How Grief Affects Your Brain


When you lose a loved one, the grief you feel is intense and often overwhelming. Physically, it can feel like there's an anchor pulling on your heart. The world around you instantly changes, and so does your body on the inside. After the initial shock goes away, our brains have a way of protecting us in a way that changes how we function. Scientifically, it's called cognitive disconnect.

Grief can affect your daily life in these ways: 

  • Concentration may become difficult
  • It can be hard to complete and finish tasks you've started
  • Your short-term memory may suffer
  • Decision making or planning can be affected

Many of these functions are located in your frontal lobe and limbic system, controlling your emotions and ability to perform. If you feel like you've changed after a tragedy in your life, you are probably right. Coping can be difficult, but there are resources to help you.

Click here for a list of resources for coping with grief and loss.

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