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5 Mantras to Heal from Grief

By Anna Caldwell

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults experience a mental illness and around 1 in 25 adults in America live with a serious mental illness. As a clinician at VOAIN's Behavioral Health Clinic, I lead group classes and provide therapy for many of these suffering people. They may have problems related to substance abuse, trauma, anxiety, and/or grief. The most prevalent issue I encounter among my clients is grief.

To heal and cope with grief, I suggest using "gratitudes." "Gratitudes" are statements that can change your perspective and bring awareness to the good things in life. It clears away the cobwebs of past and present grief, and gives a whole new perspective of the present day.

"Gratitudes" are statements that can change your perspective and bring awareness to the good things in life. It clears away the cobwebs of past and present grief, and gives a whole new perspective of the present day.

It also sets a tone of balance. If we stay in all negative things, there's nothing good to take away from anything and the grief and/or anxiety will never become bearable.

I personally say five gratitudes each day. Here are some examples of what they may be:

  1. I'm grateful to be alive.
  2. I'm grateful for my husband.
  3. I'm grateful for my children.
  4. I'm grateful that my shoes fit. (When I work with the homeless, often their shoes don't fit.)
  5. I'm grateful that I got through all these stoplights so I got to work on-time.

So sometimes they're basic; it doesn't have to be complex or deep. And sometimes it's helpful to turn negatives into positives. Let's say you're sopping wet and cold, you could say "I'm grateful that I have the rain." Or if something negative happens, you can be thankful for the good lesson that you will learn as a result.

Think of grief as an open wound in need of stitches. Think of the "gratitudes" as stitches. Through their application, they enable proper healing. The negative issues won't go away (they will scar), but focusing on the positive provides a way for healing.

It's all about healing from the past so that that you can move forward and have a life.

Learn more about Volunteers of America Indiana's Behavioral Health Clinic.