How Can Mindfulness Therapy Help With Grief

Grief is one of the most difficult emotions that a person can experience. It can be hard to come to terms with the reality of a life-altering loss, especially when it feels like there’s no way to make sense of the pain you’re feeling. Finding a way to cope with grief can help you move forward and find peace.

In recent years, mindfulness therapy has become increasingly popular as an effective tool for dealing with emotional difficulties. Mindfulness brings us out of pilot mode and encourages self-compassion and acceptance, which is so important during difficult times.

Increasingly, more people are turning towards mindfulness therapy to cope with grief. This article will explain what mindfulness therapy is and how it can be used as a form of treatment for grief. We will also look at other forms of therapy that can help with bereavement and give advice on how to find professional help if needed.

What Is Grief?

Grief is an emotional response to a loss or change. It is often a combination of deep sadness and physical exhaustion. It may also be accompanied by other emotions such as anger, guilt, and confusion. Grief can be the result of losing a loved one, experiencing a difficult transition, or adapting to a major life change. 

The process of grieving can vary depending on individual personalities and situations but generally includes feelings of shock, denial, pain, sorrow, and eventually acceptance. Everyone experiences grief differently and it can be hard to cope with alone; it is important to reach out for help when needed through family members, friends, or other counseling professionals.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one's attention and awareness to the present moment. It can involve being aware of sensations, thoughts, and emotions in a non-judgmental, accepting manner. Mindfulness has become popular in recent years due to its potential benefits; research has found that it may help reduce stress, improve memory, and increase self-compassion. Mindfulness can be practiced through meditation, yoga, journaling, and other activities.

What Is Mindfulness Therapy?

Mindfulness therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on helping individuals achieve greater awareness and acceptance of their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Through various skills-based techniques, mindfulness therapy teaches individuals to be more present in the moment and less caught up in worries about the past or future. 

It also encourages people to make healthier choices for themselves by paying closer attention to what works for them and what does not. Research has shown that mindfulness therapy can help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and even physical health problems such as chronic pain.


Mindfulness therapy is not a quick fix for relieving grief. It is also not something that is easily picked up, some people may struggle with it more than others. More importantly, mindfulness therapy will not work unless you want it to. To reap the full benefits of mindfulness therapy, you must be willing to keep an open mind. 

Many of the techniques used during mindfulness therapy require you to look inward and face difficult emotions. It will require you to be open to changing the way you think, feel, and act about certain situations or scenarios. Mindfulness therapy takes time and patience. It is a gradual way of healing grief, not instant. If you want mindfulness therapy to work for you, you must be willing to put the work in. 

How Can Mindfulness Help With Grief?

Grief is an emotional and physical reaction to the loss of a loved one or something important to you. The process of grieving is different for everyone, but there are effective ways to cope with this difficult emotion. Mindfulness therapy can be particularly helpful in aiding the grieving process as it helps us become aware of our mental and emotional states with compassion and non-judgment.

Here’s how mindfulness therapy can help with grief: 


Mindfulness therapy techniques can help you to become aware of your emotions and recognize the physical sensations associated with them. This awareness allows you to begin to work through your grief by processing it in small chunks rather than trying to tackle it all at once, which can be overwhelming. 

Additionally, mindfulness therapy can help lessen the intensity of your reactions and allow a feeling of acceptance about the situation so you can move forward in a healthier way.


Mindfulness therapy techniques help you assess your thought patterns and deal with them in a healthy way. Grief can cause us to enter a depressive mindset where we focus only on the negatives. Negative thinking patterns turn into habits, which make coping with grief more difficult and may lead to destructive habits. 

Mindfulness therapy techniques allow us to recognize these negative thought patterns and change them. Mindfulness teaches us to be aware of our thoughts. When we are aware of our thoughts, we can better control them. Taking back control over our thoughts helps us enter a more positive mindset. 


Grief can cause both mental and sometimes physical pain. It’s not uncommon for people who have just suffered a loss to turn to unhealthy ways to cope, such as substance abuse. Mindfulness therapy techniques can help you cope with your pain in a healthier way. 

By helping you to become more aware of your thoughts and how they affect your actions, you can learn how to guide your behavior in a different direction. Mindfulness also teaches you to be more aware of your bodily health. You will be less likely to want to participate in an activity that harms your health. 


Mindfulness therapy is one of the most natural ways to heal during grief. It is an alternative for those who do not wish to take medications to manage their depression. Mindfulness therapy techniques help you work through your emotions and feelings in a natural way. Instead of using prescription medications to numb pain or ease anxiety, mindfulness therapy helps you harness the power of your own thoughts to heal your grief. 

