There are ways to grieve that are unhealthy, and there are health ways to move through your journey of grief. Here is some information adapted from June Hunt, founder of Hope for the Heart.
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 27:12)
The path for recovery requires ministering to body, soul, and spirit to diminish painful emotions and find your way out of the ditch of despondency. A new path can be charted on which renewed peace is possible and Christ-like maturity is manifested even in the most grievous circumstances.
- Cultivate a strong, sensitive support system: Having people around who genuinely care about you is essential; people who accept you wherever you are in the grieving process and encourage you to share your feelings. (Proverbs 27:17)
- Cultivate the freedom to cry: Expressing emotions honestly, openly, and as frequently as needed is vital to walking through grief in a healthy, productive way. (Psalm 126:5)
- Cultivate a plan for socializing regularly: One way to feel good about life, even while mourning, is attending social activities and interacting with others on a regular basis. (Hebrews 10:25)
- Cultivate a trustworthy, honest confidante: Being able to be yourself with someone and share your struggles, troubled thoughts, and swinging emotions—and still be accepted and affirmed—is healing to the soul. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
- Cultivate the release of resentment: If you have unresolved issues, anger, or hostile feelings regarding your loss, take the time to list your resentments along with their causes. Journaling can bring buried emotions to the surface. Release into the hands of God each offender and the pain of each offense. Pray that the Lord will help you to release bitterness and resentment so you can make progress on your journey of healing. (Ephesians 4:32)
- Get a sufficient amount of rest: Grieving often disturbs regular sleep patterns and disrupts prolonged periods of sleeping, so getting sufficient rest during the grieving process is often a challenge—but doing so is critically important to the body. (Exodus 33:14)
- Get a generous intake of fluid and eat a balanced nutritional diet: Because the sense of thirst frequently goes unnoticed during the grieving process, drinking nonalcoholic and caffeine-free fluids is important. Eat daily portions of food from each of the basic food groups and avoid skipping meals. Don’t become dependent on eating junk foods, smoking, or drinking alcohol. (2 Kings 19:7-8)
- Get daily exercise: Regular exercise is a natural deterrent to feeling depressed and contributes to feeling a sense of well-being. Exercise carries oxygen to the blood and promotes overall good health. (1 Timothy 4:8)
- Get big doses of sunshine: Taking a walk in the sunlight is another natural way to fight depression. Light coming in through the eyes stimulates the brain to send a message to the body to release antidepressant endorphins. (Ecclesiastes 11:7)
- Develop a purposeful prayer life: The grieving process provides a strong impetus for “getting down to business” with God. Have candid conversations with Him about your thoughts and feelings. Listen to Him and lean on Him for comfort and reassurance. (Psalm 119:26).
- Develop a positive, practical perspective: Maintaining a positive mental attitude based on the practical application of spiritual truths during the grieving process carries you to victory even through the darkest valley and the deepest loss. (Philippians 4:8)
- Develop a sense of peace about the past: Resolve any unfinished business regarding the past by asking forgiveness of God for any failures on your part and by extending forgiveness for any failures on the part of others. Then let go of the past and embrace the present and the future God has planned for you. (1 John 1:9)
- Develop a Scripture-memorization method: God spoke the world into existence, and the Bible is powerful enough to create new life and to restore joy to your heart, peace to your mind, and hope for your future. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Develop a yearning for eternity: One of the most helpful, hopeful, and healing truths is realizing that this present life is lived in a temporal body, and a permanent body is waiting for you. In that body you will live throughout all eternity. Grasp God’s promise of living eternally! (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Hunt, J. (2008). Biblical Counseling Keys on Grief Recovery: Living at Peace with Loss. Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart.