So let’s get real. It is pretty hard to focus on recovering when you are questioning yourself about what went wrong. Why did he leave? Why isn’t she interested anymore? Will you get back together one day? You thought you were soul mates. Those darn questions and thoughts. For some of us, it feels like we have to start over, and for others it may be easier to move on. There isn’t one set way to heal or recover from a broken heart. But there are actions you can take to ensure you come out on top.

One of the best things I learned in my life was to always focus on myself first, even in a relationship. This came after having to start over many times after a relationship ended. I hope this not only helps but also inspires you to remember that, with or without someone, the most important relationship we have in this life is with ourselves. Don’t forget you in the process of your heartache–you are the most important person to remember through this. Whether you made a big mistake in the relationship or not, this time right now is about ensuring well-being is priority.

Science behind a broken heart

The video above is a simple yet great demonstration of what people are going through with a broken heart. With some guidance and self-motivation, you can channel the pain you may be experiencing into a healing process. It is up to you to make the decision, but know that you are never alone in your journey.

How to gently heal a broken heart

1. Make a choice: either run from the pain or deal with it. Hopefully you want to deal with it and not distract yourself by other means (i.e. overworking, substance abuse, jumping into another relationship, being so busy you cant think). Rise up to the challenge and deal with it head-on. This will allow you to be free of the pain in the time it takes rather than lingering on it forever.

2. There is no room for guilt in your life going forward. If you made a mistake then, by all means feel the guilt for the moment. You may want to extend your apologies depending on the situation. But ongoing guilt is a killer. Get rid of it.

3. Don’t be hard on yourself in the process of healing. Feel your emotions and acknowledge them. Suppressing what you feel is robotic and is sure to come out in another way. It is awkward and uncomfortable but going through the motions allows you to feel like a human being. It is normal. Don’t be embarrassed for feeling the way you do.

4. Talk, write, sing, dance, draw and create–if you have a passion that you lose yourself in then use it to help you heal. Music and writing is my healthy escape and I can express myself through a journal without judgment from anyone. It gets my thoughts and feelings out. I end up creating some great pieces too!

5. Our mindsets can either help us to go forward or keep us in a state of fear, sadness and regret! It’s very easy to remain hurt and angry, but that won’t help us personally. Take each day as it comes and choose the attitude that will uplift you.

How to feel better afterwards

1. How’s your health? Yes, it sounds cliché but having a healthy mind, body and soul is a great foundation for recovery. It will help you release the hurt and be clear minded in your everyday life matters. Stress can be decreased and your thoughts ordered.

2. Get happy with you again if you are not already. Focus on your ambitions and goals. If you don’t have any, it’s time to start thinking. Confidence can be ignited or found again by being motivated and seeing your dreams come about. Heartbreak will recover, but time is something we cannot gain back.

3. Surround yourself with people who will allow you to be you. Talk to people about what you are going through. It’s what friends and family are for–to help each other out. Do some fun things with friends and groups of people. I went to a few festivals with groups of friends and danced the day away. It really showed me how I am not alone and I can have fun without a partner.

4. Forgive yourself and forgive the person in your own time. Making a choice to forgive immediately did not mean that I actually got over my heartbreak straight away. It just put forgiveness in motion and I was able to see the positive in what I learned from the whole experience. It kept my heart free from hate and anger–something that drags us down if we hold onto it.

5. Connection to the universe, nature, meditation or prayer–have you neglected your spiritual side? Get in touch with the inner self and listen to the words that come to you. Seek peace, joy, healing and strength through this time and you can receive it.

6. Some people like to stay away from the places they went with a past relationship–I like to go to those very places. I remember one restaurant I continued to go to every Saturday, like I did in my relationship, except with friends. I enjoyed the breakfast. Just because a relationship doesn’t work does not mean that places on the map need to be crossed out. There is no way I was sacrificing my favorite breakfast! And nether should you.

7. Avoid negativity towards the entire gender (“All men/women are cheaters!”) I have never been one to engage in this banter. Just because we go through a bad experience or breakup doesn’t mean the entire human race is going to hurt us. If we have this outlook, we may miss the wonderful opportunities and people that come our way.

8. Do something completely for yourself. Alone. Having time to be on our own allows us to get used our own company again. I know many people who fill up their time with others after a break-up. It’s very obvious they don’t want to be alone. The only way to overcome being alone is by being alone! Enjoy your company. It’s better than you think.

9. Break the pattern. After a few heartbreaks, I noticed a pattern and it seemed like I was dating the same types of men. I researched and looked within to see why this may be occurring. There is a lot of information out there about repeating habits and dating the same types of people. I came to my own conclusions and broke my pattern.

10. Learn from your mistakes. After each relationship I have made mental note of what I do and don’t want in a relationship. I admit my standards did raise a hell of a lot, but I am glad they did. I have a lot to offer as a person in a relationship, in life and to others. Focusing on being with the right person for me “one day” meant that I didn’t waste my time in meaningless relationships.

“This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.” 
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

There are many ways to heal and recover after heartbreak, but the most important thing is for you to know that it is possible. Life is filled with solutions and wonderful ways in which to overcome hardship. If you are willing, you will find what you are looking for. And if a mended, happy, recovered heart is what you seek, then you will find exactly that.

Featured photo credit: Girl With Heart/Dannie via picjumbo.com

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