Sometimes you can feel like everything is falling apart after you break up with someone you loved. Look – there’s no getting past it, breakups suck. They suck hard. There’s not a lot in the realm of relationships that’s crappier than a bad breakup, especially after feeling him withdrawing from you and not knowing how to stop it.
Or feel the shocking, overwhelming pain of being cheated on especially when you never saw it coming.
All your emotions will be swirling in a tempest of pain and raging raw feeling, and it will seem like it’s going to go on forever.
It won’t though. Eventually you’ll be fine – and move on stronger than you were before.
Of course, it helps to have some guidance on how to get from “I can’t get out of bed in the morning” to “Oh, that guy? so over him.”
1. Accept that the pain is normal. As the old song says, “Breaking up is hard to do.” Scientists have even shown that romantic rejection activates the same pathways in the brain that physical pain does. It hurts when you break up with someone, and it’s completely natural to feel upset about it.
• Some psychologists estimate that about 98% of us have experienced some form of unrequited love, whether it’s an unreturned crush or a nasty breakup. Knowing that you’re not alone probably won’t heal your broken heart, but it could make the pain easier to bear.
2. Let it out. Don’t pretend you’re fine. Denying or minimizing your emotions — like telling yourself “I’m really fine” or “It’s no big deal” — will actually make them worse in the long run. You have to process how you’re feeling so you can move past it.
• Cry your eyes out if you feel like it. Crying can actually be therapeutic when you’re upset. It can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and anger. So go ahead, grab some tissues and wail your heart out if it helps.
• Express your emotions through creative pursuits, like art or music. Write a song about how you feel, or play a track that comforts you. Draw a picture of your emotional state. The only thing here is to stay away from things that are too sad or angry (think death metal). These may actually increase your feelings of sadness and anger.
• It’s tempting to let your grief out by punching or breaking things, screaming, or shouting, but avoid this impulse if you can. Studies show that using violence to express your anger, even if it’s toward an inanimate object like a pillow, can actually make you feel more angry. To express your anger in a healthy way, try talking about your feelings to yourself or to someone you love.
• This will be easier with a family member or friend you trust. Find someone who has a shoulder you’re comfortable crying on and let loose. They’ve likely cried on your shoulder at some point. Now all they’re doing is returning the favor.
3. Repeat positive self-affirmations to yourself. Breakups can really do a number on your self-confidence. Showing yourself a little daily kindness can remind you that you are an awesome person with a lot to offer the right person. The next time negative thoughts about your breakup show up — and they probably will, at least for a while — challenge them with one of these helpful affirmations:
• I am worth love and care, and there are people who recognize that
• I’m upset right now, but it won’t last forever
• Part of my pain is caused by brain chemistry, which I can’t control
• My thoughts and feelings are not facts
• I love and honor myself