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To Really Overcome Grief, You Have to Experience These 5 Stages

To Really Overcome Grief, You Have to Experience These 5 Stages

There are 5 cycles or stages one usually processes through their emotions [1] when dealing with this horrible issue. Learning to overcome the grief cycle can be a daunting task. Grief sets in and takes places sometimes as a result of a death of a loved one or a super stressing situation you feel like you have failed in are two major factors that may cause grief to occur. We all need to learn about self forgiveness and how to keep our emotions in check when going through this type of trauma.

Grief usually does not kill like cancer [2] or disease but sometimes one takes drastic measures while trying to live a normal life in the cycle of grieving. Overwhelming feelings, denial, helplesness withdrawing from others, acute depression and anxiety usually appear with grief. Adapting to grief has 5 stages.

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Grief Cycle Takes 5 Steps

1. Denial and Isolation: “This really isn’t happening, this can’t be happening”

Denial and Isolation [3] happens when one first learns of an end of life illness, loss, or death of someone close to you is to deny the situation. They often go into a mold of “This really isn’t happening, this can’t be happening,” they often tell themselves. However, it’s a reaction from our minds to control overwhelming feelings. This is a defense mechanism that buffers sudden shock one faces. We block out the truth and try to hide the facts. This is called a rapid response that pulls us through the first stages of pain.

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2. Anger: “Why? Tell me why!”

Second stage is hiding the effects of denying the situation and the isolation sets in [4] , reality and pain soon takes hold to one’s emotions. The intense emotion makes us very vulnerable and redirected instead as anger. The anger may be turned toward objects, strangers, friends or family. Anger also may be directed toward the death of a loved one. Emotionally it is not uncommon that one may resent the person that’s left us or leaving us with the pain. We feel guilty for emotions of anger which only elevates the anger.

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3. Helplessness and Vulnerability:  “If I’d only done this or that, things would have been different…”

Third stage of grief is feelings of helplessness and vulnerability [5] is often a sign we need to regain control over a situation. Some thoughts that we think in this stage are “If I’d only done this or that, things would have been different. Most people try and come up with answers for grief in thinking they should have gotten more help or tried something different or perhaps a second opioions. Some also tries to make a deal with God or high powers as an attempt to post-pone death, pain or suffering, known as a defense mechanism to cope.

4. Depression: “Nothing would help…”

Sadness and regret follow, causing bouts of depression. We worry about end of life expenses, what are we going to do and so many more thoughts of things that we need to do or how other’s depends on us that puts a mental strain on our lives. Depression can be helped [6] with many medications and also a good cognitive behavioral therapy. Family and support are also big contributors in helping depression from a grief cycle.

5. Acceptance: “It’ll never be the same again, but I’ve grown stronger too”

The last cycle in grief is acceptance to the situation. This stage of mourning is a rare commodity not given to everyone. With a sudden death or an unexpected one, we may never recooperate from the anger and denial. Some think they must be strong and igore these feelings but recovery one must accept the situation for what it is. This cycle is feelings of withdrawal and calmness. This is not when happiness returns, more-over a recovery cycle to trauma from a grief-filled situation.

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Reference

[1]PsychCentral: The 5 Stages of Grief & Loss
[2]MayoClinic: What Is Grief?
[3]WahiawaUnitedMethodistChurch: Death and Dying for The Terminal Patient
[4]GriefHealing: Loneliness and Solitude in Grief
[5]Women’sThreapyServices: Helplessness in Grief and Loss, Death and Dying
[6]TNNursery: Dealing With Depression During Grief

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Tammy Sons

Master Gardener, Horticulurist, Arborist

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Published on November 28, 2018

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

The woman in yoga pants sitting in a lotus position atop a rocky cliff, overlooking a valley draped in fog — this is the glamorized version of meditation you’ll come across as you search. Yet if you’re seeking meditation to calm your mind, a fantastic setting with no distractions is rarely available.

So how to do meditation?

The truth about meditation is it’s an everyday practice for anybody. You could be a mountain climber or you could be an accountant — either way, your home is just as good a place for meditation as any.

Are you seeking to corral your racing thoughts and relieve a sense of unease, awkwardness, or uncertainty? Look to home meditation to cultivate a laid-back, creative, confident, and organized frame of mind. According to extensive scientific research, meditation relieves stress and anxiety, decreases blood pressure, improves sleep, and improves your ability to pay attention. [1]

From start to finish, this article will give you quick, easy steps to follow so that you can meditate at home regularly. You’ll begin by assessing, identifying and altering things that need to change in your home environment. You’ll end by understanding the basics of meditation so that you can let yourself do what you already know how to do deep down in the hidden reality of your mind.

You’re ready to let your mind be, and just be, in your own home — let’s begin.

1. Find the Right Space in Your Home

Where is your right space for meditation at home? Is it in your basement, your bedroom, your living room, or your study?

The right space will be one with the least distractions built in to its purpose. In that case, it may be your bedroom. If you’ve set up your bedroom to be a place for sleep and only sleep, it will lend itself well to meditation.

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The right space will also be a reasonably spacious one. Although comfort is not your goal, you need room to sit. Choose a space that is private, spacious, and quiet. If you don’t have a space in your home like this, create one. Free it from clutter and get it ready for you to meditate there any time.

Ultimately, your right space is one you feel comfortable meditating in, the space you can enter with no other expectations.

2. Improve the Feng Shui in Your Home and Meditation Space

Feng shui means “wind and water.” It’s the ancient Chinese art of placement.[2]

Feng shui improves harmony with nature. Adherents to the principles of feng shui believe all things have energy (chi). The focus of feng shui is to send negative chi (sha) out of the space and attract positive chi (yun).

