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A.I.R. Your Emotions: Navigating Grief with Acknowledgment, Identification, and Release

Written by: Line Fleming, LPC, M.A.
A.I.R. Your Emotions: Navigating Grief with Acknowledgment, Identification, and Release

Grief is what we experience when dealing with loss. Examples include loss of someone we love, loss of physical ability, or loss of a relationship. We grieve what is no longer there.

Grief is a process we must journey through in our own time. We can use Grief Skills to help process emotions.

One skill is A.I.R. of our emotions: Acknowledge, Identify, and Release.

Acknowledge what you are feeling. “I’m feeling sad.” “I’m feeling anxious.” Say this out loud or write it down. Acknowledging your feeling assists with slowing down and connecting with your emotions.

Identify the thought connected to the emotion. “I’m anxious because I heard a song and I thought about…” It’s ok to sit with these feelings and thoughts and experience them in the moment.

Once you’ve acknowledged the emotion and identified the thought, release them. Take deep breaths while clenching and opening your fists. This will help release the emotions and thoughts.

This Grief Skill may seem awkward, but will become more of a habit as you practice it. It will help process emotions and thoughts related to grief.