Using Mindfulness To Navigate The Pain Of Loss

You’ve lost something you love and it hurts. You’re not alone, I’ve been there too. The first thing to do is remind yourself that this is a normal part of life, and that we all go through this at some point. 

The second thing to do is give yourself time to process what has happened so that you can move forward with your life in as healthy a manner as possible. These are some tips I’ve learned through my own experience with grief:

A Meditation on Grief and Injustice
Mindfulness can be a valuable tool for coping with grief and loss.
Practicing mindfulness can help individuals connect with their feelings and approach their grief with greater clarity and acceptance.
Mindfulness exercises such as deep breathing, body scans, visualization, and meditation can be helpful in managing grief.
Self-care is an important part of the grief recovery process and can be used in conjunction with mindfulness practices.
Mindfulness is not inherently religious or spiritual and can be practiced by people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Step 1. Be Friends With Your Feelings

One of the most important steps in practicing mindfulness is to be friends with your feelings. Feelings are not facts, they are just feelings. They come and go of their own accord, they can be helpful but also destructive.

If we learn to welcome our feelings without getting caught up in them or drowning out their messages with distractions like food, alcohol or other drugs we can begin to understand what they are really trying to tell us.

“Self-care is an essential part of the grief recovery process, helping individuals cope with the emotional and physical toll of loss. Learn more about the healing power of self-care in our article.” – “The Healing Power of Self-Care for Grief”

Step 2. Go Slow

You’re probably rushing around doing a million things at once and then wondering why you feel so overwhelmed and drained. 

This is a great time to slow down, take some time to breathe, think about what’s happening right now, and focus on the present moment. It’s also important that you be kind to yourself in these moments—we often have an inner voice that judges us when we experience pain or loss; this voice needs to be tamed during times like these. 

When we judge ourselves harshly for feeling sad or lonely, it can make our suffering worse because we start beating ourselves up instead of offering our own hearts some compassion and comfort through self-compassion (you can learn more about this here). 

Taking care of yourself may involve eating healthy food, getting enough sleep every night (especially if you are having trouble sleeping), exercising regularly, spending time with friends/family who make you feel loved/appreciated/supported…or any other activity that provides solace during difficult times!

When we compare ourselves with others who seem not as affected by their own loss experiences as we think they should be (whether they are dealing with different losses than us or no loss at all), it can lead to feelings of isolation because those around us aren’t experiencing the same emotions as we do—and sometimes even when they do share similar experiences in terms of loss(es), each person will respond differently based on his/her unique personality traits & coping style(s). 

So while comparisons might offer some insight into how someone else handles grief over time (like “I wonder why she doesn’t show much emotion when talking about her deceased mother?”), try not comparing yourself too much either! 

Instead focus on taking care of your own needs now so that after six months pass by without much change due financial obligations related back home where I live there’s still something concrete left behind besides memories.”

1Move at Your Own Pace: Increase your awareness of your mental and physical states after experiencing a loss. Slow down and take some time to notice how you’re feeling without trying to change it.
2Be kind to yourself: Allow yourself to experience your emotions without self-judgment. Remember that it is normal to feel grief and sadness after a loss.
3Practice Self-Care: Take care of yourself by doing things that help you relax, such as deep breathing, taking a warm bath, reading, or getting a massage.
4Spend time in nature: Spend time outside in nature, either by yourself or with someone you trust. Engaging with the natural environment can have a calming effect on the mind and help you to feel more connected to the world around you.

Step 3. Notice What’s Different

The next step is to notice. What do you feel in your body? What are you thinking about? How does your behavior change?

Your emotions will most likely be intense, but don’t get caught up in the drama of it all. Instead, pay attention to how much fear and anxiety have crept into your life since the loss. Are there things that used to bring joy that now bring sadness? Do certain places trigger painful memories now? These are all very normal reactions—and they can help us learn how best to navigate this new landscape we’re facing.

How has our relationship with others changed as well? Have we become more or less connected over time because of our loss? Are there people who seem like good companions during this process (or vice versa)? We may find ourselves connecting with some people more deeply than others—and for good reason: 

Those who are unsupportive or pushy about moving on from our grief won’t be able to help us through it by keeping them at arm’s length! On the other hand, those who offer a safe space for our pain and allow themselves be vulnerable with us in return will make all-important allies on our journey towards healing.

