What are factors that may help or hinder the process of grieving?

Factors that may hinder the healing process

Some factors may hinder the healing process following a loss. These can include:

  • Overworking oneself on the job
  • Medicating with drugs, alcohol or other substances/compulsive behaviors
  • Avoiding emotions
  • Minimizing feelings

Factors that may help resolve grief

An individual can help to resolve grief by:

  • Allowing time to experience thoughts and feelings openly to self
  • Expressing feelings openly or writing journal entries about them
  • Remembering that crying can provide a release
  • Confiding in a trusted person about the loss
  • Acknowledging and accepting both positive and negative feelings
  • Finding bereavement groups in which there are other people who have had similar losses
  • Seeking professional help if feelings become overwhelming

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/05/2014.


  • Faull C, Caestecker SD, Nicholson A et al. Handbook of Palliative Care. Wiley-Blackwell; 2012.
  • Kübler-Ross E. On Death and Dying. Simon and Schuster; 1997.
  • Runge MS, Greganti MA. Netter's Internal Medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2009.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. How to Deal With Grief Accessed: 3/5/2014

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