The Mind-Body Connection In Grief

Ashley Waite

For every thought and emotion, a correlating physical manifestation can occur within the body. Examples of this can be seen in anger and chronic states of stress. When someone is experiencing the emotion of anger, the physical manifestation can include an increased heart rate and rise in blood pressure. In cases of chronic stress, the immune system can become compromised and leave the bereaved more susceptible to illness.

In recent years, the interconnectedness between the mind and body has been elevated through the work of Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD in his highly-acclaimed book The Body Keeps Score and in the work of Peter Levine, Ph.D. through the concept of Somatic Experiencing.

As a result, adding planned movement into your schedule to help the body release emotion can be an important consideration for people experiencing grief. Two accessible ways to add movement into your daily life are by walking or jogging outdoors or using light weights or body weights to engage your muscles.

Whatever way you choose to move your body is up to you. It is important while grieving to keep a consistent routine to help your mind and body move forward in your personal grief journey.

If you are interested in learning more, we invite you to watch this older, yet comically relatable video from Dr. Deb Kern.

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