The phrase ‘having a broken heart’ recognises that grief impacts on our physical health. Physical reactions could include:
• increased susceptibility to minor illnesses (eg colds, viruses)
• lack of energy, feeling tired and run down
• heart palpitations
• sore or tense muscles or a feeling of weakness in the muscles
• stomach upsets, diarrhoea, constipation or other gastrointestinal problems
• shortness of breath, may be accompanied by pain in the chest
• disrupted sleep or appetite.
Everyone differs in the way we react to the loss of a loved one and in how grief is experienced. There is no right or wrong way when dealing with grief as it is a very personal and individual experience. Grief can impact on your body, emotions, thoughts and behaviours. Below are some examples of how grief may affect someone and some tips on how to help deal with grief.