How To Heal Grief and Despair

Sometimes when things feel upside down, we are struck with such a sense of despair and overwhelming grief, a sense of loss, an emptiness that can seem impossible to fill. Can we heal the grief? We walk through our days, numb, wondering when we will ever feel normal again. Whether it’s a personal loss, an illness, a national tragedy or just a generalized sense of impending doom, there are steps we can take to move us along on a path to healing.

Revitalizing Our Energy Systems

One of the simplest ways to help move grief through the body is by using the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). EFT, also known as “tapping”, is a superb healing technique which clears emotional  blockages in your body and thereby allows the body to experience peace and emotional freedom.

healing grief and despair


Basic EFT Tappingthymus tapping

> Take a couple of deep, relaxing breaths.

> Under eye tap: using your fingertips, tap gently under the eyes 7-10 times.

> Move down to just below collarbone (bilateral), tapping gently 7-10 times. Continue breathing deeply and calmly.

> Move down to thymus and repeat. The thymus is located behind the third rib, but any vibrations along the length of the upper sternum will stimulate it.

> Finally, move to area just below ribs (bilateral). Repeat.

> Do this for 15-20 seconds and continue to take regular slow breaths. Repeat up to 4 times daily.

Variations to Experiment With:

Add essential oils: I recommend a drop of Hope Essential Oil Blend or Trauma Life on the thymus before tapping. 

If you don’t have either of those on hand, use Sandalwood or one of your favorite opening, calming oils such as Lavender, Melissa, Frankincense or Clary Sage. The blend Grounding and Valor II are also are also superb to help refocus your energies on the future while settling your emotional state.*

Incorporate Affirmations or EFT Setup Statements

These can be very powerful and in some cases essential to effect a change in your mental and emotional state. Here are some statements that you can use, either silently or aloud, while performing your tapping:

Even though the world is full of chaos, I accept myself fully and recognize my value.

Though I grieve the loss of lives, I accept myself fully and can make room for peace and hope.

Although the heavy weight of grief and sadness lay over me like a blanket, this will pass and I will find joy again.

I give myself permission to grieve, and accept myself completely in this moment.

I feel backed into a corner, full of anger and pain, but I will find a way out.

This grief seems insurmountable, but I accept myself fully.

Alternative Tapping Method for Grief

Sometimes people find this alternative method more useful for dealing with feelings of despair. Feel free to replace the phrases used below with ones that resonate more with your own personal situation. Be sure, however, to include a phrase similar to “I love and fully accept myself” at the end.

First, tap the crown of your head gently with your fingertips: “I feel stuck in despair and loss, yet I love and fully accept myself.”

Second, tap the inner end of your eyebrow with your index fingers: “I cannot deal with the pain of ______________ right now, but I love and fully accept myself.”

Third, tap the outer edge of your eyes: “The sadness is overwhelming, yet I love and fully accept myself.”

Fourth, tap gently under your eyes: “Even though I felt panic, I love and fully accept myself.”

Fifth, tap gently under your nose: “The depth of my anger and fear scares me, but I love and fully accept myself.”

Sixth, tap under your mouth: “Even though I cannot change the past, I love and fully accept myself.”

Seventh, tap just under your collarbone, “I am feel numb and confused, yet I love and fully accept myself.”

Eighth, tap under arm pits (cross arms to reach): “I am anxious and don’t know how or when I will feel better, yet I love and fully accept myself.”

Ninth, return to crown of head: “I love and fully accept myself. I recognize the opportunities for happiness all around me.”

At the end of one round, evaluate how you feel, with 10 as terrible and 0 as wonderful. Repeat the tapping sequence until you REACH ZERO.

Grief and despair are complicated emotions. One moment you feel like you have a handle on things, and the next you are swept up in a wave of sadness. Be patient and loving with yourself. Give yourself time. Be in nature, get off your screens, stop reading the news (it will still be there when you return). Above all, be kind and forgiving to yourself.The following contain some affiliate links, which means I make a few cents if you click the link and buy the products. It do (1)

*To order Young Living Essential Oils, please consider joining as a wholesale member. Contact me for more information.

Post Author: Hillary

13 thoughts on “How To Heal Grief and Despair

    Francine Brown

    (June 17, 2016 - 8:19 pm)

    I went to a professional for this after being on the receiving end of a medication error from a medical facility. I felt very strange and had a hard time sharing like that and I would laugh a lot. I have a hard time showing and feeling emotion


    (June 17, 2016 - 8:36 pm)

    I know that was very traumatic for you, Francine. It takes a long time to heal from something like that. Hugs, Hillary

    Mohammad Makki

    (June 18, 2016 - 12:24 am)

    Not gonna lie, I thought this stuff was just some spiritual mumbo jumbo, but I decided to try it, since I’m currently despairing.

    I actually feel a lot better after trying EFT! Very impressive technique, it is. I have to thank you for bringing it to my attention. I didn’t try the other methods, but they look very effective. Great article!


      (June 18, 2016 - 12:32 am)

      Trust me, I started out as skeptical as they come. It has taken me a long time to recognize that this “spiritual mumbo jumbo”-LOL! – actually works. Really and truly. The body is more than just physical, period. I hope it helps you going forward.


    (June 18, 2016 - 3:45 am)

    Hi Hilary, I love this article and wish I had found it a couple of years ago when I lost my mum to cancer very suddenly. Since then I have suffered from chronic depression but I am going to give your technique a try and see if helps.
    Very interesting article!


      (June 19, 2016 - 3:32 am)

      Tracy-I am so sorry for your loss. I hope this method works for you, and I hope you also give essential oils a try. They have done wonders for me.


    (June 18, 2016 - 12:07 pm)

    I never even knew about this method for releasing grief. I don’t have sadness or feeling of grief and emptiness anymore, but I had gone through severe depression but I used LOA method to get myself free from the prison of negative emotions and it worked for me.


      (June 19, 2016 - 3:32 am)

      Krile–I am sorry to hear of your past depression. It is something I struggle with on a daily basis and I am always attuned to alternative methods that can help me. I will be posting more on this in the future.

    Josephine Crawford

    (June 18, 2016 - 12:49 pm)

    Hillary, I loved it. I work in a setting, where we have to constantly encourage the students because a lot of them are hurting. It affects their behavior and their grades. With your permission, I would like to copy and laminate the “Incorporate Affirmations or EFT Setup Statements,” for use in my library to encourage more students. Great article and nicely presented. All the best, and please continue to encourage us.


      (June 18, 2016 - 1:55 pm)

      Please do go ahead and use it in anyway you would like. It’s so important for children to learn how to believe in themselves and how to change their own moods.

    Kevin Deaney

    (June 18, 2016 - 5:31 pm)

    Hey Hilary I love this post. Over the last week with things that have been going on I have begun to question alot of things. I aim to add some of these ideas to my life as I seem to be struggling with some stuff. So many people seem to rely on medications to get past things, I actually believe they dont help at all. Thanks for this. I have bookmarked your site so I can come back and get more helpful ideas. Keep up the good work.


      (June 19, 2016 - 3:31 am)

      Kevin-thank you for visiting. I hope things turn around for you.

    Gino Zambelli

    (June 21, 2016 - 7:35 am)

    Hey Hillary, I recently losed my grandfather who i was very close with, and i was angry but over time you learn to just hold yourself. I found the alternative tapping method very interesting, i will definitely look more into it.

Comments are closed.