Healthy Ways of Coping
Journey of Hearts
A Healing Place in CyberSpaceTM
Initial Reactions

Often the initial response to dealing with losses or acute grief, may be denial, anger, barganing or depression, before acceptance is finally reached. Below are several healthy methods of coping and suggestions for safe ways of acting out feelings of anger.
Many of the ways that people respond to grief or loss, in particular anger, denial and depression, can be very difficult, not only for the person experiencing the loss, but also for their friends and family members. How someone responds to a loss, the phase that they may be in, can cause the siutation  to be even worse. For example, if an angry or depresssed person can be difficult to be around, so that friends and family may become more aloof or distant...pulling away when the person may need support the most.

Please see the page "How Can I Help?" a listing of suggestions for friends and family of the person experiencing the loss.

Since grief and loss are such individual and unique experiences, no two people will deal with the matter the same. By the same token, no two people will find the exact similar coping methods.  If you have other suggestions that have worked, please e-mail them to us at

The following are suggested safe ways to act out feelings.

Healthy Ways of Coping

A variation of this is an American Indian ritual:
Go out into the woods or a place that is private. Dig a hole in the ground near a tree or bush. Pour all of your feelings into that hole. When you are finished, cover the hole. Thank the tree (or bush) for listening and witnessing your grief process. Thank Mother Earth for receiving your grief. Leave feeling better about yourself and more connected to the universe.
4. Have a temper tantrum on your bed, mattress or couch (carefully).

5. Go for a long walk or run. Notice how your body is feeling, your breathing, how your legs are moving. Enjoy being out in nature.

6.Twist a towel (or pull between a friend or a large dog)

Some of the above suggestions were taken in part from Good Grief Rituals by Elaine Childs-Gowell, and modified to include other things that I have seen people utilize, and suggestions that I have made to my patients.
Last updated January 19, 1998
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