Original Article by sleepreports.com
Chances are, you’ve never really given your sleeping position much thought. You may even be wondering if it makes any difference at all to your overall wellbeing.
After all, most of us have been sleeping in the same position since childhood, and it’s probably a deeply ingrained habit that comes to us as naturally as breathing. On the other hand, if you’re frequently waking up feeling tired, achey or poorly rested, you may have questioned whether your sleeping position has a part to play.
You may be surprised to learn that your sleeping position has the power to either positively or negatively affect your sleep, and your overall health. If you always wake up feeling rested and pain-free, then chances are you are already sleeping in the right position for you.
However, if you’re one of the many people who wakes up feeling less than fantastic, your sleeping position is something you may well wish to evaluate. This leads us to an important question: what are the best, and worst, positions to sleep in? We’ve created an article to answer just that, so read on to discover how to make your sleeping position work for you and your health.
What Makes A Good Sleeping Position?
As unique individuals, there is not one ‘magic position’ that will work for every person. This depends on you, your health, and what feels comfortable to you personally. However, there are a few key ingredients to a great sleeping position.
1. It Feels Comfortable.
If you want to wake up feeling refreshed in the morning, being able to relax at night is a must. The number one factor in determining a good sleeping position is that it feels comfy and cosy, allowing you to nod off quickly and stay asleep through the night.
2. It Allows Good Airflow And Circulation.
When you’re asleep, it’s vital that you can breathe deeply and properly, and that blood flow to all parts of your body is unrestricted. There are some positions that facilitate this better than others.
3. Your Neck And Spine Is In Alignment.
In order to avoid pain and discomfort, it’s vital that our spine is in healthy alignment. Many of us are familiar with the achey feeling that comes with sleeping in an awkward position. If you’re waking up suffering from discomfort in your neck or back, this could be a sign that it’s time to reevaluate your sleeping position.
4. Your Joints Are Properly Supported.
A decent sleeping position is one that puts no undue pressure on your joints and supports your body. As you will know if you have read any of our content on mattresses, this partly comes down to your bed. However, your sleeping position also has a part to play in properly supporting your joints.
What Position Should I Be Sleeping In?
As we mentioned above, there is no one perfect position that will work for everyone. Many factors affect which sleeping position, including your weight and any health conditions. When you’re thinking about what position you should be sleeping in, you should know about the three main positions and their advantages and drawbacks.
If you sleep on your side, then you are like the majority of people. Most people find that nodding off on their side is the easiest way to fall asleep. But is it the best position?
There are several key advantages to sleeping on your side. Firstly, it allows good airflow and deep breathing throughout the night. This means that you consistently get the oxygen that you need all night long.
Also, the blood flow to your organs is unrestricted in this position, making it a healthy choice. Your spine and neck are also likely to be in a healthy alignment, leading to reduced neck and back problems.
However, a major drawback of side sleeping is that it can put pressure on some of your joints. These pressure points can become sore over time, especially if you suffer from a preexisting joint complaint.
Top Tips For Side Sleepers:
If you choose to sleep on your side, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to improve your position. This is especially likely if you wake up in the morning feeling achey. Here are our handy hints to make your position more healthy.
- 1. Select a softer mattress. A medium/soft to medium mattress is ideal for side sleepers, as it conforms to the contours of the body, removing pressure on your joints and reducing pain.
- 2. Consider memory foam. This is particularly useful if you suffer from aches and pains. The special memory foam material hugs your individual shape, reliving pressure and supporting your pressure points.
- 3. Place a pillow between your knees. If you find yourself waking up with discomfort in your neck and back, this is the tip for you. A pillow between your knees encourages your spine into a more healthy alignment, supporting your neck, back and all of your joints.
If you sleep on your back, congratulations! This is an excellent position to sleep in for many aspects of your health. Although few of us choose to sleep on our backs, it is worth considering if you are often waking up in the mornings feeling sore and uncomfortable. Back sleeping allows good airflow, and unrestricted circulation to all parts of your body.
Furthermore, it encourages your spine into a naturally healthy alignment and reduces pressure on your joints. Interestingly, some people even claim that this position reduces wrinkles, as your face isn’t scrunched up against a pillow all night!
However, if you are a snorer or suffer from sleep apnea, this position is not the best one for you. As your head is positioned above your chest when you sleep on your back, which can make your symptoms worse.