Here’s the truth about feng shui: it’s not complicated or hard. The following will influence feng shui positively in your home and meditation space:

  • Living things, such as plants
  • Beautiful objects, such as sculptures or even a well-polished piece of driftwood
  • Mirrors in symmetrical placement with the lines in a room
  • Mellifluous sounds, such as trickling water or wind chimes
  • Furniture away from walls
  • A centerpiece, such as a small table with books or an ornate lamp on it
  • Incense or something else that smells good
  • A lack of clutter and an attention to organization that emphasizes the usefulness, purpose, and essential being of each item in your house

Given that feng shui is connected to Taoism and Buddhism, it will complement the meditative atmosphere you want to cultivate in your home.

3. Eliminate Pervasive Distractions That Can Harm Your Wellbeing

In part, meditation is about accepting the existence of distractions. When you meditate, you don’t judge and assign a positive or a negative value to distractions — the ticking of a clock, an itch, the barking of a dog — you let them occur and let them dissipate like waves.

However, in the same way that feng shui removes objects that attract negative chi, there are certain types of distractions that don’t belong in your meditative space. You must remove them.

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In a survey of 1,700 people who visited social media sites at least 30 times per week, 30 percent reported high levels of sleep disturbance and 25 percent presented symptoms of depression. [3]

Those individuals who experience sleep disturbances or mental health issues due to social media are not setting boundaries between themselves and their connected devices.

Part of learning how to meditate at home is learning how and when to set boundaries between yourself and your connected devices and social media accounts. If you need your phone for a timed meditation practice, but you normally receive social media notifications on your phone, set it on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode during your meditation time.

4. Flow into Meditation Through Time

Next, set aside a time for meditation each day. It’s right to be structured and disciplined about your meditation time.

Buddhist monks whose lives revolve around meditation are very structured and organized with their tasks each day. Structure provides the balance your being needs. Once you are meditating, your mind has no need for time. Outside of your given meditation time, you are completing tasks essential to the wellbeing of yourself and your home.

Consider meditating as the sun rises. This is a quiet and contemplative time of the day when it is natural to set your day’s balance through meditation.

5. Recognize the Rightness of Doing Nothing

At home, you’re probably used to always doing something. When you do meditation at home, you are being, which is doing something and nothing simultaneously.

Maryville University points out that successful people unplug by doing nothing. [4] Not only this, but they set the right expectations for the time during which they will do nothing.

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We oftentimes look forward to the future by expecting something to happen and by expecting something of ourselves. To meditate from home, look to that time and that space by expecting nothing. You will not do any chores. You will not catch up on work. You will do nothing but meditate for a certain amount of time each day.

This might sound crazy, but in taking on meditation from home, you’re not expecting yourself to improve and become a better person. As Ram Dass put it, you are expecting yourself to be here now.

6. Choose from the Incredible Variety of Meditative Practices

As I outlined in my post on types of meditation, there are many different and not-so-different types of meditation from which to choose.

Many beginners find it right to choose guided meditation, for which there are apps, videos, and audio tapes available.

If you are not necessarily a beginner but are merely moving your meditative practice into the home, you can facilitate a practice such as Nada Yoga — sound meditation — by placing a fountain in your space or listening to ambient alpha wave music.

If you’re used to meditating outside of your home — perhaps you are drawn to the outdoors because of the sounds of nature — a practice like Nada Yoga can help you transition into your home space.

7. Understand You Can Meditate Any Time at Home

What if I told you to throw out all of the tips that came before this? Sounds crazy but that is how radical mindfulness meditation really is. We don’t think of it as radical because it is now ingrained in our popular discourse.

Mindfulness meditation does start as a sitting meditation practice. It goes like this:

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  1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
  2. Focus on breathing. Inhale through your nose slowly and exhale slowly.
  3. As distracting thoughts arise, don’t judge them and don’t hang onto them. Let each thought go as you focus on breathing.
  4. Treat all physical sensations and feelings in the same way you do thoughts: register them, then let them go, returning to breathing.
  5. Extend this practice to everyday activity, remaining “in the moment” of the body’s activity with each new breath.

As you practice mindfulness around your home, note the physical characteristics of the things in themselves. Note physical sensations: sounds, smells, textures, appearances, tastes. Stop now and then and do a body scan from head to toe, noting what each section is doing and how it’s feeling.

Note thoughts that come and the emotions attached to them: let them go. Concentrate on the breath and the physical activities — including the details of the objects with which you’re interacting.

You’ll notice that your home will lend itself to a meditative state when things are in order. This is where true feng shui originates. You will naturally sense how the arrangement of things affects the energy in a room.

Clutter will disappear because mindfulness tells you to dispose of unnecessary things. Plants will bloom. Birds will make their nests in your backyard. Your home will smell pleasing and people will naturally be attracted to it and your presence.

You’ve Reached the Beginning and the End

Once you are able to do mindfulness meditation even as you are attending to the normal and abnormal requirements of your home, the mundane and the unusual, you are at both the beginning and the end.

You are at the beginning because meditation never ends. Continue setting aside time each day to do sitting meditation in the space you’ve set aside. Continue practicing mindfulness as you attend to the energy of your house, your own energy, and the energy of those around you.

You are at the end because you grasped what it means to do meditation at home: it means letting go of cares and concerns and being in your home as you attend to the right tasks. The right tasks are those necessary for being in your home.

As you sit in your home, rise, open the door and you leave, you are calm in your mind because you are home.

Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Healthline: 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
[2]Marquette University: Feng Shui: The Wind and Water
[3]Rutgers University: Social Media and Well-Being
[4]Maryville University: How Successful People Unplug

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