How to deal with breakups?

Dear Stress, Let's Break Up!

Anyone who has been in a relationship knows that breakups are the hardest and difficult to deal with. It does not matter if you have been together for a few weeks, months or years, it is extremely difficult to let go of the person who has been a significant part of your life but it isalso important for your mental and emotional well-being to do so. The immediate period following the break up is the hardest, but you can get through it in time. Here are some ways that will make surviving a break up a little easier for you:

Give yourself time to get over your ex

Don’t rush through the process. Give yourself ample time and space to heal. Mourn, brood, lash out or cry your heart out if you feel like. It is important to remember that everyone deals with it differently. So, do not judge, beat yourself up or feel guilty for feeling a certain way. Realise that it is alright to feel sad, angry or guilty. Embrace your feelings completely and allow yourself to feel whatever you feel without holding back. Do whatever you need to in order to feel better because there is no ‘right’ way to deal with a break up.

Get rid of the things that remind you of your ex

Just get rid ofall the material things which reminds you of your ex. pack everything up in a box and get it out from your view. If you find it difficult to do so, ask a friend or a close confidant to help you with it. Clear up your space and make way for new wonderful things and experiences to come into your life.

Eat healthy

Not eating healthy can add to your distress which is already there. It can take a toll on your mood, disrupt your sleep, lower your energy levels, and weaken your immune system. Having a wholesome diet, on the other hand, can give you more energy, improve your sleep and mood, and help you look and feel great.

Workout

Working out is the easiest and fastest way to make you feel better. Exercising regularly makes you feel good because when you are physically active your brain releases feel good hormones such as, endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. These hormones make you feel exhilarated, happy and also alleviates stress. Apart from the psychological aspects, regular work out will also help you stay physically fit which is a great confidence booster and allows you to stay productive and engage in activities you enjoy.

Spend time in nature

Spending time outdoors not only feels great but it is also good for your mental and emotional health. Studies show that when you start spending more time in nature and switch off from technology, it leads to a decreased stress as your brain produces lower levels of cortisol which in turn helps you relax and rejuvenate amongst the lush greens.

Participants of a recent study conducted by David Suzuki, an environmentalist, reported that spending 30 minutes each day in nature increased their personal well-being and lead to them experiencing more happiness.

Focus on the good things happening in your life

A negative or unpleasant experience can often cloud our vision and make us believe that there is not much hope left. “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

― Eckhart Tolle, a New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

When we start noticing all the beautiful things that are already there in our life, we shift our focus from all the lack and negativity to growth and positivity.

The flip side is when we are not acknowledging the good, counting our blessings we can fall into the trap of unintentionally noticing the negative things more and more and feel like life sucks and it’s a constant struggle.The practice of counting your blessings is so simple, yet so powerful that it has the power to completely alter your life.

Meditate

Sitting in a meditation just for a few minutes a day can create a positive difference in your life. It can be for a minute or two initially and then you can increase it to 5 or 10 minutes or maybe more. The goal of this practice is to just be, without doing anything. Let your thoughts be and be aware of your breathing. You can even light a candle and put on soft background music if you like. This meditation practice centres you and helps you relax and combat the stress and negativity that can creep in sometimes during the day.

Journaling

It is really helpful to write your thoughts in a journal regularly. Putting your thoughts on a paper will clear things up for you and gain a new perspective and help you see why the relationship didn’t work and how it’s good for you to let it go.

Indulge in new activities

It is a good time to try out new activities that you have always wanted to do but did not get a chance to. It will keep you occupied and helps you create new memories,leaving you less time to think about your past relationship.These new memories can broaden the psychological distance between you and your ex.

Stay in the present moment

There is no pain in the present moment. Most of the time we experience anxiety or sadness because we are either lost in the memories of the past or anticipating the future, but are rarely completely involved in the moment that is there in front of us. Staying in the present will allow your emotional wounds to heal naturally and be at peace with yourself.

Forgive yourself and others

Forgiving someone who has wronged you and caused you a lot of pain and hurt is not easy and sometimes even entertaining such a thought can seem ridiculous, but when you see that person as a fallible human being, who is just as capable of making mistakes as you and me, it might be easier to forgive. Let’s look at some of the reasons why forgiveness is good for you

  • Forgiveness is something which we do for ourselves. We are making a choice to release ourselves from the reigns of our past and moving on from the pain and anguish.
  • When you forgive, it doesn’t mean that you accept what happened and you’re okay with it. It just means that you have made peace with your past and you are willing to let go of it and move on with your life.
  • Forgiveness contributes to your positive mental health. It helps release the unhealthy anger and hurt which can lead to depression and make room for feelings of hope, optimism and compassion
  • Studies suggest that forgiveness can improve your physical health by reducing hypertension
  • A study published in IDEA fitness journal states that by forgiving you not only reduce stress but also have fewer health complaints, better relationships and fewer incidences of serious illnesses like cancer, stroke and heart disease.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t always mean about an other person, it’s also about forgiving yourself for the mistakes you’ve made and releasing the guilt associated with it.

Let go of self blame and challenge your negative self talk

We might fall into the trap of blaming ourselves for the failure of a relationship. We think that we could have saved the relationship if we had done things differently. Most of us don’t even realise what we are saying to ourselves. I’m sure we would never speak to the people we love and care about in the same manner we speak to ourselves. So, challenge yourself to actually listen to the way you talk to yourself and write down whatever you were thinking. Writing down the thoughts we are having not only helps get them out of our head, but also disempowers its hold on us. Once you have written down all your thoughts, challenge their truthfulness by asking yourself these questions,

  • How do I know if this thought is accurate?
  • What evidence do I have to support this thought or belief?
  • How can I test my assumptions or beliefs to find out if they are accurate?
  • Are there any other ways I could look at this situation?
  • Is it really in my control?
  • Am I making assumptions?
  • Am I making this personal when it isn’t?

Don’t personalise

Do not attribute other people’s actions to you. Nothing another person does is because of you. You are not responsible for how they behave but how you choose to respond to it is in your control.

Find your happy place

Identify a place that makes you feel happy and excited and just let’s you be. It can be different for every person, like for some it can be a local bookstore, a corner café for someone else or maybe a neighbourhood park for a few of you. Wherever it is, just go there and spend some time whenever possible.