The Neuroscience of Grief

Pernille Bülow

Affiliation: PernilleBülow (Private Enterprise), Boston, United States of America

Keywords: Mental Health, Personal Loss, Emotions, Grief, Depression, Emotional Triggers, Brain, Body, Neuroscience

Categories: News and Views, Life Sciences, Medicine

DOI: 10.17160/josha.10.4.886

Languages: English

The process of grieving is not just a personal and emotional journey, but a biological one as well. The body and brain are transformed by grief, making it impossible to simply decide to stop grieving. Recognizing the physical aspects of grief is crucial to fully heal and reduce feelings of sorrow and despair. While supporting someone who is grieving can be emotionally and physically draining, it is important to prioritize self-care and take breaks when needed. However, when spending time with a grieving person, it is vital to hold space for their emotions and validate their unique journey. This newsletter explores the differences between grief and depression, the complexities of complicated grief, the role of grief triggers, and how grief affects both the brain and body. It also delves into the neuroscience behind supporting someone in grief. By gaining a better understanding of the biological processes of grief, individuals can feel less alone and better equipped to navigate the grieving process. The focus should be on holding space for the grieving person, rather than trying to force happiness upon them. This article was first published in Subkiton on December 01, 2022 (

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