What Types Of Professionals Provide Mindfulness Therapy?

Mindfulness therapy can be provided by a variety of professionals, including psychologists, psychotherapists, counselors, and psychiatrists. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is often offered by licensed mental health providers such as these, or it can be taught in classes or workshops. Meditation teachers or coaches may also provide mindfulness-based guidance and practices.

Speak to your doctor about finding a mindfulness therapy practitioner. You may also be able to find a mindfulness therapy group online or in person by doing a quick Google search for your area. 

What Does Mindfulness Therapy Look Like?

Mindfulness therapy uses a variety of practices and techniques to rewire your negative thinking and become more self-aware. The basis of mindfulness therapy for grief will look like the following. 


One way mindfulness therapy can help with grief is through allowing yourself to feel your emotions without judgment. For example, if you’re feeling sad, try acknowledging it by saying “I am feeling sadness right now” instead of trying to push away the feeling. This allows you to move on from those feelings in a healthy manner instead of becoming overwhelmed by them.


Another way mindfulness therapy can aid in the grieving process is by creating space for self-reflection. During this time, reflect on all the thoughts and feelings that come up when you think about what has been lost. Allow yourself time and space to just be present with whatever comes up during this period of contemplation, whether it’s painful or joyful memories or an overall sense of peace or acceptance of the situation.


Mindfulness therapy also requires practicing self-compassion during times of loss or difficulty. Acknowledge all your positive qualities and take care of yourself as if you were taking care of a beloved friend who was going through a similar experience; practice gentle kindness towards yourself if things don’t always go according to plan, or if your emotions seem too difficult at times.


Finally, grounding exercises such as meditation can really benefit those who are grieving by teaching them how to stay rooted in their body in moments where they feel overwhelmed by their thoughts and emotions. Grounding exercises give us tools that remind us we are safe even when facing intense emotions; these exercises allow us time to reconnect back into our body while gaining personal power over our negative emotions instead allowing ourselves to be controlled by them.

Different Techniques To Use That Can Be Used or Be Helpful With Mindfulness Therapy  


Meditation for grief is one of the most common techniques utilized in mindfulness therapy. Meditation can help you become more aware of your body and your senses, which can help you observe your thoughts without judgment. Having a quiet space where you can focus on your breathing and clear your mind will allow you to experience moments of stillness and peace. 

There are different forms of meditation including mindfulness meditation, positive affirmation meditation, guided imagery meditation, mantra meditation, and movement meditation. Each type of meditation has its own benefits. Which type of meditation works best for you depends on your preferences and what you hope to achieve from each meditation session. 

How To Implement Meditation For Grief

A simple meditation for grief can look like this:

  • Start by finding a quiet place in your home or out in nature where you can be undisturbed for at least 10 minutes.
  • Sit comfortably either on the floor or in a comfy chair. Make sure your body is completely relaxed in your still state. 
  • Next, close your eyes and take a deep breath in for 4 seconds then exhale for 4 seconds. Quiet your mind as you focus on your breathing. 
  • Continue focusing on your breathing for at least 10 minutes or more. When thoughts do arise, gently push them away and refocus your mind to pay attention to your breath and nothing else. 


Body scanning involves concentrating on each part of the body in a relaxed manner. This technique helps people become aware of physical sensations such as tension or relaxation, which can lead to greater insight into how their bodies are reacting to stressors in life.

With practice, body scanning can also provide relief from pain or uncomfortable feelings by allowing a person to respond with acceptance rather than resistance. 

How To Implement Body Scanning For Grief

Body scanning can be done during meditation or anytime you feel uncomfortable feelings arise. It can be done anytime and anywhere. Start by focusing on one part of your body, such as your head, and working your way down. Take note of how each body part feels in the present moment. 

Be mindful of the sensations you feel (heat, cold, wind, etc.,), then use your mind to slow your breathing and focus on these bodily sensations. Doing so will help you become more in tune with your body and focus your attention away from uncomfortable thoughts or feelings.


Mindful movement combines exercise with mindful awareness through slow, controlled movements like yoga stretches or tai chi routines. Mindful movement helps reconnect your mind and body by focusing on the sensation in each movement and allowing yourself to move without judgment or expectation from yourself or others.

Doing these movements regularly can improve posture while calming both the mind and body at the same time.

How To Implement Mindful Movement For Grief

Mindful movement can be any kind of movement that allows you to self-reflect. Typically, these are more relaxing movements such as gardening, walking, wading in the pool, painting, stretching, or even jogging. While you’re performing your preferred activity, take a moment to close your eyes and breathe. 

