect sense that you’re disoriented: everything has changed. Memory loss, confusion, an inability to concentrate or focus – these things are all normal inside grief. (10 Apr 2018).


6. The Bible and Grief

6.1 What does God say about grieving?

“’He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”. (8 Mar 2021).

6.2 What is a good Bible verse for someone who is grieving?

“Bible Quotes That Will Bring Comfort In Times of Grief Or Sadness. The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the hornof my salvation, my stronghold”.

6.3 What does the Bible say about comfort?

“For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.” The Good News: There is no suffering beyond the reach of our merciful God. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”. (23 Jul 2020).

6.4 What does the Bible say about dealing with grief?

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” … “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away”.” (31 Mar 2020).


7. Our final thoughts/Our YouTube video

The body is an amazing thing. When something is wrong the body will give us necessary warning signs to alert us that something is wrong. Hopefully if we receive, acknowledge and act on the signs in time the appropriate treatment can be given for what is wrong.

We hope this topic will be of use to someone, and as always we’d like to wish you a safe day, evening, week ahead and beyond.



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