A breakup is something almost everyone will experience in their life. It’s a painful and challenging process. If you are trying to heal from a breakup, you might feel like you’ll never be happy again, or even that you’ll never find love again. It might seem like your whole world is falling apart.
But stop believing these things! None of it is true! You can heal from even the most bitter ends to relationships, and better yet, you can become a better person because of it. All it takes is a little guidance and a push in the right direction.
Five Healthy Ways To Heal From A Breakup
Here are five healthy ways to heal from a breakup and five ways to gain from it.
1. Let Yourself Be Sad
There are many possible reasons for a breakup, but no matter your reasons, one fact is universal: the loss of a relationship is painful and challenging to get over. Your feelings will be all over the place, and what you should do if you want to heal is simple: let yourself experience them.
Some people falsely believe that being hung up on a breakup is childish or unnecessary, but that’s not the case. Think about it – when you break up with someone, you have to go through so many changes, including:
- The loss of companionship and support from someone akin to a best friend and confidant
- The possible shifting of lifestyle; you may need to move somewhere new
- The change of long-term goals and plans that were related to the relationship
There are so many things you need to deal with, so don’t bottle your feelings up. Repressing your emotions has no positive effect and may even further worsen them, leading to a background buildup of unresolved issues that only affect you more and more with time. So learn to acknowledge your emotions, validate them, and then, one by one, let them go.
2. Open Up To Friends
Breakups are complicated, and you need social support. Talk to friends or close family members, seeking out those who you trust and who care about you. If that seems a little intimidating, begin with the person you feel most comfortable speaking to.
The act of socializing can seem ridiculous when you’re feeling so down after a breakup. Still, it’s essential for lifting your spirits, getting you out of your head, and improving positive thinking. Being around positive people will fill you with the feel-good hormones you no longer get from your relationship.
Getting out of the house for a little while and being around people who you love and trust can be therapeutic for overcoming the pain of a split. You can also seek out a support group or a therapist if those are options that you prefer.
3. Be Kind To Yourself
It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of self-loathing when you’re recovering from a breakup. You may question where you went wrong and think about all the mistakes you made. Of course, most relationships do end due to a combination of fault from all parties involved, but that’s just how it is! Instead of hating yourself:
- Reflect on the relationship objectively and with as much rationality as possible; what could you have done better?
- Focus your efforts on growing as a person instead of berating yourself over the past
- Direct your negative energy towards positive endeavors; don’t point fingers at exes or yourself.
- Remember that mistakes are part of the human experience, and you are not unworthy of love for making your share of mistakes.
4. Create Boundaries as you Heal From a Breakup
When you first break up with someone, the temptation to text them, call them, or see them again can be compelling. In some cases, this leads to an unproductive on-again, off-again type of relationship. You’ll never be sure what you are or where you stand with this person, and the ambiguity of it all can be confusing, painful, and altogether worse for you.
That’s where boundaries come in. You cannot heal from a wound that you continue to pick at or reopen, so make sure that wound stays untouched. Talk to your ex about boundaries if necessary and enforce them with firm assertiveness. When you are ready, you can talk to them again to discuss loose ends and find closure, but for the most part, contact should be limited.
But what if you want to stay friends? Unless the relationship was too brief and you were friends before, “staying friends” is a complex concept. You will usually need some time to yourself to heal first before you can both handle a mature, purely platonic friendship.
Think of it like kicking a minor version of addiction. The withdrawal pains are part of the process, and they’re necessary if you truly want to heal. So put your positive thinking on, set your boundaries, and brace yourself.
5. Keep Yourself Occupied
Losing someone in a breakup often means your mind will be stuck on them, which isn’t a very productive way to go about healing. That’s why you need to keep your mind occupied as you heal from the pain and manage the difficult period. You can:
- Seek new hobbies to learn
- Take a new class
- Read (preferably non-romantic) books
- Listen to music, sorrowful songs (studies show they help!)
5 Ways To Gain From a Breakup
Being by yourself can be difficult after a breakup, but that’s because you may have forgotten how wonderful it is to be in your own company. In many unhealthy relationships, both people lose their sense of self and individuality as they stay together. It’s a good reminder, then, that you are a great and fulfilling person all on your own, too!
Learn to appreciate who you are and focus on yourself. When you can learn to exist alone without being lonely, you’re one step closer to a healthier and happier future with better and more positive relationships. While alone, try:
- Working on self-improvement.
- Doing things you love to do that you’ve neglected.
- Focusing your efforts on chasing goals.
- Spending time with your personal friends or your family.
- Discovering new things about yourself.
2. Learn What You Want From A Relationship
When you break up with someone, you learn from that relationship what works and what doesn’t. You can reflect on your partnership and pinpoint things that didn’t work for you and things that did. This way, you better understand your values, needs, and desires when it comes to relationships.
When you are eventually ready to date again, the things you’ve learned from this self-reflection will help you. You’ll be more aware of deal-breakers, must-haves, core values, and other factors and will be able to communicate your needs to your new partner better. You’ll also be able to pick someone more compatible with you!
3. Find Intrinsic Self-Worth
You may notice that many people define their self-worth by their relationship status. They lament being single and may even use the term “single” as an insult. That’s such a sad way of thinking about the world! You do not and should not need a relationship to be happy.
To gain from a breakup, you’ll want to learn to find your self-worth within you. Instead of seeking extrinsic validation by being in a relationship, learn to validate yourself based on your actual merits and authentic self.
This is important for your future life and future relationships. Being happy with yourself means you won’t become dependent on a new partner or partnership to boost your ego, and your connection will be stronger and healthier because of that.
4. Learn Your Emotional Triggers
There are likely things your ex said or did that were the last straw, something that made you decide that enough was enough, or only actions or words that shook you or made you furious. These are emotional triggers, and these are things you should be aware of.
Reflect over those things that significantly hurt you. Why did they trigger you in such a strong and powerful way? What wounds of older times have you yet to address or heal? Your ex’s hurtful actions may reveal more about you than you think – they show you where your sore spots are.
When you find these sore spots, you can look at them and examine them. Why are they painful? What causes them to hurt? Learning about these little bits of baggage will make you better understand where you need to improve and what you need to work on. There is more healing to be done than you know!
5. Discover Forgiveness as You Heal from a Breakup
Forgiveness is difficult to give. But harboring grudges doesn’t punish the person you refuse to forgive – it only punishes you. Research has found that holding grudges may worsen your mental health! Breakups involve saying “goodbye,” not repeatedly holding someone in your brain. Even if you’re not thinking positively about them, their presence in your mind at all is not a healthy one to maintain!
So what should you do? Learn to let go and say goodbye to these grudges. This is not to say that you have to tell your ex you forgive them. In some cases, you may not ever feel ready to do so, and in others, your ex may not deserve that kind of closure and peace of mind from you. It is never a requirement of healing to directly inform someone that you forgive them.
Instead, find peace in your heart by forgiving someone in your way. These feelings attached to them no longer serve you, and to hold a grudge that burns in your heart will only harm you in the long run. You forgive them because your energies are better spent elsewhere. Tell yourself that you forgive this person for what they’ve done and bid them farewell from your heart!
No one can deny that breakups are painful, but everyone can recover, grow, and improve from their former relationships. Each experience you have in life is an opportunity to learn something new. After all, so turn your pain into growth!