Listen to the sounds you hear in your environment (e.g., birds chirping, leaves rustling, people talking on their phones, etc.). Next, open your eyes and observe the colors and shapes you see around you. Then, pay close attention to how your body feels with each movement. 

Notice how your feet feel and the sound they make when they hit the ground. Feel the coolness of the pool water on your skin as you wade in the water. Listen to your breath as you jog and feel the impact when your feet touch the ground each time. Focus on nothing else than what you are doing with your body in the present. 


Yoga is a type of mindful movement with many different health benefits. Yoga has been shown to help ease anxiety, depression, improve mood, and promote a healthy body. The ancient practice has been used for centuries by people to improve their fitness while exploring their spirituality. 

Yoga is best described as a fluid series of stretches and poses that test flexibility and build muscular strength. The practice teaches you to work with your breath and quiet your mind to get the most from each pose. Yoga for grief can be implemented daily to create a healthy habit to act as an outlet for your difficult emotions. 

How To Implement Yoga For Grief

Whether you are doing your yoga practice at home alone or in a group with others, start your practice with an intention in mind. Your intention for coping with grief may be something like:

  • “I allow myself to feel my pain, then let it go.”
  • “I will hold onto love and release the grief.”
  • “I choose to feel the presence of my loved one while I move on with my life.”
  • “Today I will be productive and release feelings of grief that hold me back.”

Continue your yoga practice with your intention in mind, then let it go and relax into the movement.


Journaling is a great way for you to observe your thoughts without getting attached to them. Writing down what's going on inside your head allows you to express yourself freely without fearing judgment or discomfort from others.

Journaling provides an opportunity for you to become more self-aware with your private thoughts while providing room for problem solving or deep contemplation if needed.

How To Implement Journaling For Grief

Keep a journal of your journey through your grieving process. Journaling is a great outlet for releasing some of your most difficult emotions and thoughts. You can make a habit of journaling every day in the morning. Write down your thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, etc. Then write down your intentions for the day on how you will cope with your grief. 

For example, you can make a list of small goals you want to accomplish such as doing the dishes, going for a walk, letting go of your guilt, or choosing to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Writing down these small goals and intentions will help you stick to them. 

You can also use your journal as a form of therapy. When you are overwhelmed with emotion, turn to your journal for a release. Writing down how you are feeling allows you to release negative or painful emotions and memories. It helps get them out of your head so you can focus on other thoughts. 


Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a technique used by many therapists that involves tensing then relaxing muscles one at a time throughout the entire body. You do this slowly but deliberately, as if squeezing all the air out from every muscle group before slowly letting it go again.

PMR done systematically over all major muscle groups throughout your body promotes deep relaxation and better overall health both mentally & physically. 

How To Implement PMR For Grief

PMR for grief can be used anytime you have a quiet moment to yourself. Start by sitting or lying in a quiet area, such as in your bedroom. Start by tensing the muscles on one part of your body (like your hand) then releasing and repeating the action on the other side of your body. Continue doing this practice until you’ve completed each muscle group on each side of your body. 


Breathing techniques, or breathwork, are beneficial for calming anxiety, lowering the heart rate, and bringing your mind back to the present. Breathwork is a common mindfulness technique that is often combined with meditation and mindful movement. Breathwork consists of practicing different ways of inhaling and exhaling. 

For example, counting breaths, slow and controlled breathing, holding your breath for a few seconds before exhaling, or deep breathing followed by forcefully exhaling. These techniques help bring awareness to your breath and body. They also help to bring in oxygen which nourishes your organs and blood. Breathing techniques can be a helpful tool for coping with grief. 

How To Implement Breathing Techniques For Grief

Breathing techniques for grief can be implemented anytime during the day when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Follow this breathing technique to help relax your mind and body. 

  1. Start by sitting or standing quietly. Close your eyes as you inhale deeply through your nostrils. 
  2. Hold your breath for 2 seconds. 
  3. Release your breath through your mouth for a total of four seconds. 
  4. Repeat until you feel more at ease.

While practicing breathing techniques, try to quiet your mind at the same time. Pay attention to your breath and how it feels moving in and out of your lungs. Focus on slowing your heart rate and relaxing into deep breathing.

Who Can Benefit From Mindfulness Therapy When Grieving?

Mindfulness therapy that can help with grief can benefit anyone of any age. It can be helpful for anyone suffering a loss including children, parents, friends, spouses, and coworkers. If you or someone you know is in bereavement over the loss of a loved one, consider mindfulness therapy for coping with grief. 

Other Forms Of Therapy That Can Help With Grief


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected and can influence each other. The goal of CBT is to identify patterns or beliefs that lead to unhealthy behaviors and replace them with new, healthier cognitive patterns and coping mechanisms. 

