5 Holistic Methods Used to Process Grief

The thought of losing someone you love is almost unbearable, but for millions of people each year they must grieve for someone close to them. Grief is an emotion we all face at one time or another in our lives and is completely natural. However, being natural does not make it easy. While we may never truly get over the loss of a loved one [1], there are steps to be taken that can help you process grief and make life a little easier.

Yoga

Grief is an emotional stress that we store within the body and overtime those emotions can help bring us down. Yoga [2] is one way to help loosen that tightness without having it all unravel at once. Yoga allows your mind to soothe yourself by providing mental self-care and at the same time physical activity which is also important for releasing pent up stress or anxiety.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are chemicals that can either be rubbed on the skin or inhaled. Inhaling essential oils helps to stimulate areas of the limbic system that regulate emotion, behavior, long-term memory, breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Each oil, such as rose or sandalwood, provides specific or healing responses depending on the emotion you are trying to inhibit or soothe. For example, rose [3] is commonly used to ease anxiety, depression, headaches, and menstrual cramps.

Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep can be difficult when you are going through a grief cycle [4]. This is because your mind is filled with thoughts about the loss of your loved one. In addition, when you do fall asleep you are likely to be plagued with sleep disruptions such as nightmares. While getting a quality night of sleep can be difficult there are a few things that can be done to help ease yourself into bed. For starters it is important to create an environment to induce sleep. Use dark or calming colors or black out curtains. Essential oils, a white noise machine, and mood music can all help. If all else fails, cuddling up to a loved one like your spouse or pet [5] are shown to fulfill the need for security and comfort.

Exercise

A lack of motivation is one of the most difficult things to overcome when you suffer from grief. Grief can easily swallow you up and keep you hidden from the outside world. This is one of the reasons why exercise is so important for grief sufferers. Endorphins [6] released during exercise reduce our perception of pain – both mental and physical. This helps to create an improved mood and the physical exertion of your body contributes to better sleep, and an overall feeling of accomplishment.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy [7] utilizes a variety of tools and mechanisms such as oils, music, and level of touch that can help a person experiencing grief. Massage therapy has a long history of improving physical conditions and emotional conditions such as grief. Massage therapy helps to soften the body’s muscle tissues that become when experiencing grief while improving blood circulation an overall state of calm.


Resource Links

[1]  Grief Isn’t Something to Get Over

[2] Grief Yoga

[3] Health Benefits of Rose Essential Oil

[4] Sleep and Grief: Tips and Tricks to Get the Rest You Need

[5] Here’s Why Sleeping With Your Dog Is Actually Good For You

[6] Endorphins: Natural Pain and Stress Fighters

[7] Massage Therapy: What You Need To Know