Meditation and Working Through Grief
Meditation is a practice for fostering balance and serenity. More people turn to meditation as a way to find peace in a hectic work week, or to help them stay focused. Big tech companies like Google often integrate meditation centers into offices as a benefit for their developers. Meditation as a practice has been around for centuries. While many people use it in their daily lives, more people can benefit from it. Especially those working through strong emotional states, such as grief.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a process in which you clear your mind and enter a state of calm. It can require some practice to get used to, and in many ways is a skill itself. Meditation can be done for short or long periods of time. There are many different practices, methods, and types of meditation. But overall, it is a way to train the mind to raise awareness, increase focus, and reduce stress.
Meditation and Grief
Meditation can be helpful in making you feel calm and relaxed. Because of this, it can be a helpful tool in the grieving process. Taking the time to clear your mind and relax can be very important in self-care and overcoming grief. Grief can affect sleep patterns, mood, and energy levels. Meditation helps ease stress, reduce muscle tension, and ease headaches; which are all common symptoms of grief.
Meditation and Depression
Studies often show a connection between clearing your mind and reducing depression. Some studies even show that meditation can, in some cases, rival the results of antidepressant medications. However, like antidepressants, meditation is not a silver bullet cure for depression. Depression is a complex issue that is different for everyone. However, meditation may relieve symptoms of depression or anxiety. Further, it can be a helpful practice for mindfulness in tandem with comprehensive treatment for your mental health condition.
There are many different forms of meditation, but the following can help provide a basic layout of how to meditate. To start, go to a quiet place, and sit or lie comfortably. Close your eyes, and simply breathe. Do not try to control your breath, just let your body breathe naturally. Focus on how your breathing affects your body. Notice how your body moves as you breathe. Notice your chest movements, how your rib cage extends out, and how your shoulders rise and fall. Observe your breathing without trying to control its intensity or pace. If your mind begins to wander, try to return your focus to your breathing.
Different styles of meditation might draw your focus in other ways, or work to clear your mind entirely. Try researching different forms of meditation, and find one that sounds appealing to you. As stated before, meditation may require some practice to get right, so don’t stress!
The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are several resources out there. For our Grief Resource Center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here.
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