CBT entails working with a therapist in a structured way to identify challenges, assess automatic thought processes, explore relationships between those thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and develop coping strategies. CBT has been found effective for treating many different types of mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, PTSD and OCD among others.


Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses creative pursuits such as drawing, painting, coloring, sculpting, and other creative activities to help people express their feelings in a safe and supportive environment. Through art therapy, you can explore emotions, increase self-awareness, work through traumatic experiences, and create meaningful connections with yourself and others. 

Art therapy helps to improve physical health too; it has been used to reduce stress levels and increase positive mental attitude. Furthermore, art activities can be used as a distraction technique during periods of distress or pain, such as when coping with grief. Ultimately, art therapy provides the opportunity for individuals to gain insight into their personal challenges through the visual expression of their thoughts and emotions.


Play therapy is a commonly used form of psychotherapy used to help children express their feelings and emotions in a safe way. It allows children to play out problems or difficult situations in a structured environment while having their emotions validated and accepted by the therapist. 

Using various play therapy techniques, such as art, drama, music and puppetry, the child can work through issues without feeling judged or criticized. This type of therapy also helps to improve communication between parent and child and can ultimately improve relationships.

Play therapy works well for children but adults can participate in it as well. All of us have a playful side no matter what our age. Ways you can practice play therapy as an adult include singing karaoke, participating in an acting class, playing games with friends, or even playing dress up. Play therapy can help with grief to bring back some amount of joy and laughter into your life. 


Pets are special to us in more ways than one. They provide companionship, unconditional love, protection, and are a source of joy for everyone around them. Therapy animals have been used for years for calming adults and children both with medical and mental health issues. 

Pet therapy for grief can be effective for some people. For those who are missing their loved one, adopting a pet can be companionship. It will also give them something to care for and focus their attention on. Pets can add more meaning to your life after the loss of someone close to you. They can also relieve stress and pain through physical contact such as petting and cuddling. 

If you can’t adopt a pet, consider volunteering for an animal shelter, visiting a cat cafe, going to a petting zoo, or playing with a friend’s pet. 


Remembrance jewelry, or memorial jewelry, can be of great comfort to you while you are grieving. Memorial jewelry for grieving can come in the form of fingerprint jewelry, cremation jewelry, photo engraved jewelry, or ashes into jewelry. Memorial jewelry allows you to keep a part of your loved one with you wherever you go. It can be of great comfort to you on days when you are missing the deceased. 

Photo Engraved Jewelry for Grieving

Photo engraved jewelry uses laser technology to engrave a photograph of your loved one onto a quality metal pendant. Your picture can be engraved in either black and white or color. Having a picture of your loved one on a necklace allows you to look at your favorite picture of your loved one wherever you are. When you are missing them, you can look down at their smiling face and be reminded of their presence. 

Fingerprint Jewelry for Grieving

Fingerprint jewelry incorporates your deceased loved one’s fingerprint onto jewelry using laser technology. You can wear your loved one’s fingerprint on a necklace, ring, or keychain. The realistic texture of the engraving allows you to feel the unique ridges of your loved one’s fingerprint. It can help while you’re grieving to be able to feel and touch a part of your loved one and feel closer to them. 

Cremation Jewelry for Grieving

Cremation jewelry allows you to keep some of your loved one’s cremains inside a small compartment in your jewelry. Cremation jewelry is like small cremation urns that can be worn on your person. Cremation jewelry can help with grieving when you are feeling afraid of letting your loved one go. While wearing your cremation jewelry, you can feel as if you are taking them with you as you continue your life journey. 

Ashes Into Jewelry for Grieving

Ashes into jewelry incorporate your deceased loved one’s ashes into the stone of the jewelry itself. It is a beautiful piece of art that embodies your loved one’s physical cremains. It can be a comforting physical reminder of your loved one that can be taken with you anywhere you go. 

More Natural Ways To Heal During Grief


Volunteering to help others less fortunate than you can be a form of therapy for some. Helping others will get you out of your own head. It will give you something to focus on other than your grief. You will be better able to put your own problems in perspective. Helping others is one of the surest ways to help yourself. Plus, it will give you a chance to be part of a community and socialize with other people. 


Cooking can be therapeutic for people of all ages. Learning how to cook meals is both creative and a useful skill. It can be both fun and relaxing to cook different dishes then enjoy the fruits of your labor. You can cook on your own, with friends, or sign up for a cooking class. Food and drink bring people together and nourish both the body and soul. Learning how to cook can be a good outlet for your grief. 


