You experienced a horrible loss. The grief has nearly destroyed you.

Although you are aware grief has no schedule or timetable, you are a year into your extended mourning session and want it to stop. In fact, you have become nearly paralyzed with sadness and know this can’t go on. What can you do to lift the miasma of sorrow that is threatening to annihilate you?

Consider dealing with grief through meditation.

What meditation does

When an individual meditates, he relaxes the mind, releasing the cacophony of emotions storming the brain every waking moment. The general idea of meditation is maintaining focus while simultaneously releasing thoughts, particularly the unsettling ones.

Meditation is a way of deliberately focusing attention, which subdues a mystified and bewildered mind, which in turn diminishes stress and heartache. Meditation and spirituality resources can guide you through the process of accessing relief for stress, emotional distress and overwhelming feelings of sadness.

Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated. All you require is yourself and a single point of focus, which can be your breathing. Most people don’t think about breathing. In meditation, this is the key. The individual purposely withdraws his attention from off-putting feelings and redirects his concentration on the corporeal sensation of his breath.

What this does is redirect the energy spent on emotions involving grief, apprehension, agitation and animosity. With time and practice the mind becomes tranquil and emotional responses become more constructive and reasonable.

Yes, the mind wanders, particularly for the novice. That is expected. Note when this happens and refocus your attention on your breath. Getting distracted does not mean you are failing. It happens to everyone.

Complicated grief

Mourning can lead to melancholia (depression.) Some experience ‘complicated grief,’ that doesn’t go away. It interferes with a person’s daily life.

Anguish actually shows up on a brain scan. If shown a picture of the deceased person, ‘ordinary grief’ activates the area of the brain that processes emotional angst. However, the person suffering from ‘complicated grief’ experiences activity in the nucleus accumbens which is the area of the brain links with pleasure, addition and rewards. It may be a person involuntarily prolongs sorrow because the memories of the departed give them happiness as well as pain. This does not suggest the mourner is addicted to sadness, but that she still feels actively attached to the dead person.

When the relationship between the deceased and the survivor is powerful, the anguish may be equally zealous.

Complicated or traumatic grief is prolonged, pathological and lasting more than six months. It includes an extreme longing for and fixation with the deceased. When a person suffers from this he is at risk for other illnesses, including high blood pressure, heart problems and even cancer. Misery of this nature virtually ensures bad outcomes, including anxiety and depression.


Antidepressants are not particularly effective for those suffering from angst of this nature because this medication does not alleviate the yearning for the dead person. Therapy directed at treating post-traumatic stress sometimes helps in conjunction with cognitive therapy.

Meditation may not be the magic panacea, but it certainly helps soothes a mind consumed with unabated grief and sorrow.

Practicing meditation

To meditate, find a comfortable location to practice in. Sit in a position that is restful and allows you to maintain your concentration. Sit straight, put your hands in your lap and close your eyes. Begin focusing on your breathing by concentrating on the skin on the top lip, located right under the nostrils. Feel the air pass over this area. Breathe deeply into the stomach. Fill the belly up as you would fill up a balloon. When you release the breath, the stomach softens and deflates. Maintain the deep breathing, which releases resistance and tension. Continue breathing slowly and completely.

Try counting in as you inhale - one, two – and do the same as you release the breath – one, two. Maintain focus on every breath. Feel your shoulders relax. Continue doing this for 10 minutes.

Mindful breathing is healing. Mindfulness means being present and fully aware of life as it unfolds, allowing an individual to address grief and fears, so he can control them rather than the other way around.

Author's Bio: 

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received a bachelors degree in journalism. She is a newspaper writer, editor, photographer and freelance writer for various websites, including Her fiction and non-fiction work has been published in national magazines. She teaches yoga, meditation and tap dancing. She recently lost her father, and is working through her grief with meditation, and cathartic writing.