Mindful ways to move towards happiness when your heart is hurting.
Recently several people I really care about have had their hearts broken. It’s not easy; breakups can be among the most painful experiences in life. Loss of any kind is tough, but this can sting like none other. Here are a few strategies to get through.
Before we start, do yourself a favor and get off the social media, at least for a while… Otherwise the automatic impulse to check your phone will re-trigger you again and again making you feel worse. You can do this!
- Give yourself permission to grieve: Don’t bury the sadness and try be the tough guy; it will bite you later on. Even if you lose it in public, its OK — it’s called being human. This is not something to sidestep or shove down. You get through it by going through it. After a while, you’ll find that you’ll let yourself cry for a certain amount of time, and then have a plan for immediately afterwards.
2. Lean on your friends and KEEP BUSY: This is the time to be with your people: family and good friends (especially those who’ve been through something similar). Keeping busy is a must! This is a great time to develop a skill or take on a new hobby. If you volunteer in an animal shelter, petting the animals triggers the feel-good hormone, oxytocin. You will feel better.
2. Exercise: The pain you feel at first can be emotional and physical. It can actually hurt. One study showed that several of the same areas of the brain become active when experiencing either physical or mental pain. So… you have to move the energy, or it can settle into your cellular memory. This is the time to train for a half marathon, and be with new people in a goal that inspires a feeling of personal accomplishment. By the way, the endorphins will actually help with pain relief. Take that dance class, do a yoga intensive, move. What your go-to activity?
4. Self-care : We all know the basics — hydrate, eat food that gives you energy, even if you don’t feel like eating, or all you want is ice cream. Get your sleep in. It can help to have a nighttime ritual: perhaps journal to get your feelings out, but remember to jot down a few things you appreciate about yourself . Remember your strengths, and little things that went well. Find one thing to be grateful for. Meditation helps with emotional regulation — try it to start or end your day.
5. Put it in Perspective — Life is our teacher. you are being guided to be your biggest, strongest self so that in the future you’ll:
· Trust your intuition even more, and not ignore the red flags.
· Reconnect with your own value. One study called it an “improvement in self-concept clarity.”
· Be even more responsible for your own well-being.
That’s a gift that no one can take away from you.
That’s how you can stay open to new opportunities, which are around the corner.
Note to self: you don’t get this empowerment through a book — it’s only through going through the experience.
Remember that everything provides a lesson and an opportunity to grow — you have been cracked open to see the fullness of who you are. Yes, there will be good days, and bad days, but soon the good will outnumber the bad. You are not back at square 1 — think of a DNA strands, and how they spiral up — you are now at a new level. You are tapping into new aspects of yourself.
Research also shows that many people overestimate the time they will be in distress following a breakup. Due to the intensity of the emotions, you are probably overestimating how long these feeling will last. Not so!
As the feelings come and go, get ready to emerge as a stronger and wiser version of yourself. Most of all, be prepared for all the good that is coming your way.
Originally published at medium.com