I am most definitely not one of those lucky souls and have been through my own fair share of heartache. Feel assured that you are not alone and others have felt heartbreak just as you have/are. Heartbreak truly and utterly sucks. I am one to try to find the positive side of anything but, while a breakup itself may have some pluses, the pain from a broke heart is, in my opinion, one of the most needlessly painful experiences one can go through. But we can learn to cope, and sometimes in life that is the only thing you CAN do.
So, with a positive tune to song us through, let’s discuss a few ways of getting over a breakup as gently as possible.
1. Try not to fight
I know emotions can run high and the distress of the situation can take your mind on a little joyride of pain and fury, but try to avoid heated arguments and burning of bridges.
Most likely both you and the other person involved will both be hurting, so try not to pour any more salt into your wounds by dragging things out unnecessarily.
Of course, if the other has said or done something wrong, you have the right to your feelings, but try to let your emotions out in a healthy and constructive manner. No screaming, smashing things or violence. Try to keep your emotions healthy and don’t cause more problems that will make moving on any harder (it’ll take you a lot longer to move on from a breakup if you are feeling guilty for acting out of line or in the clink for GBH)
2. Give yourself space
Maybe you and your ex want to be friends. Perhaps your friends want to take you out to drink the problems away. Maybe you want to try to convince your ex’s friends to change their mind.
For now, leave all of that.
A breakup is stressful, it’s traumatic and you need time to cool of and steady yourself. Don’t keep reopening the wound by continuing to hang out with your ex right away. Don’t let your friends try to kind a quick fix cure for your upset. Don’t try to fix a situation you aren’t in the right state to fix.
Take a step back, take a look at yourself and focus on what you need. Maybe you need a nice massage or a trip to the gym to burn off some of that stress. Maybe you need to remember what YOU need and put yourself first for a while.
Food, water, sleep and health are a good few areas to focus on. Are you eating right (and enough)? Are you drinking good clean water? Are you sleeping right? Are you investing enough time and attention to your health and fitness?
Focusing on yourself will help you to clear your mind of relationship worries and get you focusing on the proactive and brilliant YOU who has been out of your own spotlight for too long. Take time, treat yourself right and don’t let the greif and frustration drive you into trouble.
3. Safety First
When your mind is in ‘crisis mode’ from the shock of a breakup it isn’t functioning right. You can lose track of what is sensible and what isn’t, it is times like this where you have to behave with extreme caution. The smartest person may still be tempted to the path of self-destruction that comes with this state.
“I just want to go out, get drunk and forget it all.”
“Maybe if I wreck myself, they will see how bad I am without them.”
“I want the world to see how much I hurt by hurting myself.”
“I don’t want my life anymore. Nothing matters anymore.”
Do any of these sound familiar? These are very common thoughts for people to be thinking when they are in a tempest of the heart. Your conscious mind needs to take over and be the sensible one in this time because your unconscious mind could be running on low power while you recover.
Things to avoid:
Excessive drinking: You are not dependent on alcohol, it will not help you or solve your problems. Do not use it as a solace for your emotions or a balm for the reality. It will only damage you and give you further problems (alcoholism, substance dependence and health problems) to deal with.
Drugs: Never a good idea anyway, drugs will only make things worse. Often drug takers get into them because they are looking for something to stop the pain, but it doesn’t work. I have known people who have taken drugs to try and comfort themselves and it only makes it harder.
Sleeping around: I know it seems like the perfect payback or a good way to move on from your problems, but sleeping around and ONSs are not the answer you are looking for. It can hurt you, the people you sleep with and also puts you in the firing line of a lot of risks (unwanted pregnancy, STDs, etc).
Travel: When going through a breakup, I would not recommend going on vacation or to a foreign place until you have fully recovered. It might seem like a great idea that will clear your head and help you solve all your problems, but life doesn’t always work like ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and home may be the safest place to be. When you are travelling while distressed things can go awry very easily as you are in a vulnerable state of mind and prone to making ill-advised choices. If you do HAVE TO travel during this difficult time, pay great attention to yourself. the choices you are making and your own personal safety (and DEFINITELY avoid drinking, drugs and sleeping around!!)
