Breakups are incredibly difficult. If you’ve just broken up with someone you care about, you may feel sad, angry, lost, or scared. The good news is that these feelings won’t last forever. After the breakup, give yourself some time and space to process your grief. When you’re ready, use the wisdom and experience you gained from the relationship to move forward with your life. Take time to reconnect with things that brought you joy before the breakup, and look for new forms of fulfillment as well.
[Edit]Coping with Negative Feelings
Give yourself time to grieve. Don’t try to force yourself to move on or “get over it” before you are ready. No matter what the circumstances of the breakup were, you’ve experienced a loss, and it’s natural to have a lot of feelings to work through.
You will probably experience ups and downs during the grieving and healing process. You may feel much better one day, and then depressed or angry again the next. This emotional roller coaster can be frustrating or even frightening, but it is totally normal.
Acknowledge how you feel without judgment. Whenever you feel really overwhelmed or down, find a quiet place to sit and just allow yourself to feel. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and mindfully make note of the thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations you are experiencing. Don’t criticize or analyze what you’re thinking and feeling—just recognize it.
For example, you might think to yourself, “I’m thinking about Madeline again. There’s a knot in my upper back. I feel so sad.”
Release your feelings in a healthy way, such as by crying or talking to a friend. You might also find it helpful to write down what you are feeling or express it through art or music. You can even write a letter to your ex pouring out all your feelings (but destroy it when you’re done so that you won’t be tempted to send it).
Being mindful of your feelings and being able to identify them can help them feel less overwhelming.
Tell yourself that what you are feeling is temporary. It may be hard to imagine right now, but you will not feel this way forever. Think of your sadness about the breakup as an injury that is healing. It will hurt for a while and the pain may be worse some days than others, but the hurt will eventually fade.
The amount of time it takes to move beyond a breakup varies from one person (and breakup) to another. Just take it one day at a time.
Replace negative thoughts with more realistic ones. When you hear that negative or self-critical voice inside your head, stop and ask yourself, “Is that thought realistic? Is it helpful? Is it something I would say to a good friend?” If the answer to any of those questions is “no,” replace the thought with something more realistic and constructive. This way, you can help your unhappy brain make the transition to positive thinking.
For example, if you find yourself thinking, “Nobody will ever love me like Bert did. I’ll be alone forever,” replace that thought with something like, “What I had with Bert was great in a lot of ways, but we broke up for a reason. I’m going to try and make the most of being single for now and see what happens next.”
Avoid blaming yourself for what happened. Self-blame is common after a breakup, but you probably both had a part to play in what happened. It’s okay (and, in fact, healthy) to acknowledge the mistakes you made in the relationship, but try to think of those mistakes as an opportunity to grow and do better in the future.
You might also blame your partner for what happened, especially if they broke up with you. Remind yourself that it’s probably for the best that they let you go, since you’re now free to find someone who’s a better match for you (if that’s what you want).
Reach out to family and friends for support. Whenever you feel overwhelmed and lonely, pick up your phone and call or text a close friend or relative. Talking to someone can distract you, help you work through your feelings, or just remind you that you’re not alone.
Chances are you know someone who has been through a breakup. They can lend you a sympathetic ear and offer advice for dealing with your feelings.
If you don’t have anyone to talk to, consider calling a crisis line or joining an online discussion group for people going through breakups.
If you do join an online group, look for one that is moderated, like the forums at PsychCentral. Moderated forums have administrators who monitor the discussion to ensure that there is no bullying or other forms of abuse in the community.
Use positive self talk to combat negative beliefs about yourself. A breakup is personal, so it’s normal for you to wonder what you did wrong. However, the breakup shouldn’t change the way you feel about yourself. Everyone goes through breakups, and many relationships aren’t meant to last. Don’t let thoughts like “I’m not good enough,” “No one wants to go out with me,” or “I’m not attractive enough” take root in your mind.
Don’t let these types of thoughts follow you into your next relationship. They aren’t true, so don’t allow them to negatively impact your future.
If you notice any of these negative thoughts, challenge them and replace them with positive self talk. First, look for 3 pieces of evidence against the negative statement. Then, replace it with a positive statement about yourself. You can find worksheets online to help you do this!
