How to Transform Grief Into Gratitude: A Chinese Medicine Approach

Holden QiGong
4 min readNov 29, 2022

Have you ever noticed that difficult experiences often lead to a heightened sense of gratitude and appreciation? It may seem strange, but grief and gratitude share a strong relationship within you. By understanding this relationship, you can channel the energy of grief in a constructive and healthy way.

In this blog, we explore the relationship between grief and gratitude through the lens of Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong. We also apply the principles of Qi Gong to help you transform grief into the positive qualities of gratitude and inspiration.

The Relationship Between Grief And Gratitude

In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, grief is a natural and healthy emotion that you feel when you have to let go of something that’s important to you. The death of a loved one or the ending of a relationship are two common experiences that can lead to profound grief. However, grief can also happen when you leave a home you love, change jobs, or aren’t able to continue doing an activity that you enjoy. Of course, the pain associated with grief may vary depending on the situation, but the principles of grief are still the same.

When you experience loss, it might be difficult to pay attention to anything else beyond the pain you’re feeling. However, as time passes, you might find that your feelings of grief start to transform into another powerful feeling: Gratitude.

One of grief’s powerful characteristics is its ability to remind you of all of the beauty in your life and helps you avoid taking things for granted. It can actually help you feel more grateful for all of the positive things in your life. The transformation of grief into gratitude can happen naturally over time. However, there are a few ways you can ‘magnify’ the transformation process within yourself.

How To Transform Grief Into Gratitude

There’s no way to fully avoid the pain of grief, but there is a way to channel your grief in a positive way. Here are a few tips from master Qi Gong teacher Lee Holden that can help you transform grief into gratitude.

When you lose someone or something important to you, allow yourself to reflect on their positive qualities. Think about the joy that the person or experience offered you. This may feel painful at times, but it can also deepen your appreciation in a powerful way. By allowing yourself to fully feel the pain of loss, you’re actually clearing the way to appreciation and gratitude.

Many people simply turn off the feeling of sadness. This is dangerous and is a self-imposed way of blocking Qi from flowing naturally. In contrast, by allowing yourself to feel the depths of your own despair and pain, you clear space for gratitude to take its place.

Throughout the grieving process, it’s important to remember that the transformation process takes time. It’s not something that you can expect immediately after losing something important to you. Therefore, try to remind yourself to be patient and find acceptance that the grieving process will be painful. After a while, this process can allow you to fully transform sadness into gratitude and joy. Think of this as old leaves falling to the ground becoming fertilizer for new flowers that bloom in spring.

Once sadness transforms into gratitude, it can become a source of inspiration for the future.

Using Grief And Gratitude As Sources Of Inspiration

When grief transforms into gratitude, it helps you become fully present with the abundance in the world around you. In turn, this can provide you with incredible inspiration for the future.

By fully appreciating what life has to offer, it becomes easier to push past limiting beliefs. When you do, you can follow your deepest desires with courage and clarity. Perhaps, this inspiration comes to life through embarking on a journey you’ve been holding yourself back from pursuing. Or, maybe it gives you the strength to make a significant life change that allows you to spend more time with the people you love. Regardless of what you’re inspired to pursue, grief can become a powerful source of inspiration.

One way to transform sadness into gratitude and inspiration is simply to hold space for the feelings that arise during your grieving process. Instead of ‘pushing’ challenging feelings aside, allow yourself to experience the sadness that flows through you. When you let the energy move through you freely, these transformations are the natural result.

Another way to transform grief into gratitude and inspiration is by practicing Qi Gong…

Transform Grief Into Gratitude Using Qi Gong Practices

Practicing Qi Gong opens up the energy channels in your body so emotions such as sadness can transform more quickly and in a healthy and natural way. Instead of feeling ‘stuck’ in your grief, you can face your feelings with strength so you can move through them with grace and flow.

Grief is connected to the season of Fall, which means that our on-demand Qi Gong for Fall Workshop is the perfect opportunity to learn Qi Gong practices that specifically focus on transforming grief into gratitude and inspiration. And because this is an on-demand workshop, you can enjoy the lessons from the comfort of your own home.

Discover how Qi Gong for Fall can help you process life’s experiences with strength and clarity.