A breakup can be an emotionally draining, guilt inducing, self-confidence depleting experience. It might leave you questioning not only your identity, but also your ability to relate and connect with others.
If you choose to view it this way and surrender to the power of your mind, this broken heart might tear you apart.
But it doesn’t have to. So please don’t let it.
Because a breakup can also be an opportunity to re-center and re-discover your authentic self. It can allow you to emerge mentally healthier and stronger than before, with a new resiliency and a set of tools to face the unpredictability of the world.
If you are really struggling, here are some ways you can make this experience profoundly beneficial, allowing you to grow from it instead of falling apart.
1. Practice positive self-talk
Self-love is a necessary step in recovering from a heartbreak. Start by creating a list of the parts of yourself that you love. Keep it close to you. Create another list of everything in your life you are grateful for. Make these the same list if one is harder to write than another. Ask loved ones what they admire about you, I am sure they will happily oblige.
Use this time to build your confidence back up again. Identify some self-love mantras that resonate with you and repeat them to yourself when you’re feeling down.
2. Accept your role in the relationship ending
A romantic relationship can be one of the most enriching learning experiences that life hands us. So, why not make the end of a relationship a learning experience as well? It is important to take ownership of the role you played in the relationship ending and to use it as an opportunity to grow as a person, a partner and a friend.
Reflect on the messages you were receiving from your partner, the cues that expressed their needs. Sometimes it is difficult to see this during the relationship, but hindsight can suddenly make it very clear.
Take time as well to process how you felt throughout the relationship. Ask yourself some of these questions. Were you truly authentic? Did you allow that deep down to the soul version of yourself to come out? If not, what was holding you back? How can you make sure a relationship doesn’t burn out your inner light in the future?
Never make it about searching for your other half, you need to feel authentically whole on your own.
3. Understand it wasn’t all your fault
It can be tempting to fill your thoughts with guilt-inducing statements. It can be natural to dissect every action and every word, that maybe, might have led to the end.
But this is not productive, it is self-defeating and more importantly—it robs you of an important step in processing a breakup: the part where you realize the relationship truly wasn’t a good fit.
When you choose to bear the sole burden of the breakup, you allow yourself to believe that every relationship will begin and end the same way. You neglect the acknowledgement that your partner’s defining qualities simply did not align with your own.
Recognize that it takes two people to build love and it takes two people to extinguish love. While accepting your role in the breakup is crucial, there is no benefit to taking full responsibility for it. Balance is key.
When you accept this, you become open to the knowledge that when the timing is right—you will find a better match, a full and complete soul that compliments your own.
4. Sit with sadness
Don’t run from the pain. Learning how to sit with an emotion is a skill that will serve you over and over again in life.
It is necessary during this process to feel the emotion and to learn how to breathe through it. Running from pain just masks it, allowing it to return in the form of anxiety and depression.
This is the part where you may need help. Therapists are trained to navigate this process with you, ensuring that the pain doesn’t become too much to bear—but still allowing you to feel it.
Sometimes its easier to find unhealthy alternatives to sitting with pain and loneliness, unintentionally training your mind and body to avoid emotions and fill voids with another person or unhealthy habits.
This training can carry into other parts of your life—so use this breakup as an opportunity to instead develop healthy ways of coping.
5. Find ways to release built up negative energy
Work to identify those healthy ways of coping and find opportunities to release negative energy. After sitting with emotions and allowing yourself to feel them, it is also important to let them go—to understand that when pent up negative energy is released, it can be replaced with authentic positive energy.
Learn to use your body as a tool to calm your mind. Reacquaint with nature by going for a walk, a run, or a bike ride. Practice yoga or meditation. Pursue a hobby in an area that you are passionate about. Enhance a skill-set that you’ve let fall to the side. Laugh; surround yourself with people who make you laugh and who remind you that your heart will heal in time.
Few things in life are more rattling than a broken heart. How you navigate through this emotional experience can set the tone for how you handle future life stressors.
The truth is that you can’t always control what happens in your life, but you can control how you choose to respond as you develop healthy ways to get through this.