For example, let’s say you’re thinking “I’m unlovable.” Your 3 pieces of evidence that this isn’t true might be that your parents, best friend, and pet all love you. You might tell yourself, “I’m deeply loved by the people in my life, plus I love myself.”[Edit]Moving Forward with Your Life
Make peace with the reasons why your relationship didn’t work out. At first, it can be hard to see the cracks in your relationship, but there’s likely a reason it didn’t work out. Recognizing this reason can help you move on. Think about why your relationship ended, such as due to incompatibility, different goals, bad timing, or unmet expectations. Write down why you think the relationship ended to help you find closure.
When you start to feel emotional again, use this exercise to help you rationalize why the relationship was meant to end. Tell yourself, “I’m feeling sad about the breakup again, but we had different goals for the future. I want a partner who wants the same things I do.”
Focus on caring for yourself. Help yourself heal after your breakup by practicing self-care. It’s hard to be happy if you’re not taking care of your basic physical, emotional, and practical needs. Self-care can mean a lot of things, but a few of the basics include:
Getting plenty of good-quality sleep.
Eating healthy, nutritious foods.
Spending quality time with friends and family.
Doing activities you enjoy.
Taking care of practical matters, like paying bills and doing work or school projects.
Work on achieving some personal goals. Think about things you’ve always wanted to accomplish, or set some new goals for yourself and create a realistic plan to work on them. It’s easy to put your personal goals and ambitions aside while you’re caught up in a relationship, so now is the perfect time to start working on them.
Working on your goals can help boost your confidence, give you something to focus on aside from the breakup, and remind you of who you are as an individual.
Your goals don’t need to be anything big or grandiose. You could start with simple things like reorganizing your desk or taking a 15-minute walk every day.
Keep a list of your daily accomplishments, and remember to reward yourself when you meet a goal!
Do things you find fun and fulfilling. Now is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby or rekindle your interest in an old one! If you want to try something new, consider signing up for a class or joining a local group that shares your interests.
If you’re the creative type, you could try painting, doing crafts, or learning a musical instrument. If you’re more athletic or outdoorsy, try taking up a new sport or going on hikes.
Doing group activities is also a great way to make new friends and grow your support network.
If there are any activities that you particularly associate with your ex, you might want to take a break from them for a while.
Resist the urge to check in on what your ex is doing. If you find yourself agonizing about how your ex is feeling and what they are up to, look for ways to distract yourself or channel those feelings elsewhere. For example, if you are fighting the temptation to look at your ex’s Facebook page, you might call a friend or write about it in a journal.
If you and your ex are connected on social media, it may be a good idea to unfriend or even block them. That will help reduce the temptation to torture yourself by checking their profile.
Look at the relationship as a learning experience. Once you’ve had some time and distance from the relationship, take time to think about it from a wiser and more objective point of view. Think about how to use your experiences, both good and bad, to help you in future relationships or even in your life as a single person.
For example, maybe you’ve picked up on some red flags to avoid in future potential partners. You might also think of ways you can improve your own behavior in relationships going forward.
It might help to make a list of what things were good and bad about the relationship. Think about specific changes you might make based on your insights. For example, “Lucy was funny and exciting to hang out with, but she didn’t really share many of my interests. In future relationships, I’ll prioritize finding someone who has more in common with me.”
After some reflection, you might even decide that you prefer being single for now, and that’s perfectly valid! Don’t let anyone pressure you into looking for a new relationship if you don’t want one.
See a counselor if you feel you need extra help. Ask your doctor to recommend a therapist, or do an online search for a counselor who has experience dealing with relationship issues. A counselor can help you work through your feelings and recommend good strategies for dealing with them.
You may need to see a counselor if your grief is interfering with your ability to function in your daily life, work, or relationships, or if you feel like you aren’t making enough progress on your own.[Edit]Tips
Don’t rush into any new relationships before you’ve had some time to heal. A breakup can leave you feeling confused and emotionally vulnerable. You may also still be dealing with feelings for your ex, which could have a negative impact on other relationships.
Even if you’re the one who initiated the breakup, it’s still natural to feel a sense of grief and loss.
It is possible to stay friends with someone after breaking up with them. Don’t try to force it, however. You and your ex will probably both need a lot of time and space after the breakup, and it’s possible that you’ll never be able to fully connect as friends.[Edit]References
[Edit]Quick Summary↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/laugh-cry-live/201502/after-the-break-when-moving-seems-impossible