Top Tips For Back Sleepers:
So you are already a back sleeper or are considering making the switch. Perhaps you’re wondering whether you can do anything to make this position even better. Here are our recommendations for those who prefer back sleeping.
- 1. Think carefully about your mattress firmness. If you sleep on your back, a medium/firm to firm mattress is likely to suit you best, as it provides excellent support to your joints and encourages good alignment.
- 2. Consider a pocket sprung mattress. Because they are constructed with lots of individual springs, pocket sprung mattresses will spread your weight evenly and reduce any strain on your pressure points.
- 3. Sleep with one thick pillow. If you place it directly under your head, it will give your neck the ideal amount of support, reducing any pain or stiffness in that area.
Front Sleeping- The Worst Position
If you sleep on your front, we really recommend that you consider switching to a different position. Although sleeping on your front can feel comfy and snuggly, there are several major drawbacks to this position.
Firstly, your neck and spine are forced into an awkward position, which can lead to aches and pains in the morning, and exacerbate any existing joint problems. Secondly, this position does not allow for the best possible airflow during the night. Finally, your organs are constricted, reducing blood flow.
Top Tips For Front Sleepers:
As we explained above, we strongly suggest that you try not to sleep on your stomach. However, if you really can’t get to sleep any other way, there are some tips you can follow to improve this position. Here are our recommendations.
- 1. Instead of placing your pillow under your head as usual, try propping it beneath your hips instead. This will help you to achieve a more natural spinal alignment, which should go some way to reducing those niggling aches and pains in the morning.
- 2. Select a firm mattress. As this position is not very supportive, a firm mattress will help to give your spine and joints a much-needed helping hand.
- 3. Opt for pocket sprung. Like back sleepers, a pocket sprung mattress could be the perfect choice for you. The individual springs will spread your weight across your mattress, reducing pressure on your pressure points and supporting your neck and back.
I Snore! Which Position Should I Sleep In?
If you snore, it’s likely that you (and your partner) would be glad to find a sleeping position that eases it. Therefore, we suggest that sleeping on your side is the best position for you. This allows the best possible airflow to help with your snoring. Front sleeping is strongly discouraged, as maximum airflow is not possible in this position.
In addition, sleeping on your back is likely to make your snoring worse, as your head is propped up higher than your chest. Finally, if your snoring is caused by sleep apnea, it is even more important that you try to sleep on your side. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your sleeping position and sleep apnea.
What’s The Best Position For People With Joint Problems?
If you suffer from a painful joint condition like arthritis, you’ll be pleased to know that sleeping in the right position can help. For people with painful joints, we recommend sleeping on your back. This position will encourage your neck and spine into the ideal alignment, reducing soreness in the morning. Also, back sleeping reduces pressure on your joints, keeping those achey pressure points free from unnecessary strain.
Now that you’ve read our handy guide, you’ll be aware that sleeping on your front is less than ideal. For many of us, sleeping on our backs may actually be the optimum position for a good night’s sleep and reduced pain and soreness in the morning.
However, bear in mind that sleeping positions are highly individual, and you should make your decision based on all the factors mentioned above. Hopefully, you are now able to select a sleeping position that will help you reap maximum benefit from your nightly slumber. Sweet dreams!
Pretty but deadly: Watch toddlers around these houseplants
Here’s what you need to know about these common but poisonous plants that may be in or around your home:
Plenty of families have pots of philodendron scattered around the house, since they’re among the easiest to care for. But beware: While not fatal, eating these poisonous houseplants can cause irritated skin, nausea, burning and swelling of the mouth, tongue or throat, vomiting and diarrhea.
Pothos is another highly popular houseplant, with pointed, heart-shaped leaves in white, yellow or pale green. Taking a bite won’t kill you, but it can prove to be pretty irritating. If you think your child may have taken a nibble, keep an eye out for possible symptoms, including burning and swelling of the mouth, lips and tongue, difficulty speaking or swallowing, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
A fast-growing climber, English ivy is commonly found in people’s homes, on building exteriors and under trees as a ground covering. But if eaten, these poisonous plants can irritate the mouth and cause soreness. In large amounts, it can cause severe swelling farther down the throat.
Known for their lovely white bulbs, Easter lilies are often brought home in beautiful bouquets. But keep in mind, these poisonous plants can irritate the mouth and throat and even cause nausea or vomiting when swallowed.
