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Sorrow and Grief–How They Affect Our Health

No one is exempt from the sorrows of this life. Whether sadness from the loss of a loved one, disappointment in ourselves, or guilt from sins committed, we are all subject to sorrow and grief. What toll does that take on our bodies and minds?

Weight loss or gain may result due to a change in appetite. Gastrointestinal disturbances, heart palpitations, and chest tightness are not uncommon. Though these symptoms may not necessarily be life-threatening, there can be a higher risk of heart attack during grief, particularly for those already prone to cardiac incidents. The immune system can also be compromised and lead to further illness.

Unresolved sorrow can lead to depression or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Research has shown an increase in mortality from violent, accidental, and alcohol-related deaths following a loss. Attempting or committing suicide is more likely during times of grief and sorrow.

Basic needs that must be met:


Sleep and rest are naturally healing to the body and mind. Warm showers, chamomile tea or reading may help with relaxation. Even if sleep evades you, allowing your body the opportunity to rest will still be beneficial.


The body uses a lot of energy when working through sorrow and grief. When sadness prevails, however, eating can sometimes be difficult. When full meals are not appealing, frequent nibbling of healthy, small-portioned snacks will give needed nourishment. Cheese, fruits, nuts and seeds are convenient and healthy. On the other hand, there are some who turn to food for comfort. Journaling, talking with an understanding friend, or spending time with a beloved pet may offer a healthier alternative for solace. Avoid alcohol (a depressant).


This is often the least of our concerns at this time, but moving about does help with clarity of mind. Some research has shown that exercise is as helpful as antidepressants for treatment of depression. If weather permits, begin by just taking a walk outside in the fresh air.

Seek the Lord

I can’t stress this enough. Jesus, the One who loves you best and most, is waiting to comfort and heal you. He never promised us a life without sorrow. But He will walk through these valleys with us, carrying us when the load is too much to bear.

“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief.” (Psalm 31:9, NIV)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” (John 16:20, KJV)

If you know “of” God, and you know “about” God, but you’re not sure that you have the personal, intimate relationship with Jesus that comes with salvation, call on Him now. He is waiting for you.

If you would like help in accepting Jesus as your personal Savior, please click on the link entitled “The Romans Road to Salvation” at the top of this web page.

How has someone helped you during a sorrowful time in your life?

About Denise Ferrell

Denise is a Registered Nurse, married, and has lived in Alabama all of her life. She has been a Christian for more than 40 years and has studied Prophecy for over 25 years. She writes devotionals for Faithwriters (www.faithwriters.com). She also writes for TGGmag ('Tween Girls and God online magazine for girls age 9-12). She desires to share Christ with others through her writing and is looking forward to the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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