I was going to add this to the list of things to avoid, but I thought it needed it’s own paragraph to discuss it. Now rebounds are a very common “move” for people trying to get over a breakup, but what they don’t realise is that a new relationship does not erase a previous relationship. That pain will still be there, and it could carry forward into future relationships if not properly handled.
A rebound relationship is kind of like using a person – a living, breathing individual – as a drug to try and numb the pain from a relationship that you cared about. It doesn’t feel good to be a rebound and it won’t help either of you later.
I would recommend again rebounds as it could just drag out your pain and save it for later.
5. Avoid self-torture
I know you may want to listen to all of “your songs”, go all the places you went together, look at all the photos and read all the records of the great times you had together and wonder where it all went wrong, but that doesn’t matter.
Life is constantly changing and you are on your own path in this life. People may come into your life that you think will be there forever but, somewhere along the way, they fall back. That is okay. I know it seems like a really cruel sucky reality, but once you accept it, things get a lot better.
6. Be happy
The Dalai Lama says that happiness is not just experiencing the emotion of happiness, but carrying a happy attitude to life. He says that you can feel happiness at any time in your life, even if your emotion is anger or sadness. It does sound a bit hokey and “herbal”, but it does truly work.
Try to take all of the events life drops you in a just go with them as best you can. If you cannot change it, make it work.
Perhaps the end of this relationship is just the beginning of something great happening? Maybe it is making way for something even greater to come into your life. I’m not saying that there is something controlling your life that thought “Hmm, I want to give them this, but I’ll have to make some room. I’ll just take away their relationship.” But you can take every situation and try to MAKE it something positive by your own hand.
What if you could take this pain and suffering you are feeling and harness it into something powerful? You could do so much with that strength!
So many great and inspiring people grew to what they are because they refused to be held back by their suffering, their “story”. Look at the people with terminal illnesses who still look upon their lives with joy and gratitude – Now THAT is strength!
With the loss of this relationship, what are you going to to to make sure that you turn this “Plot twist” into an advantage?
7. Stay Active
Don’t disappear off the face of the Earth. Take the time you need, but don’t abandon your life. Avoid making big “I am going offline from life because I am miserable” posts on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Perhaps those cute cat pictures or motivational quotes someone shares might help you to see that the world isn’t such an awful place.
Remain active in your community. Maybe join a voluntary scheme to help people in need. Very little in life helps you get perspective and feel better more than helping people, and there is a lot of good you can do.
8. Keep Perspective
You are a human being among 7 billion other human being, living on a big rock spinning around a big ball of burning gas. Of all the species of creatures, we are lucky to have a consciousness and the capability to think, to speak, to make art, to laugh, cry, enjoy things, make plans, explore and care. We are all very lucky to be here and we can all do extraordinary things.
You are a person and I am sure that you have great talents inside of you and out of the 7 billion people in the world, I know that you will find your perfect match when the time is right.
9. Allow time to do its thing
In time you will grow to feel better. The memory of the relationship won’t fade, the break-up won’t fade, but the pain will. You will learn to move on and learn not to think about it every minute or every time you see their face or hear their name.
You must remember that while this pain hurts now, it is just a path to recovery and you won’t feel this forever. You will grow, you will move on and you will be happy again if you just allow yourself to heal. Let go of regret, let go of the things you should have said or wish you had done and just let it become a chapter of your life that has has its ending written and you will remember, and maybe even treasure, for years to come. Try not to resist the scar of time that will close up this part of your life. You can move on and find even greater happiness if you truly accept the past and allow it to rest. Don’t rewrite it or keep trying to take things back to then. Even if you got back together with your ex and live the rest of your lives happily together, that’s a completely different chapter you are sharing. Whatever your future holds, let it come and let the past go and open your arms, and your heart, to accept the gift of the present.
I really hope this piece has been helpful to you and, if you are going through a breakup, I sincerely hope that I have managed to help you in some way to feeling better. Just remember that you are lovely, you are good and you are going to be okay and Learn With Amy, and all of your friends and family are there for you.