Love is an awesome and amazing thing. When you are in love, everything in the world seems brighter, better, happier and more pleasing. Being in love is one of the most wonderful things. Until it is over. Then you enter into to the gut-wrenching, paralyzing, and dark world of heart break, sadness, and depression.
When your relationship ends, you can find it very difficult to know what to do. Especially if you were not the one to end it (although this still can happen even if you were the one that ended things). You are left with so many questions, emotions, and a sense of feeling lost, alone and afraid.
I know you don’t want to stay in that feeling. No one really does. So how can you heal from your broken heart? There is no tried-and-true path to healing a broken heart, but there are things that are proven to help you during the journey. Here are 12 things you can do to help heal your broken heart.
1. Acknowledge and Grieve Your Loss
There is no time frame nor a set way to navigate through the grieving process. There is however specific research that acknowledges the different steps that the grieving process has within it. This is known as the 5 steps of Grief. You may experience these in any order and may spend a different amount of time in each of the stages. Acknowledge that you grieving and have experienced a loss of an intimate relationship.
Purposefully acknowledge the loss and what it means to you. What are the feelings, thoughts, and emotions you are having? Understand that there is no right or wrong way to feel, think or experience this loss. How you are feeling, thinking and experiencing this loss is just exactly how you are feeling, thinking and experiencing it. It is also perfectly normal to have mixed emotions. Everyone grieves differently, the point is to acknowledge it and allow yourself to grieve.
2. Grieve but Don’t Get Stuck
The heart break that happens after the end of a relationship can cause you to have intense emotions where you feel unable to do anything other than deal with the overwhelming and sometimes out of control feelings and emotions. This is call being in a high emotional state.
When you feel yourself starting to become overwhelmed by your emotions it is recommend that you allow yourself to sit with your emotions, letting them to flow freely, cry, scream, yell, journal, whatever it is that you do to let your emotions out do it. These emotions are there for a reason and giving yourself permission to release them helps you to move through your grieving process.
It is also important that as you release your emotions, you don’t get stuck in your emotions. Psychologists recommend that you allow your emotions to freely flow for no longer than 60 minutes. Then purposefully stop, take a deep breath, pick yourself up and move on to something that has nothing to do with your grieving. Doing this practice will allow you to grieve but doesn’t allow you to get stuck.
3. Don’t View the Break Up as A Failure
Although it hurts when relationships end, it is also an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. Take some time to acknowledge what your role in the relationship was. What did you contribute to the relationship and to the end of the relationship? What can do to improve your relationship skills moving forward?
It is helpful to examine the ways you may not have done things the best you could have, but don’t allow yourself to accept the false belief that you are the problem. Such self-destructive thoughts such as “I am not good enough” or “There is something wrong with me” will not move your forward.
Remind yourself that you were not the problem. The relationship itself, as it had been between you and your ex was the problem. Look at what those problems were and ways you contributed to the problems in order to learn and grow as you move on with your life.
4. Purposefully Engage in Self Care
Be patient with yourself. Healing is a process and everything that makes up the whole of you, your physical, mental emotional and spiritual sides all have to heal. Recognize that you are a human and there are areas you can improve on, and also appreciate all the positive things about yourself.
Engage in self-care in order to help you move into the healing stages. Take time to create a positive self-story that you can repeat to yourself as an affirmation when you are feeling down. Exercise and eat healthy in order to increase those positive feel-good hormones, and connect with your higher being so that you can remember that although you may feel alone and lonely, you are in fact part of something that is greater than just your grief.
5. Seek Out and Nurture Positive Relationships
Remember that you have other people in your life that you have positive relationships with. Make it a point to reach out those friends and family that provide you with support, love and acceptance as they can help you fill some of the emptiness that was left after your break up. They can provide you with a shoulder to cry on, an ear to be heard, and arms to comfort you.
The relationships you have with these people can provide you with a safe space to talk about your feelings, gain understanding, and encourage you to move forward with your life. They can cheer you up when you are feeling low, and they can cheer you on when you are doing well. These are the people that love you when you are feeling unlovable.
Remember that all relationships are two-way streets and as they comfort and support you, you must take care to remember that they are dealing with their own set of life circumstances. If you are not nurturing the relationships or recognizing their attempts to help and support you in your grief and recovery, they can start to feel as if they are not being effective. This can cause feelings of frustration and resentment to build which can lead to the loss of another relationship.
