Breaking up is hard to do – there’s no way around it. Your life as you knew it doesn’t exist anymore, and it feels like a part of you is missing. Sometimes you feel like you’ll never be happy again, and no amount of logic or friends’ advice seems to be able to change your mind on this. We’ve all been through it, and we’ll probably all go through it again at some point, so why do so many of us become our own worst enemy by prolonging the pain in place of healing? It doesn’t have to be this way!
Tips on getting over a Break-up (without losing your mind)
1. Realize, first and foremost, that NO OTHER PERSON is responsible for YOUR happiness. Sit with this thought for a moment and digest it. It’s simple but it rings true – we can only be responsible for our own actions/reactions, thoughts, and emotions. Your choices in life are just that – YOUR choices. To project blame or resentment onto another person is a cop-out and a waste of energy. Take all the energy you’re focusing on this other person, and put it back into yourself. It’s the only way to grow past this situation.
2. Avoid all contact with your ex, and get rid of all reminders of them (if only until you heal). Believing that you can “still be friends” while you are breaking up is a myth. Sometimes breakups happen in stages because the shock of separation is too great to deal with all at once. It’s EXTREMELY common to think that you “need” some kind of contact, but it’s only because you’re so used to it – it’s like an addiction. This will only prolong and postpone your pain. The sooner you are on your own mentally, physically and emotionally, the sooner you will begin to heal – and that’s ultimately what you want, even if your emotions tell you differently.
3. Use mindfulness and staying in the present to break your thought patterns. After a break-up, the mind tends to run around in incessant circles. What did I do wrong? How could they do this to me? What could I have done differently? Remember that time…? And on, and on, and on. If you feed into this vicious thought cycle, not only will it not go away, but it will get worse! Start to note when you’re having these thoughts. Try not to get carried away by them, and stay in the present moment. Acknowledge what you’re thinking and feeling, and by doing this it will be easier to recognize the thought patterns as just that, and let them go.
4. Stay busy and don’t get paralyzed by grief. Reach out to friends and family and let them know how you’re feeling. Sometimes the tendency is to cut yourself off and wallow in self-pity – this is NOT the answer – you need diversions and distractions to help you stay focused on the present and stop reliving the past, which you can’t change anyway. By doing things for yourself and with other people, you will learn to be without your ex, and build up your own identity again.
5. Look within. This breakup is happening to teach you something about yourself, (and it’s not what a bad person you are), and to help you grow. Most of the time when a breakup feels unbearable, it’s a sign that you were looking to the other person for your identity. You felt “complete” with them and you felt better about yourself in this relationship because you don’t possess a healthy self-worth. When you feel like you’re nothing after a break-up, it’s because your self-esteem is not what it should be. You are no good to yourself or anyone else unless you are able to love yourself on your own. Use this breakup as a catalyst for a better you and the happiness that you deserve to have and share.