“Mindfulness can be a powerful tool for finding peace and solace in times of grief. Our article explores how mindfulness can help individuals connect with their feelings and approach their grief with greater clarity and acceptance.” – “Finding Peace and Solace Through Mindfulness”

Step 4. Get Curious

Mindfulness is a powerful tool for emotional regulation, but it’s also a great way to learn more about your feelings. When you’re curious about something (or someone), it means that you are inquiring into the object or person with no expectations. 

To be curious about feelings means that we approach them from an open perspective, free from preconceived notions of what they “should” be like. 

To get more specific: if I’m feeling hurt by something my friend did, then instead of telling myself “I shouldn’t feel this way,” I can ask myself questions like:

What does it feel like? What am I noticing in my body? How does it affect me? Is there anything else going on right now that could be contributing to how I’m feeling? What do other people think about this situation or how would they react if they were in my shoes?

1Ask yourself questions: Ask yourself questions about what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. What aspects of the loss are causing you the most pain? What are you avoiding feeling, and why?
2Challenge your beliefs: Challenge any beliefs you have about the loss, about yourself, and about the world. Are these beliefs helpful and accurate, or are they based on misconceptions or misunderstanding?
3Stay open to new experiences: Try to remain open to new experiences and opportunities, even if they feel scary or unfamiliar. Doing so can allow you to grow and develop in ways that you may not have anticipated.
4Reframe your thinking: Practice reframing your thinking from negative to positive. Instead of thinking about what you’ve lost, try to focus on what you still have or what you’ve gained.

Step 5. Have Perspective

When you’re grieving, it’s important to remember that this is not the end of the world. In fact, even though it may feel like it at times, most people who lose a loved one go on to live full lives after their loss and are able to find happiness again. 

When things get tough and you feel like giving up, remind yourself that there are many others out there who have gone through similar experiences and have found a way forward.

“Self-care plays a crucial role in grief recovery, helping individuals prioritize their own needs and well-being. Discover the importance of self-care in our article on the role of self-care in grief recovery.” – “The Role of Self-Care in Grief Recovery”

Step 6. Realize You Are Not Alone

Remembering that you are not alone can help alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness. Remember that many people have experienced the same things that you have, and many people will continue to experience similar losses in their own lives.

There is no time limit on grief; some people take longer to heal than others, but healing is possible with time and patience.

If this article resonates with you or someone you know, please share it!

Step 7. Look For Silver Linings

Look for the good. Sometimes, it’s easier said than done. If you’re struggling to find anything positive about your situation, remember that you can always try again tomorrow. 

You’ll likely have better luck when you’re feeling more energetic or have had a good night’s rest. Or perhaps the silver lining will come early on in the morning, when you’re fresh and ready to tackle the day ahead with renewed optimism and enthusiasm.

Sometimes it helps to ask other people what they think could be working out well in your life right now—this can give them an opportunity to help remind us of all that’s going well without our having to dig deep into our own minds for answers!

Step 8. Create Some Structure In Your Life

Once you have a firm understanding of what mindfulness is, it’s time to put it into action. The first step is to create some structure in your life. 

This can be as simple as doing the same thing every morning when you wake up, or going for a walk every evening before dinner. 

The goal here is to have something that helps you take control of your actions and focus on this present moment instead of worrying about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow.

If you’re feeling anxious about making changes right now, remember that we’re not asking you to do anything drastic–we just want to help get your brain back into its former state! 

Once we’ve accomplished this goal, then we can talk about building new habits that will lead up toward living a healthier lifestyle overall (and might even include meditation!). But first things first: let’s get away from painful thoughts by creating some structure within our lives!

“Mindfulness can provide a valuable tool for coping with grief and loss. Check out our article on mindfulness techniques to learn how you can use mindfulness to help manage your grief.” – “15 Mindfulness Techniques to Help You Cope with Grief”

Step 9. Remind Yourself Of What You’ve Learned From Past Challenges

The final step to putting the Mindfulness Process into practice is to remind yourself that you have already overcome many challenges in your life. 

This will help keep your mind more focused on the positive aspects of life, which can act as a buffer against negative emotions. 

You can use this process when going through a breakup, dealing with an illness or injury, getting fired from a job or any other difficulty in life that might cause depression or anxiety. 

