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PodcastMindfulness and Grief

Mindfulness and Grief

There’s been a tremendous amount of loss during the pandemic. Loss of loved ones and the way we live our lives. It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. The pandemic has taken a toll on us all, so remember to be gentle with yourself.

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(air whooshes) (mouse clicks) (uplifting music) Headspace Studios. (gentle somber music) Hi there. My name is Kessonga, and I welcome you this Friday to Radio Headspace. At the time of this episode, it's about October, November 2021. And in my humble opinion, there seems to be an undertone of sadness in the world. I spoke to my wife about it, who happens to be a brilliant psychologist and psychiatric nurse practitioner, and she agreed. She stated that the pandemic has a lot to do with it. I found this interesting because many places have reopened. So there's a lot of happiness being displayed, especially on social media, but I still felt like there's an underlying sadness that's also present. And then I realized what it was I was sensing. It was grief, which is the extended cousin of sadness, if you will. So grief can be defined as the response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or some living thing that has died. So surely because of this pandemic there has been a huge amount of loss in regards to people who have died around the world. So that in itself can be a factor to the underlying grief I've been aware of. But keeping in mind that, in this case, a loss can also pertain to the way of life that we have lost. And it's that worry or concern that's really key here because it's on everyone's mind when they go out. And even if you decide to stay in, then there may be some isolation that you're dealing with. So all of these concerns and worries under the umbrella of COVID has taken a toll on many people's mental wellbeing; anxiety, depression, isolation, guilt, they have all increased. So how does mindfulness help with grief? Well, I want to give a couple of helpful tips here. The first is to be totally gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to feel what you're feeling without any judgment. Many people may feel like they shouldn't be feeling such strong emotions, or they may try to be strong for others, negating their own feelings. This is all resistance, which can actually lead to increased suffering. Whatever you're feeling is perfectly okay. (gentle meditative music) So bringing this level of awareness to your experience may require you to take some time off, allowing yourself to do so. It's really so worth it. The next tip, which is related, is embracing the concept of patience, allowing this process to unfold in its own time. They say there are five phases of grief with the acronym DABDA, D-A-B-D-A: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Looking up these phases may be helpful for your journey, but just knowing that this may not be a linear path. You may hop from one phase to the other, back and forth, and that's perfectly okay. And also knowing that the grief may not ever completely disappear. My grandmother died over 20 years ago, and to this day,...


Duration6 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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