Not all relationships are meant to last, some are just meant to serve as lessons. The “wrong” ones are actually perfectly right for that time and place in our lives. They teach us how to recognize what we truly want and deserve when it arrives.
Yet as many of us know all too well, a break up is usually paired with heartbreak. It can feel like one of the most painful experiences we go through in life. During such a vulnerable time, it can be easy to slip into negative behavior and habits as a means to mend our broken heart. Though there is no single cure for moving through the pain of a break up, there are healthy actions that can help you remember and empower your wholeness. Feeling whole is not a feeling that any soulmate in the world can give you because it can only exist within you.
Here are some steps on how to deal with a breakup and support you in moving on faster:
According to Dr. John W. Denninger, director of research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, “Meditation trains the brain to achieve sustained focus, and to return to that focus when negative thinking, emotions, and physical sensations intrude.” Meditation can start by simply sitting with your eyes closed and taking a few deep breaths. Let all the memories of you and your former partner run through your mind and feel every emotion associated to each of them; good, bad, everything in between. Imagine that the negative feelings – the anger, the pain, the sadness – pass through your body with each breath and are being exhaled, out to the universe.
Letting these emotions move through you rather than stay buried inside of you will expedite the process of healing after a break up tremendously. Though it may feel painful in the moment to deal with them, it will be more painful to keep them buried because any small trigger will bring them up to the surface whether it’s a week later or a year later. A good example of this is music. If you have a song that reminds you of your former, listen to it over and over again intentionally and allow yourself to feel the emotions and memories that come up. Eventually, the neural pathways in your brain that are causing the sad emotions will become desensitized and you’ll no longer be triggered by the song.
2. Be Grateful
After you’ve released all the negative emotions, focus on your memories. Each memory, especially the difficult ones, have taught you a lesson. Even if the lessons are unclear at the moment, trust that they will be revealed (which may not happen until your next relationship). Like Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” Have gratitude for everything you experienced with this person. Surely, you’ve grown to know yourself better; like knowing what things are so important to you that you’re not willing to compromise for it. These revelations are often life-changing and life-defining. Be thankful for the lessons and notice how you’ve grown as an individual because of the experience.
Allow a feeling of trust for life to enter your body. Trust that for whoever you are meant to be with, the universe or whatever higher power you believe in, will conspire to make that happen. Accept that this relationship failed for the very reason that it was not what was meant for you long-term. Someone else that is much more suited is out there for you. The sooner you make yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially available to discover who that person will be, the sooner they may walk into your life.
Dwelling in the past is like keeping your eyes closed, you won’t know what’s ahead of you. Whatever the reasons were for this break up are also the reasons why this person was not right for you long-term, regardless of whomever did the breaking up. Feelings like “sacrifice”, “compromise” and “putting up with” certain things in a relationship are generally ticking time bombs for an inevitable ending. They are not usually sustainable for very long.
4. Open Up
Notice the open space in your body that’s ready to welcome in someone new and perfect for you. Now that you’re single again, you literally have infinite possibilities of a partner available to you! What an amazing gift. This open space manifests itself in the extra time, energy, and volition you suddenly have that you may have sacrificed before. To help you move forward from a break up faster, fill this space up with things that elicit feelings of happiness and unconditional love (doing hobbies you love, volunteer work, spending time with family/friends, etc.). Taking this approach will help your body release the feel good hormones like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin that can support your brain in dismantling the neural pathways that are making you feel not-so-good.
5. Laugh Your Face Off
Similar to the hormones released when doing things that make you happy, laughter provides your body with a healthy dose of endorphins while simultaneously lowering cortisol and epinephrine (stress hormones). Watching a funny movie or stand up comedy is one of the best remedies for giving yourself an emotional and energy boost when your feeling down.