Three Ways To Keep Your Emotions Relaxed At A Funeral

Your mission when you attend a funeral is to show your support to the immediate family of the person who has passed away. You do so in a variety of different ways, including offering kind words, sharing a kind hug and simply being present during the proceedings. While emotions are often a common occurrence at funeral-related events, you might be leery about losing your composure and being a distraction to the family. The good news is that there are several different methods of keeping calm and remaining in control of your emotions. Here are three strategies to use.

Carry Water With You

Water is valuable for having a calming effect as well as giving you a moment to regain your composure when you feel that you're starting to get emotional. Many funeral homes have a water dispenser and a stack of paper cups, so it's useful to locate this refreshment station soon after your arrival. If you don't want to leave it to chance, there's no harm in carrying a water bottle with you during your visit to the funeral home. Opt for something small that you can carry with discretion rather than a large bottle or another bulky receptacle. Focus on taking tiny sips – large gulps will frequently lead to the need for a bathroom break and you don't want to disrupt the service by getting up.

Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a proven way to help you relax and the benefit to doing so when you're feeling emotionally stressed at a funeral is that you can do so with discretion. There are a number of different breathing techniques that you can use, but you can keep things simply by being cognizant of taking a deep breath in, holding the air for a moment and then letting it out slowly. This method can help to reduce your heart rate if you're feeling anxious. Take care to determine the breathing rate that's right for you – and be sure to avoid holding your breath too long, as doing so can raise your heart rate.

Try Muscle Relaxation

Funerals involve long periods of sitting and standing; during these times, you might notice that your body's muscles are tight because of your emotional tension. A progressive muscle relaxation exercise can help you keep your composure and relax. Start with either foot, visualize a muscle and allow it to relax. Continue this pattern up your body until you're making a point of relaxing the muscles in your face. By the end, you'll ideally be feeling more relaxed. 

Contact a funeral home, like W J Smith & Son Funeral Home or another location, for more guest etiquette help and information.