Sometimes planted in gardens around the home, this beautiful flowering shrub is known for its white, pink or yellow blossoms—and for being one of the most poisonous plants around the house. It has a lethal cardiac toxin that, if ingested, can cause nausea, vomiting, a slow heartbeat, low blood pressure (which can lead to sleepiness) and even death. If you suspect your child has eaten oleander, head to the emergency room immediately.
These trumpet-shaped flowers may seem perfectly innocent, but they can make your little ones sick. Though they’re not very poisonous, they can do some harm if a lot are eaten. Depending on how much is ingested, they can irritate the mouth and throat and cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Also known as dumb cane or leopard lily, this houseplant’s mix of of green, white and yellow leaves makes it stand out—as does the fact that it contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can irritate a child’s skin and mouth and, if eaten in large quantities, lead to nausea and vomiting.
Peace lilies are hardy plants with dark green leaves and white flowers, and are popular among homeowners with less-than-green thumbs. But like dumb cane, these poisonous houseplants also contain calcium oxalate crystals, so ingesting them can lead to the same symptoms of irritated skin and mouth, nausea and vomiting.
It may be a universal symbol of joy and good cheer, but this holiday favorite is actually on the list of poisonous plants. Eating mistletoe can cause gastroenteritis, an intestinal infection that comes with diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever. It can also lead to a drop in blood pressure, though the American mistletoe appears to be less toxic than the European species.
If eaten, this common holiday trimming can put a quick end to your family’s merry mood. While the boughs don’t pose a danger, the berries are toxic, and eating even just two can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and drowsiness. To protect your little ones from these poisonous plants, always remove the berries before decorating your home with fresh holly.
Caladium, also known as elephant ear, has leaves shaped like arrows, hearts or lances, in color combinations of pink, red, white, rose, green and chartreuse. Commonly kept in the home, these poisonous houseplants can irritate the mucus membranes in the mouth, nose, throat and stomach, and cause nausea and vomiting.
Thanks to their stunning, colorful blooms, azaleas decorate many home lawns and gardens. It’s unlikely that your child will get serious poisoning from eating a small piece of the plant—mild symptoms, including mouth irritation, nausea and vomiting are more typical—but swallowing large quantities of these poisonous plants, whether it’s the leaves, flowers or nectar, can be life threatening.
Morning glories are a cheerful flower that adorn many backyards. While the blooms aren’t dangerous for kids, their seeds are—which is why they’re on our list of poisonous plants. The culprit? A chemical similar to LSD, and if a child eats enough of them, they can lead to a variety of symptoms that require medical attention, from diarrhea to hallucinations. If you have a fresh packet of morning glory seeds from the nursery, keep the kids away until the flowers start to grow.
Foxglove is a beautiful bell-shaped flower that grows throughout the US, often cultivated in home gardens. Its white, yellow and pink spring blooms can catch the eye of small children—but they’re actually poisonous plants kids should admire from afar. Foxglove is extremely toxic, and eating any part of the plant can cause the heart rate to become dangerously slow or irregular.
Malawi cholera outbreak death toll rises above 1,000
Malawi’s cholera outbreak has claimed more than 1,000 lives, according to the country’s health minister, who warned that some cultural beliefs and hostility toward health workers were slowing efforts to curb infections.
Cholera had killed 1,002 people as of Tuesday, while 1,115 people were hospitalized from the outbreak that started in March 2022, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said. It’s the country’s worst outbreak of the waterborne illness in two decades.
The country of 20 million people recorded 12 deaths from 626 new cases in 24 hours, she said.
Frustration and suspicion over the rising cases resulted in weekend violence. Angry villagers beat up health workers and damaged a facility at the Nandumbo Health Centre in the Southern Region’s Balaka district.
Residents accused health workers of denying them an opportunity to conduct dignified burials. They forced some health workers to vacate the facility, stoned a cholera isolation ward and forced the discharge of 22 cholera patients.
Suwedi said residents alleged the workers were using contaminated syringes to inject people. The Balaka district is one of the worst affected areas, recording 46 deaths from 1,450 cases in the outbreak.
Cultural burial rites are also becoming a source of contention, Chiponda, the health minister, said during a daily briefing Tuesday.
“For example, people who are dying of or who have died from cholera may be washed by family members, who then prepare funeral feasts for family and friends held very soon after death. Outbreaks of cholera commonly follow these feasts,” the minister said.
