The emotional effects of grief and stress not only have profound effects on our mental and physical health, but also manifests differently in men and women.

Dr. Anita Phillips, a licensed therapist and minister committed to merging faith and therapy, recently joined ESSENCE for its virtual Wellness House Summit. She spoke about her professional observations about grief and the way it shows up differently in women than in men.

“Generally, women have a stronger response to negative emotions than men do,” Dr. Phillips notes. “We respond more intensely. Grief is more than just a negative emotion. Its a process that involves multiple hard emotions [like] guilt, anger, frustration, and sadness. All those negative emotions pulsing through us can really shake us up.”

She goes on to say that this reaction can be intensified if you’ve seen anything traumatizing related to the loved one you’ve lost. “The things that we see will echo in [women’s] minds longer, and also…we tend to ruminate and bring up the scenery in our minds, and we have stronger reactions to those things as well.”

Like water poured into a soil and seeping into the entire plant, grief, Dr. Anita says, can affect us spiritually, mentally, and physically. This makes it all the more important to seek counseling.

Watch Dr. Phillips’ full discussion above.

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