Meditation for Grief: Breathe In Love, Breathe Out Grief

Too much grief can be debilitating for anyone. Meditation for grief can help move you through the process by breathing in love and exhaling grief.

Denise Everheart
meditation for grief

Grief impacts each of us in different ways and for different amounts of time, with symptoms ranging from sadness and insomnia to deep depression. The causes of grief are as varied as life itself.  It can be triggered by the death of a loved one, moving to a new city, the end of a relationship, the passing of a beloved pet, or any major life change. Grief can even sneak up on us after we thought we had moved beyond our grieving.  

In short, grief is complicated. 

We all experience the grieving process many times throughout our lives, but unfortunately, many of us were never taught how to properly manage our grief. Luckily, it’s never too late to start learning.

Let’s explore how meditation can help us move through grief of all kinds.

The effects of grief and loss

grief and loss

How does grief affect your body?

Lowered immunity, insomnia, heart problems, and even body aches and pains can all happen during the grieving process. The pain is caused by the release of excessive stress hormones that can act on the body in a similar way to broken heart syndrome.

How does grief affect your mind?

“Grief brain” occurs when you are overloaded with thoughts of grief, sadness, and loneliness. Memory, concentration, and cognition are all negatively affected when we experience significant bouts of grief.

Can meditation really help manage grief?

The short answer is yes! Read on to learn how meditation can help manage grief and stress in other areas of life.

Guided meditation vs meditation practice

meditation practice

Recently, I sat down with senior Art of Living faculty member Denise Richardson. Denise teaches many programs including Project Welcome Home Troops, a residential resiliency program for those who suffer from depression, and silent retreats for SKY Breath Meditation graduates. 

Denise regularly helps people dealing with all kinds of grief, and when I asked her about using guided meditations for grief she advised against looking for a quick fix. She said, “People think they can do a guided meditation 5 to 10 times and their grief will just disappear, but we are all unique, and we process grief in very unique ways. Grief cannot be transformed with quick fixes. It’s better to be patient and honor the grieving process.”

She went on to say, “There’s a tendency to want to fix things fast. We wonder how we can download the solution and be done in 5 minutes or less, but you can’t do that with grief. It’s a process. Don’t wish it away. When you are with that process you are honoring that loss. You are honoring the space you are in. To move beyond grief there’s no pill you can take. There’s no quick fix.”

Denise continued, “There is a tendency in life for whatever we resist, to persist. This is especially true during the grieving process. If we say, ‘No, no, no, I’m not gonna feel this. I’m not gonna deal with this,’ we may think we are letting go, but generally, we’re not, we are just stuffing it somewhere, and at some point, it will come up again and we’ll have to deal with it. Honoring our feelings as they arise is a more effective and healthy way to move through grief.” 

There is one guided meditation practice that Denise does recommend for grief. She explained, “Yoga Nidra (body scan meditation) is good anytime, anyplace, but since we store grief in different parts of the body, it can be a wonderful meditation right before we’re going to sleep. Yoga Nidra facilitates the letting go process, and helps us move away from constantly analyzing our grief. There’s no woulda, coulda, shoulda. There’s no analysis paralysis. There’s just freedom!” 

Here’s a wonderful body scan meditation that’s especially helpful if you are experiencing grief-related insomnia.

Denise also pointed out, “While doing any meditation, it’s important not to think, ‘I’m working on grief.’ This keeps us on the intellectual level, and for a release to happen we need to go beyond that.”

Denise strongly recommends people learn SKY Breath Meditation. She says, “It’s the greatest gift you could ever give yourself.” And I couldn’t agree more! 

The best meditation for grief 

SKY Breath Meditation allows us to use the breath in a simple yet profound way to lift impressions of grief, trauma, and stress, without going through an examination process. If you are curious to know more about SKY and get your own first-hand experience with meditation, you can check out this free breath and meditation session online. 

free breath and meditation

Breathe in love and breathe out grief! #breatheinlove

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