It’s important not to look at these events negatively because they could help prepare us for future struggles and make us stronger in our ability to cope with them when they occur again later on down the road!

Step 10. Take Care Of Your Body And Your Mind, So You’re Better Prepared To Face Challenges In The Future

  • Take care of your body and your mind, so you’re better prepared to face challenges in the future.
  • Be mindful of what you eat, how you sleep and how much exercise you get every day.
  • Take time to do things that make you happy.
  • Try to be in a good mood as much as possible—not only does this help with stress management but it also makes it more likely that others will want to talk with or spend time with you (which can help lift your spirits).
  • Try to see the positive side of things as often as possible—it’ll take some practice!

“Finding purpose and meaning after a loss can be a difficult journey, but it is an important part of the grief recovery process. Learn more about how to overcome grief and find purpose in our article.” – “Overcoming Grief and Finding Purpose After a Loss”

Step 11. Just Breathe!

Breathing is the most important thing you can do when navigating your grief. It is the only thing that exists outside of your thoughts and feelings, and it will help to ground you in a very real way.

When breathing, focus on how it feels as air enters your nose and travels to the back of your throat. Then imagine that lungful of air heading down into your chest, filling up every corner until there’s no room left for more. 

Hold that breath for a moment before letting go slowly through pursed lips or by letting air escape through gaps between teeth—it’s not necessary (or advisable) to hold your breath while breathing out.

When doing this exercise, remember: breathe in slowly through the nose and let go slowly through pursed lips or by letting air escape between teeth; don’t hold your breath while breathing out!

Actions to TakeThings to Consider
Practice deep breathingDeep breathing can help reduce physical tension and calm the mind
Use calming scentsScents such as lavender or peppermint can help promote relaxation
Try progressive muscle relaxationTense and relax different muscle groups in your body, starting with your toes and moving up towards your head
Listen to calming musicMusic can help shift your mood and promote relaxation

Step 12. Be Grounded In The Present Moment

To be grounded in the present moment, you can use the following techniques:

Focus on your thoughts and feelings. Take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself what you are thinking about at that moment, and how you feel about that thought. 

This can be an effective way to help you shift from dwelling on past events or anticipating future ones to focusing on what is happening right now in your life and body. 

If a painful memory arises, try to take it one step further by asking yourself what has changed since that happened? What else have I experienced since then? Where else have I been able to find peace despite my grief?

Be mindful of your breath. Focusing on your breath is another great way to bring yourself into the present moment because it’s something most people do naturally throughout their day—even if they don’t realize it! 

By bringing awareness back into our bodies through this simple act of breathing deeply with intention, we remind ourselves over and over again that we are not just our thoughts or emotions; we also exist within our physical selves as well!


Learning how to be mindful will help you navigate the pain of loss and find contentment in your life. 

The first step is to become aware of your emotions, so that they no longer control you. Then, practice self-compassion and mindfulness by recognizing what you need in order to feel better. 

Finally, try meditation or another form of spiritual practice that focuses on the present moment or something positive.

Further Reading

If you found this article on using mindfulness to navigate the pain of loss helpful, you may be interested in these related resources:

3 Ways to Use Mindfulness During Your Grief: This article provides practical tips for incorporating mindfulness into your grief journey, including deep breathing and visualization techniques.

Mindfulness Strategies to Cope with Loss: This article offers a comprehensive overview of mindfulness and its potential benefits for those experiencing grief and loss. It also provides a range of mindfulness exercises to try.


What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment and observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judgment. It is often used as a tool to reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall well-being.

How can mindfulness help with grief?

Mindfulness can help individuals connect with their feelings, approach their grief with greater clarity and acceptance, and manage the physical and emotional symptoms of grief.

What are some mindfulness exercises to try during grief?

Mindfulness exercises that can be helpful during grief include deep breathing, body scans, visualization, and meditation. These exercises can help individuals be more present in the moment and reduce feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.

Can mindfulness be used in combination with other forms of therapy?

Yes, mindfulness can be used in conjunction with other forms of therapy, including talk therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. It is often used as a complementary tool to help individuals manage their emotions and improve their overall well-being.

Is mindfulness a religion or spiritual practice?

While mindfulness has roots in Buddhism, it is not inherently religious or spiritual. It can be practiced by people of all backgrounds and beliefs as a tool for reducing stress and improving overall well-being.