14 Ways to Eat Less Sugar Without Missing It
This article was made available courtesy of eatingwell.com
A life without any sugar is a life we don’t want to live. And thankfully, experts say you don’t need to eliminate it from your diet. But shaving off some grams here and there is something most of us should be doing. “I’m not of the view that we should be draconian about this,” says Mattes. “Sugars do add palatability. And the most nutritious diet, if it’s not palatable, will have no health benefit—because people won’t eat it.” These strategies can help you find that balance.
1. Utilize the new added sugar line on labels
“Always check the Nutrition Facts panel to see how much added sugar is in a product—like cereal or yogurt—and compare it to other brands,” says University of Thessaly nutritionist and epidemiologist Renata Micha. “Between two or three options, you can aim for the one that has less added sugar.”
2. Target your weaknesses
In the U.S., most added sugar comes from the following five sources: sweetened beverages; desserts and sweet snacks; sweetened coffees and teas; candy and other sugars (jams, syrups, toppings); and breakfast cereals and granola bars. Figure out which category you tend to get the most added sugar from and start cutting back there. You’ll get the greatest reduction in overall sugar and boost in health benefits, says Ewoldt.
3. Look for high-quality carbs
Many packaged products—tortillas, granola bars—fall into a nutritional gray zone. They may be made with whole grains (good) and still contain lots of sugar (not so good). Even more stealthily, the front of the package may declare “no added sugars,” but the manufacturer has replaced this nutrient with something else, such as refined starches that have no fiber and affect your body in ways similar to added sugars. “So it’s important to assess overall carb quality, not just sugar alone,” says Micha.
One simple way to do that: use the 10-to-1 metric. This means for every 10 grams of total carbohydrate that a product contains, 1 gram or more should be fiber. (It’s based on the ratio of total carb to fiber found in whole wheat.) Micha and her colleagues discovered that when they applied this trick to U.S. supermarket foods, it quickly identified items with higher-quality carbs that also happened to be lower in sugar. And they were healthier in general—lower in sodium and higher in protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B , vitamin E, zinc and iron.
4. Don’t drink your sugar
You know that soda is potum non grata, but other sugary beverages may slip past your nutritional radar. Coffee drinks like a bottled Frappuccino can have 34 grams of added sugar, and one 20-ounce sports drink packs as much as 48 grams—which is just about 100% of your daily limit. (For comparison, a can of Coke has 39 grams.) “Sports drinks serve a purpose for elite athletes, or let’s face it, when we’re sick with the flu or prepping for a colonoscopy. But for everyone else, just choose water,” says Nancy Farrell Allen, M.S., RDN, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And let’s not forget cocktails. Alcohol itself contains no or very little sugar, but when you add the coffee liqueur to your ‘tini—that’s when the grams can go through the roof.
By eliminating even one sugary beverage a day and instead sipping water with a squeeze of lime or orange for flavor, you can dramatically reduce your sugar intake—especially given that sweetened beverages are the single largest source of added sugar in the American diet, says Micha. You could also try drinking seltzer in fun flavors, infusing your water with fresh fruit or eating an apple or orange alongside a glass of ice water. We love the Strawberry, Basil & Lime Infused Water pictured above.
5. Take your time
All of our experts recommend weaning yourself off sweetness slowly. Do you add sugar to your coffee or tea? Then use a little less tomorrow. A few days later, dial it back a bit more. Studies show that reducing sugar by 5 to 20%—equivalent to deleting about 4 to 12 grams daily—is not noticeable, and that over time your perception of sweetness intensity changes. In one trial, people who limited their sugar intake for 2 to 3 months rated pudding as much sweeter than those who did not.
6. Be wary of packaged bars
We love the grab-and-go convenience of them, but granola and energy bars supply a lot of the added sugar in our diets. So scan for ones that are low in sugar and as minimally processed as possible (short ingredients list of recognizable whole foods). They often taste just as good and can save you 5 to 15 grams of added sugars (that’s between 1 and 4 teaspoons of sugar) per bar! Even better, put a handful of nuts, seeds and oats, plus some unsweetened coconut flakes and a few dark chocolate chips (11 of them only have 2 grams of added sugar) in a travel container for a snack that’s packed with nutrients, protein, fiber and very little sugar.
If you want to go above and beyond, make your own. It’s a great way to keep sugar in check and customize the flavors to meet your preference.
7. Swap your yogurt for skyr
This Icelandic-style yogurt is made using different types of cultures than the standard kind you may be used to, giving it a thick, creamy consistency and less sour taste. And even the flavored varieties of skyr tend to have about one-third less added sugar than other flavored yogurts—which can be quite high in them.
