The loss of a loved one, someone you care about, or even something you care about can bring about a massive feeling of grief. Grief is a very human emotion but one many people struggle to manage or accept. There’s a lot of misunderstanding and stigma around grief. If you’re struggling with this emotion or if you’re grieving and it’s become overwhelming, a guided meditation practice for grief can help.
Guided meditation for grief can be a simple mindfulness practice that can help you change your relationship to this very strong and sometimes overwhelming emotion. Meditation isn’t used to get rid of grief or suppress it. Instead, as you’re grieving, a mindfulness practice can help you deal with the feeling of grief. It can allow you to go through grief without adding a story to it.
The story we add to our grief is what creates suffering, or at least, produces more suffering. Instead, we should accept the grief, go through it, and allow us to pass through us with time.
In many cases, the grief never goes away. It just lessens with enough time. Accepting this, is part of the healing process. Grief serves as a reminder, as an experience we can carry forward with us through the rest of our lives to become better people. It can teach us to be more patient, understanding, and help us build empathy towards other people.
A guided meditative practice is usually the best approach for most people dealing with loss. When we try to meditate alone while feeling these intense emotions, it can distract us. Instead, a guided meditation for grieving helps us stay focused on the practice, and not allow ourselves to get caught up in the story of the grief.
We all know the number one way to recover from grief and loss is through time. Time heals all wounds, as they say. But meditation is a way to help ensure that process goes smoothly.
When we don’t have a healthy relationship to intense emotions such as grief, it can complicate the healing process. It can create more bumps along the road to healing from the loss. Instead, a guided meditation for grief practice helps teach us not to complicate this emotion. It allows us to see this emotion for what it is: a cluster of sensations. What causes the suffering is the story we add to the grief.
“I should have said this…”
“It’s my fault…”
“I wish I did this instead…”
These thoughts are not productive and they are separate from the grief. What you’re grieving is the person or thing that was lost, not the things you wish you did or said. Feelings of anger, shock, guilt, confusion, and regret usually arise during grief, and it complicates things. Meditation can allow us to see this, and this understanding makes healing a little easier.
It’s okay to confront things like anger, regret, guilt, and shock, just in their own ways. Deal with the grief first. Allowing yourself, and giving yourself time and space to grieve, is one of the most precious gifts in life.
Incorporate a guided meditation for grief into your healing journey to help make it a little easier.
The first step to meditating for grief is to dedicate some time and a space to yourself for this practice. It’s best to do this practice when you know you can be alone undisturbed for at least 10 minutes.
Next, sit down in a comfortable chair. There’s no pose you need to take here. Just relax yourself into a chair with our hands resting in your lap.
Begin the practice by taking in a few deep breaths.
After about 8 big deep breaths, gently close your eyes.
Start the practice by noticing the emotions you’re bringing into the practice. Notice the grief, but also notice emotions such as guilt, fear, confusion, anger, fatigue, or sadness.
Simply notice these feelings. Try not to get caught up in them or allow yourself to follow these emotions with thoughts. Simply notice them and where you may physically feel them.
If at any point the practice becomes too intense or you begin to feel overwhelmed, simply bring your attention to your breath. Notice the rising and falling sensations of the breath around the chest and stomach. If it makes it easier to steady your mind, count each breath as it passes.
When you’re ready, turn your attention to your grief. Notice the feeling of grief and the sensations you may notice around it. Notice if there’s any resistance here. Remember that mindfulness also means acceptance of the present moment. It’s normal to feel grief, and it’s normal to experience it in waves. Don’t allow thoughts here to distract you. Simply maintain an open awareness of the breath and noticing the feelings of grief and sadness here.
Notice if you’re adding a story to your grief. See if you can just notice the grief without adding or subtracting anything here. Let go of any resistance as well. See if you can truly see and be mindful of this feeling without the story.
Sit now and watch the breath again with an open awareness. Allow it to steady your mind. Allow each thought and emotion to come and go. Don’t allow yourself to become caught up in it with more thinking.
In the final few moments, allow the mind to do what it wants. See if you can let go.
Finally, open your eyes.
Take a moment here to just relax. The grieving process takes time. There’s no easy way out of the pain and suffering that we ensure as a result of using someone or something. Yet, it’s important to feel the emotions as they’re moving through us rather than avoiding or buying them. Acting as if we’re fine when we’re not is how we suppress emotional pain that will later show up as any number of problems down the road.
Don’t isolate yourself due to your grief. If you’re worried about what other people may think or you’re embarrassed to express any grief in front of friends and loved ones, don’t. The people in your life who care about you will be there to support you. If they’re grieving as well, grieve together. It can be a bonding experience as well as support one another through this tough time.
If this isn’t an option for you, you may want to find a therapist or professional who you can speak to. It’s healthy and gives you a place to get a lot off of your chest, especially if you’re feeling regret and guilt.
There’s often two sleep behaviors people who grieve experience. One is sleeping too much, the other is not sleeping enough from insomnia.
If your grief is keeping you up at night, it won’t leave you in a healthy state of mind during your day. To help you heal, you need a rational and clear head. Poor sleep won’t allow you to have that. Try a guided meditation for sleep practice or work to create a night time routine that helps you sleep.
Grief and loss can be so intense, that it leads us to neglect ourselves. We stop eating right. We neglect our hygiene. We push our hobbies and things that make us happy off to the side.
There’s a lot of guilt that comes around “moving on”. But the funny thing is that moving on is part of the healing process. It’s what the person we lost would have wanted for us.
Take care of yourself, practice self care, and live your life again as soon as you’re ready.
Guilt and regret are two of the most destructive feelings a person can have. If this is interfering with your grieving process, you will need to tackle these emotions first before you can grieve properly.