Mindfulness Can Ease Grief


BY: Diane Snyder Cowan, MA, MT-BC, CHPCA

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

​Mindfulness is a buzzword these days but what is it and how does it relate to grief? Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. For many people, grief can be both physically and mentally exhausting, and practicing mindfulness has been shown to improve both mental and physical health.

Mindfulness can ease your physical symptoms of grief, help calm your mind, regulate difficult emotions and improve your ability to focus on the present. It can increase compassion toward yourself and others and help make meaning of the loss. There are many ways to practice mindfulness. All are a form of meditation.

Some folks learn to meditate on their own by following instructions in books or recordings and others benefit from the support of an instructor or group. It takes practice to become comfortable with these techniques. If one method doesn't work for you, try another.

The goal of any mindfulness practice is to achieve an alert state of focused relaxation by paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. Accept whatever arises in your awareness at each moment. Above all, mindfulness involves being kind and forgiving toward yourself.

Grief is a powerful emotion and can be overwhelming. Mindfulness can help navigate the vast feelings of grief. You may find that you can allow the grief to rise up, observe it, hold it intentionally in awareness and notice that grief ebbs–and flows. We are here with comfort, hope and healing. 

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