8. Get enough sleep
The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours a night—yet more than 35% of Americans get less than that. Missing out on zzz’s can monkey with your hunger hormones, making you crave sugary foods (and salty ones too). However, in a review of seven clinical studies published in the Journal of Sleep Research, participants who increased their sleep duration—by anywhere from 21 minutes to 3 hours a night—had better insulin sensitivity as well as reductions in appetite, sweet cravings and sugar intake.
9. Trick your palate
Studies have shown that sweetness can be amplified by concurrently stimulating your other senses, says experimental psychologist Qian Janice Wang, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science at Aarhus University in Denmark. One strategy to try: Sniff cinnamon, vanilla, cherry, almond, caramel, pineapple, pomegranate, strawberry or banana before a meal or with your food. It can make you think what you’re eating is 5 to 25% sweeter than it would taste without one of these aromas. “The smell-taste interaction together form this perception of flavor. And that’s because when we smell something, the mind is already forming expectations that it’s a sweet food,” explains Wang. “So if you have cinnamon-vanilla oatmeal every day, and you gradually reduce the sugar, by the end it may be enough to have the cinnamon and vanilla without the sugar.”
10. Avoid sneaky sources
Sugar isn’t just added to make foods taste better. It also acts as a preservative that extends shelf life and prevents staleness, makes pastries tender by preventing gluten formation and encourages fermentation by providing food for yeast, allowing breads to rise, among other qualities. For these reasons, food manufacturers add sugar not just to traditionally sweet foods, but to tons of savory ones, as well. “For example, the other day I picked up a tofu, broccoli and brown rice frozen meal—can you get much healthier than that? But when I looked at the label, it had 17 grams of added sugar, most of it from the sauce,” says Andromalos. Check out our list of sneaky sources that can easily add up. Another reason to read and compare labels!
11. Use less sugar in your baking
“Recipes for things like cookies and cakes often call for more sugar than is necessary— so you can play around and see how much you can simply leave out,” says EatingWell recipe tester and developer Laura Kanya, who suggests removing a small amount and going from there. She was able to use one-third less sugar in the Raspberry Swirl Brownies here compared to a typical brownie recipe. The cocoa and pureed raspberries add richness and natural sweetness. “Sugar does impact the moistness, texture and browning of baked goods, so you may notice a difference there,” adds Kanya.
12. Roast your veggies
Rather than steaming or sautéing vegetables and relying on dressings and sauces (which often contain added sugars) to jazz them up, pop them in a 450°F oven. It caramelizes the natural sugars and makes them taste sweeter and more intense, says sensory scientist and dietitian Sungeun Choi, Ph.D., RDN, an associate professor in the department of family, nutrition and exercise sciences at New York’s Queens College.
13. Add it on top of baked goods
Sprinkling a small amount of coarse sugar on homemade, lower-sugar muffins, quick breads and cookies “delivers that extreme burst of sweetness and crunch with each bite, so you’re less likely to miss the sugar within the cookie or muffin,” says Andromalos.
14. Bake with natural sweeteners
Replace some of the sugar with mashed bananas or other fruits, unsweetened applesauce or blended dates, cooked sweet potatoes or prunes. This will also add moisture. “It’s a great way of getting some extra vitamins and minerals as well,” says Andromalos. “We used pineapple to sweeten our Pineapple Morning Glory Muffins—slashing the sugar content in half compared to similar muffins,” says Kanya. “And grating it incorporates the fruit into the batter.”
15. Trade flavor for sugar
The more taste you’re able to eke out of every recipe, the less sweet stuff you’ll need. “Our Cider-Sweetened Apple Pie contains less than half the added sugar of a typical recipe,” says Kanya. “How did we do it? By reducing already-sweet apple cider into a concentrated syrup.” It counts as added sugar, but the difference is we don’t need to use as much sweetener overall because the syrup’s intense flavor fools your taste buds into thinking the pie is sweeter than it actually is. You can apply this same technique to other recipes—and experiment with reducing different juices.
This article first appeared in EatingWell, September 2021
Grief and Loss, How to Cope with Them
Losing anything of value is never easy. Coping with grief and loss must be done your right way. Sadly, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Regardless of the type of loss you are faced with, the only thing required is that you understand the stages of grief and where you currently are on them. This understanding will provide you with healthier coping options.
WHAT DOES GRIEF MEAN?