Exercise is one of the best forms of natural medicine available to us all. The health benefits of exercise are numerous and include reduced anxiety, depression, and longer lifespan. Exercise produces endorphins, which are responsible for uplifting your mood. It can be a good way to take care of your body while also benefiting your mental health. 

Having fitness goals gives you something to work towards. It gives you an objective for each day, week, and month. When all else feels hopeless or uncertain in your life after a loss, improving your physical fitness can be a constant. If you’re grieving, consider joining a gym and starting a fitness program. 


Laughter is one of the best feelings in the world. It occurs in moments of joy, fun, and happiness. Laughter can also be medicine. The act of laughing has many health benefits including reducing stress, stimulating your organs, soothing tension, and of course, uplifting your mood. Finding a way to laugh can be helpful for grief. 

How do you use laughter for grief? Find something to laugh about. Watch a funny movie, go to a comedy club, or hang out with your funniest friends. Grief can make you feel like you will never laugh again, but in time laughter will come easier. 

Mindfulness Frequently Asked Questions

Can mindfulness therapy help when you are grieving?

Yes, mindfulness therapy can help when you are grieving. Mindfulness is a type of therapy that encourages acceptance and awareness of present moment experiences, including feelings of intense grief. It can allow you to be with the pain instead of suppressing it

What are some different mindfulness techniques that can help with grief and loss?

Mindfulness techniques that help with grief and loss include:

  • Self-acceptance
  • Reflection
  • Self-compassion
  • Meditation
  • Body scanning
  • Yoga
  • Breathwork

These techniques can be used to ground yourself in the present and stop intrusive thoughts. By practicing these techniques regularly, you can rewire your thoughts to be more positive. These mindfulness therapy techniques will help you better understand and regulate your thoughts and emotions so that you can move forward with your life.

What type of doctor practices mindfulness techniques?

Mindfulness techniques are practiced by a variety of specialists, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, and primary care physicians. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a popular form of mindfulness training that can be offered by health professionals from all backgrounds.

Is there a grief support group that practices mindfulness techniques?

Yes, there are many grief support groups that incorporate mindfulness techniques into their sessions. Mindfulness is a practice of bringing focused attention to the present moment and being aware of one’s thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations without judgment. 

It can be particularly helpful in managing grief as it allows people to stay connected with their feelings while having the ability to observe them without getting overwhelmed or caught up in their reactions. Mindfulness can also help foster acceptance and understanding of difficult times.

How do I know if mindfulness therapy is working with my grief?

You can gauge whether mindfulness therapy is working by asking yourself these questions: 

  • How is your mood throughout the week? Is it improving, even gradually?
  • Are your symptoms or problematic behaviors improving? (e.g., drinking less, bathing more, cleaning your house more regularly)
  • Are you solving problems or working towards solving them?

If any of these answers are a yes, then mindfulness therapy may be working for you.  

What are 3 strategies for coping with grief?

Coping with grief can be difficult, but there are some strategies to help you through this difficult time. 

  1. The first strategy is to connect with others who understand your pain and challenge the idea of being alone during this time. 
  2. Secondly, using positive thinking and visualization techniques can help divert attention from stressful thoughts to more calming ones. 
  3. Finally, practicing self-care activities such as getting enough rest, maintaining healthy eating habits, and exercising regularly can generate positive vibes within yourself which can make grief feel more manageable.

 What therapeutic approaches are best for grief?

Grief can be devastating, and different approaches are used to help individuals cope that vary depending on the person's circumstance, beliefs, cultural background, and personal preferences. Some approaches to grief therapy include supportive counseling, talk therapy, narrative therapy, art or music therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy. 

All these approaches have proven useful in helping people to manage their grief; however, each patient will respond differently to a certain type of therapy. Therefore, it is important that each individual works with a therapist who they are comfortable with so they can choose an approach that best fits their needs.

Is there jewelry that helps with grief?

Jewelry that helps with grief can include ashes into jewelry (jewelry made from the deceased’s ashes), cremation jewelry, fingerprint jewelry, and photo engraved jewelry. Each piece of memorial or remembrance jewelry can help you feel closer to your loved one when you’re managing difficult feelings. 

Memorial jewelry helps with grief by allowing you to carry your loved one’s memory with you always. It is a physical reminder of their presence in your life as you move forward. 

Mindfulness & Moving Forward

Grief affects us all differently. Fortunately, there are many ways to cope with grief that address individual needs. Mindfulness therapy is a natural therapy for grief that help you cope with your feelings in a healthy way. You can seek mindfulness therapy from a medical professional or practice mindfulness practices on your own. 

January 18, 2023 by Frances Kay