Grief and Our Bodies

One of the things about grief that often surprises people is their physical response. Physical sensations or some type of bodily distress is actually very common. Depending on the severity of one’s grief, or the suddenness of the news, common somatic responses can include hollowness in the stomach, tightness in the chest, tightness in the throat, oversensitivity to noise, or even breathlessness. Some individuals may even vomit, burst into tears, or see stars. These responses should not alarm you per se – they are not uncommon and reflect our physiological connection to painful feelings.