S1E17- Healthy & unhealthy coping mechanisms

Author Posted On 17 November 2023

Podcast Transcript

Hey, dear listeners. Welcome back to another episode of "Grief Untangled: Untangling the threads of grief, healing, and hope." I'm your host, Coach DD, and Today, we are going to talk about Healthy and Unhealthy coping mechanisms we use during our grief journey

When Grief strikes, we are overwhelmed with varied kinds of emotions. We consciously or subconsciously devise various coping mechanisms to get a hold of them and bring back normalcy to our lives.

Some coping strategies could be healthy which promotes healing and resilience while others could be unhealthy which may offer short-term relief but hinder long-term well-being.

Let’s have a look at some healthy coping mechanisms.

Healthy Coping Mechanisms:

Seeking Support:

Description: Sharing your feelings and experiences with friends, family, or support groups.

Why It’s Healthy: Allows for emotional expression, fosters connection, and provides a sense of understanding and empathy.

Embracing Creativity:

Description: Engaging in creative activities like writing, drawing, or music to express emotions.

Why It’s Healthy: Provides an outlet for emotions, encourages self-reflection, and can be a therapeutic way to process grief.

Mindfulness and Meditation:

Description: Practicing mindfulness and meditation techniques to stay present and manage overwhelming emotions.

Why It’s Healthy: Promotes emotional balance, reduces stress, and enhances self-awareness.

Physical Activity:

Description: Engaging in regular exercise or physical activities.

Why It’s Healthy: Releases endorphins, improves mood and contributes to overall well-being.

Setting Boundaries:

Description: Knowing and communicating personal limits to avoid unnecessary stress.

Why It’s Healthy: Helps in managing emotional energy, prevents burnout, and allows time for self-care.

Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms:


Description: Ignoring or suppressing emotions and avoiding discussions about the loss.

Why It’s Unhealthy: Delays the grieving process, and unresolved emotions may resurface later, often more intensely.


Description: Withdrawing from social interactions and isolating oneself.

Why It’s Unhealthy: Hinders the healing process, as social support is crucial for emotional well-being.

Substance Abuse:

Description: Turning to alcohol, drugs, or other substances to numb emotional pain.

Why It’s Unhealthy: Provides temporary relief but doesn't address the underlying issues, leading to potential addiction and complicating emotional healing.


Description: Immersing oneself excessively in work to avoid facing grief.

Why It’s Unhealthy: Can lead to burnout, and exhaustion, and doesn't provide a sustainable solution for emotional well-being.

Self-Harm or Risky Behaviour:

Description: Engaging in harmful activities to cope with emotional pain.

Why It’s Unhealthy: Puts physical and mental health at risk, and doesn't contribute to long-term healing.

It's important to recognize that everyone's grief journey is unique, and coping mechanisms may vary.  Encouraging self-awareness and seeking professional support to help us adopt healthy coping strategies are vital components of navigating grief in a healthy way.

We hope this episode sheds some light on this intricate aspect of grief and coping strategies.

If you are on a grief journey I would encourage you to reflect upon the coping strategies you are adopting and see if they are promoting healing in the long run or only providing temporary relief in which case I would strongly advise you to re-look at your strategies.

Until next time, this is Coach DD signing off.

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