Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: Mindfulness can be very beneficial when dealing with loss and getting through times of grief.
Three Mindful Strategies to Help You Recover from Loss and Get You Through Times of Grief:
- Quiet Reflection – Sometimes the best way to get past loss and deal with grief is by facing it head on. Find a quiet place to reflect on the lost loved one, remember them as they were in your life, hold onto those memories and allow yourself to feel the sadness and embrace it. Once you have accepted the grief you may find it easier to move past it. That loss may never go away, but your heart will start to heal making it a little bit easier each and every day.
- Center yourself – When the waves of sadness and grief fell overwhelming use slow deep breathing to get through the helplessness that often comes with the grief. This will help you stay grounded and bring you back to the present moment.
- Practice Mindfulness – Loss and grief are cyclical, like the seasons. Even when we are in the middle of an extreme winter, we know that summer will eventually come. We learn to push through those cold, sometimes unbearable, winter days because we know there is something to look forward to on the other end. The same is true for grief. Today, your grief may seem unbearable, but a month from now… six months from now… a year from now… little by little that pain will start to subside and eventually, you’ll be able to look back on the memories of your lost loved one with joy and not sadness.
Your breath is a great tool to help train your mind to focus your thoughts, center yourself, and push through stress, anxiety, pain, loss, and of course grief. Whenever you start to feel your mind wander or become overloaded use this two-step meditation to bring you back to the present.
Step 1 – Notice your breathing. Pay attention to the sensation of the air around you; how it feels as it enters your nose then travels down into your lungs. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen as the air moves in and out of your body. Don’t change the way you breathe, let the air move in and out as it normally would, just be aware of the sensations involved with the act of breathing.
Step 2 – Count your breaths. The first breath in and out is 1, the next breath in and out is 2, continue until you reach a full ten to fifteen breaths. As you relax, your breaths will get longer. This exercise should take you about a minute to complete. If you’re still feeling stressed after ten to fifteen breaths, continue the exercise until those feelings have passed.
Mindfulness Grief Journaling:
Step 1 – Take 5 minutes to write down what you’re feeling. There is no wrong way to complete this exercise so don’t worry about being judged. This is for you and you alone.
Step 2 – Take 5 minutes to write down how the person you lost makes you feel when you think of the memories you shared.
The point of this exercise it to acknowledge the grief and accept the feelings you’re having, but to also remember the good times and end on a positive note that honors your loved one.
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