6. Recognize and Change Unhealthy Relationship Behaviors and Habits
Everyone has ways of being and acting when they are in a relationship. Some of these ways are healthy and some are not. When you are aware of your own ways of being and acting in a relationship, you can take time to change anything that may be unhealthy in order to improve your future relationships.
Learn about the different types of attachment styles and patterns of behavior in relationships that can positively and negatively affect relationships. It’s fairly easy to figure out which is your attachment style and which are your patterns of behaviors. Once you do, you can work on improving them.
7. Accept that No Relationship is Perfect
When a relationship ends, you may find it comforting to focus on either the positives in the relationship or the negatives in order to justify and feed your current thoughts and feelings about the relationship. However, thinking that your relationships was all perfect or that it was all awful is dismissing the full experience of the relationship. Doing this keeps you from honestly looking at the whole relationship and the roles both you and your ex played in it.
When you stay focused on just the good or just the bad you risk staying stuck in the past and unable to find the answers you need to help you heal. When you acknowledge both the good and the bad you will be more likely to learn what worked out well and what did not. You can then see the relationship for what it truly was and this will help to mend your heart.
8. Forgive Yourself and Your Ex
Carrying around hurt, anger, sadness and pain from past experiences is one of the most difficult things you can ever do. Refusing to let go of them keeps you from being able to heal and more on to a healthy and happy life. It keeps you stuck in depression, anxiety and fear due to the fact that you are constantly replaying events in your head and forcing your self to relive the experiences that hurt the most time and time again.
Thankfully, you have a choice to let go of these experiences and stop carrying around the weight of them. It is the choice you make to forgive. Forgiveness isn’t always easy and it can at times seem almost impossible. Yet, if you are willing to work to forgive both yourself and your ex it will free you from the suffering you are feeling. Forgiveness will help you more forward into a more happy and positive life bringing less baggage with you into any new relationship you may have.
9. Give Yourself Space
Distance your self from your ex and things that are most likely to reconnect you with your ex. Being in a relationship is very similar to addiction. When you are in a relationship with someone you love, your brain is being pumped full of feel-good hormones and your body loves it. When the relationship is over, your brain is no longer being feed these at the level it once was. Because of the decrease in these hormones feelings of withdrawal set in.
According to psychology, the average person takes 3-6 months to completely withdraw from the addiction
that is an ex. Each and every time to choose to connect with your ex it feeds this addiction just a tiny bit. Which then makes it take longer to recover and heal.
10. Reconnect with Your Authentic Self
When you get into a relationship, it is easy to take on aspects of your partner and let go of some of what makes you special. Now that the relationship is over, it is a good time to reconnect with your true authentic self. Take some time to remember who you are.
Remind yourself of your goals and dreams. Ask and answer questions about what you really want, need and expect from your own life. Return to exploring your old interests as well as finding new and exciting interests as well.
11. Don’t Rebound, but Be Open to New Relationships
As you work through your grief and heal your broken heart, there will be times where the loneliness can seem unbearable. It is during this time that you must trust that the pain will end. Don’t rush into a new relationship in order to fill the void. Become healed before moving on to the next relationship. This new person does not deserve to carry the weight of learning to love you while helping you to heal from loving someone else.
This does not mean that you should shy away from new relationships. When your broken heart has healed, you will know that not every relationship will work out and you will still be willing to take a chance that the next one will.
12. Know When to Seek Professional Help
Sometimes, no matter what you do the grief and loss can feel like its all too much to handle. When you are feeling so overwhelmed that you are having difficulty functioning and living your day-to-day life, know that it is time to seek professional help.
You have nothing to lose by seeking out professional help, but you do have a whole lot to gain by being helped to heal your broken heart.
Did you know that working with a life coach can help you move forward with your life after a broken heart?
Working with Coach Becka Drake can help you to:
Break free of unhealthy patterns of behavior
Overcome negative attachment styles
Release yourself from negativity that keeps you from fully experiencing love, intimacy and connection
Increase your confidence and self esteem so you can be open and ready for a new relationship
Learn skills needed to create and nurture healthy relationships
Request a free session and see if working with Coach Becka could be the key to the happy, healthy and long lasting relationship of your dreams.