Many people recognize that grief and anxiety are related. Loss of any kind can generate anxious thoughts and feelings, like fearing the future, not knowing how to go on, or worrying about unending pain.
But did you know that most anxiety represents anticipated grief?
I believe anxiety and grief have a bidirectional relationship – each one impacts (not necessarily causes) the other. Acknowledging and engaging in the 4 Facets of Grief process can ease anxious symptoms.
Grief resilience eases anxiety.
Let me explain.
We know the human response to loss is grief. It might relate to the death of a loved one, or it may include challenges like divorce, health problems, job loss, or financial troubles. Loss can be thought of as any unwelcome change that overturns our idea of what life would be like.
Anxiety is also a common human response to various life circumstances. Although some may have a greater or lesser genetic predisposition to anxiety, most of us have experienced some amount of anxious worry and discomfort.
For example, test anxiety may be considered the anticipated loss of identity as a good student. Job related anxiety foresees the loss of that job, and nervousness in divorce imagines the loss of the marriage, home, social life, or financial status. Some call it fear, which is another way of describing an alarming picture of impending loss. Even generalized anxiety and panic attacks relate to the expectation of losing control.
How grief resilience can help.
Try it yourself. Think of something you’re anxious about. Once you identify the loss your anxiety represents, try using the 4 Facets of Grief framework: Accepting, Adapting, Meaning Making, and Replenishing.
Now that you’ve experienced how grief resilience eases anxiety, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Wishing you health and peace,
P.S. As a thank you, the Kindle version of The 4 Facets of Grief includes an audio download. in addition to reading on any device (no Kindle needed), you can also listen at your convenience. You'll find the download link at the beginning of the ebook.
Essays on Grief Resilience