When you lose something of great importance, your natural emotional and painful response to it is grief. Sometimes it comes with various reactions such as guilt, disbelief, deep sadness, health disruption, insomnia, inability to eat amongst so many things. Everything i mentioned here is normal when you are faced with grief. Your grief could come as a result of losing your health, a job, a relationship, a loved one, a miscarriage, a career dream, a friendship, a safety net after infidelity or even moving homes amongst many other reasons.
I see many couples and individuals sit across me and narrate their experiences with grief. Despite the many responses to grief, one thing that you cannot take away is that the intensity of your grief is always directly proportional to the significance of your loss.
Due to the personal nature of loss, i do not expect you to grieve like any other person. This means that there is no shame with how you decide to grieve. The only thing i want you to understand is that there are stages to grieving and you must understand what stage you are in to enable yourself transition from that stage, get a new perspective on the matter and then begin to move on from the heaviness you feel.
The Sad Honest Truth About Grief
Be it the loss of a parent, child, partner, spouse, relative, friend or colleague at work, It’s all pain and you may not ever get over this loss. However, time is what truly does the magic for you because your sorrow eases, you face the loss and then gradually begin to move on from that point.
Now that you understand how unique grieving is to every individual, you must also know that what separates everyone in grief are their beliefs, their faith, previous experiences with grieving, their coping styles and lastly their personality. Do not expect to recover immediately with actual loss of a loved one, or try to heal after replacing the job, house or opportunity you lost with a new one. It takes time. While some start to feel better in weeks and months, the measurement for others grieving is usually in years.
THE PROPER WAY TO GRIEVE
You must understand somethings about grief as this gives you an edge;
A) IF you feel pain, do not pretend it does not exists simply because you want to appear strong. This act will keep you trapped in one stage of grief longer than expected. Weakness or Strength are not the consideration at this point. Pain is.
B) Do not try to grieve the way you have seen a sibling, spouse, parent or someone else go about it. That is their own way. Trying to emulate them in this regard may not work for you and could end up doing more damage than good.
C) It’s not time to be alone with yourself and misery. Get the support of your loved ones and others who truly care about your well-being. Staying alone is not the solution to numbing the pain.
D) The feeling of grief will make you laugh, cry, smile, talk to yourself and so on. In extreme cases, clients have mentioned that grief made them romanticize with thoughts around death and suicide. Especially for individuals who lost a spouse.
E) Your emotions are not stable when you are grieving. This is what grief does to you. Forcing yourself to stabilize your emotions is not the key. Recognizing the emotions you feel is the real solution.
Available on Podcast:
Learning about the 5 stages of grief
Denial: This is the phase where an individual hasn’t yet come to terms with what has happened. The associated shock or emotional overwhelm dissociates the victim in such a way that the circumstances look like an unfolding movie plot with them as spectators.
Anger: At this point, a realization dawns on the individual. This comes with an intense anger that has the individual lashing out angrily and questioning a lot of things.
Bargaining: The need to have this happen to distance oneself from the flurry of negative emotions suddenly triggers an emotion that wants to pass on the grief to some other person, place etc. With this comes a negotiation where depending on the spiritual beliefs of the individual sees them bargaining , going on a spiritual deep dive all in a bid to reverse the situation.
Depression: This is a phase characterized by intense sadness that comes once you start to understand the situation isn’t particularly going anywhere or changing.
Acceptance: After healthily negotiating the first phases of grief, the individual now understands that the situation truly occurred. At this point, you come to terms with the pain and truly start to own the emotions you are feeling. It is from this stage that healing starts.
Despite the fact that I have listed these phases, it would be important to note that not everyone navigates grief by following these exact steps. Kübler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist who first intimated us with these stages of grief never intended for these stages to be a rigid framework applicable to anyone mourning. I have seen clients who went straight to acceptance from the denial stage and just when everybody else affected was struggling with denial, these individuals were already available to assist their spouse, partner, siblings or friends with their own grief.
Grieving and loss is a bespoke experience for everyone. The circumstances may be similar but the effect on the mourner is unique. Hence for younger therapists, there is a need to make clients identify what stage they currently find themselves in. As important as this is, it is better to allow them speak first, tell a story, relive their experiences with the deceased and as you listen with your ears and observe with your entire being, you are bound to start discovering for yourself, where exactly they are with the grieving process (even if it doesn’t quite tally with any of the stages.
I truly hope this piece throws a lot more clarity on your current struggles with navigating loss. We are here to support you through your loss and believe that your complete healing is not too far away.
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