Grief Its Effects on Your Health and How to Release

 August 3, 2023

By  Juli Kramer

Grief is a natural and complex emotional response to loss. It comes from the intense sorrow and deep distress that individuals experience when they face significant changes or losses in their lives.

Reading Time: 6 minutes

While people often associate grief with the death of a loved one, other types of losses can also trigger it, such as the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, a major life transition, or even the loss of a cherished dream.

The experience of grief can manifest in various ways, and individuals may go through a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, guilt, confusion, and even numbness. These emotions can feel overwhelming and may fluctuate over time.

The grieving process does not move in a linear fashion.

It can involve periods of intense feelings followed by moments of relative calm.

Grief and Its Effects on Your Health

Grief can also have physical, cognitive, and behavioral effects on a person. Physical symptoms may include fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, and a general sense of feeling unwell.

Cognitive symptoms can involve difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, or a sense of disbelief. Behavioral changes might include withdrawal from social activities, changes in routine, or seeking ways to cope. Coping methods include both positive and negative aspects.

According to Chinese medicine, grief affects your health by injuring the lungs.


The lungs govern the emotions dealing with the present. The Lungs store the negative emotions of grief, sorrow, sadness, anxiety, shame, guilt, and disappointment.

These emotions and mental states affect the flow of Qi in the channels, as well as the patient's breath, skin, large intestine, mucous membranes, the metabolism of the body fluids, body hair, smell, and the emotions.

Grief as a Natural Process

Understanding that grief emerges as a natural response to loss helps normalize the experience. It is a healthy part of the healing process. It allows individuals to process their emotions, adjust to the changes, and eventually find ways to adapt to their new reality.

While the pain of grief may never fully disappear, over time, most people learn to live with their loss and find meaning in their memories and experiences.

Grief is different for each person

Since grief has deeply personal forms of expression, the way individuals grieve can vary widely. Different cultures and belief systems also have unique ways of dealing with grief, as well as honoring those who have passed away.

Respect and support individuals as they navigate their grief journey and offer them the space to express their feelings and emotions in their own way.

Breathing Techniques

Release Grief to Receive Peace

Releasing grief is an essential part of the healing process after experiencing loss or emotional pain. Grief is a natural reaction to significant changes or losses in life, such as the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or other major life transitions.

Asian medicine methods to release grief

From a Chinese medicine perspective, if people do not allow themselves to express grief, then grief transforms into despair. If they do not alleviate their despair, then indifference develops. They grow withdrawn, apathetic and exhibit either antisocial, or obsessive/compulsive thinking and behavior.

Furthermore, this indifference closes the spirit, or essence of life.  

As a result, they tend to sabotage their own healing potential. Contemplations and qigong that focus on reclaiming the spirit’s essence can help these people reconnect with their disassociated emotions. This allows them to feel and regain contact with their true feelings.

Pleasant emotions bring about a calm and relaxing physiology, while strong, chronic negative emotions cause Qi and Blood stagnation, as well as Excess conditions within the patient's body, effecting the quality of the body's life force energy.


Changing your home environment

Additionally, feng shui in the home can help people clear grief energy and open them to life once again.

Jessie Kim, Ms. Feng Shui, provides insights into how feng shui can help release an environment of grief. Whether from the death of a loved one, loss of a job, the end of a relationship, estrangement from a loved one, etc., feng shui principles can cleanse and clear grief and open up the heart for life.

Feng Shui Grief Loss

Qigong, medical qigong meditations, reiki, yoga, and yoga mudras all have time-tested methods that help you release grief, loss, and sorrow.

Western Methods to Release Grief

In addition to these Chinese medicine methods, you can try some steps that have helped people release and cope with grief:

1. Allow yourself to feel: Acknowledge and accept your emotions, including sadness, anger, guilt, or confusion. Don't suppress or deny your feelings; it's okay to experience them.

2. Seek support: Talk to friends, family members, or a support group about your feelings. Sharing your emotions with others who have experienced similar losses can be therapeutic.

3. Take care of yourself: Focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ensure you're getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and avoiding harmful coping mechanisms like excessive alcohol or substance use.

4. Express yourself creatively: Engage in activities that help you express your emotions, such as writing in a journal, creating art, or playing music. These outlets can provide a sense of relief and allow you to process your feelings in a safe way.

5. Seek professional help: If you find that your grief is overwhelming and interfering with your daily life, consider speaking with a therapist or counselor who specializes in grief and loss. They can provide guidance and support throughout the healing process.

6. Give yourself time: Grieving is a process that takes time, and there's no set timeline for healing. Be patient with yourself and avoid putting pressure on yourself to "get over it" quickly.

7. Create rituals or memorials: Honoring the memory of the person or thing you lost can be healing. You could create a memorial, light a candle, or participate in a tradition that holds significance for you.

8. Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help you stay present, reduce stress, and find inner peace during difficult times. You can enjoy Marielle Smith's guided contemplation on The Journey We Walk with Grief.

Contemplation Journey we walk grief and loss

Each person's journey with grief and loss varies. Radiant Shenti teachers have made using many the tools mentioned above easier with our 12-Day Reset and Ignite Challenge. The videos include qigong, yoga, yoga mudras, contemplation, Reiki, and feng shui recommendations. You can revisit the lessons that resonate with you as often as needed. 

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Juli Kramer

Dr. Juli Kramer is a certified qigong instructor. She also holds a diploma in Chinese Medicine Nutritional Therapy and multiple certificates in Chinese medicine. As a qigong and meditation teacher, Dr. Kramer understands the important role movement and meditation have on developing a healthy body and mind. Juli also has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Counseling Psychology.

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