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How To Get Over Someone You Deeply Love

How To Get Over Someone You Deeply Love

When a relationship ends, it can be immensely heartbreaking. We all cope with breakups in our own individual way with some people seemingly getting over someone quickly while others take a lot longer. If you feel you’re one of those people who take ages to recover from a breakup then you are definitely not alone. We are always told that after the initial shock and sadness that it’s plain sailing from there on in. But is this really the case? Getting out there again can seem extremely daunting or not even close to being on our radar and this is okay. It’s okay to feel sad and numb for a while, after all, it is a grieving process and it needs to be seen through to the end before we can start to heal ourselves.

Whatever stage you’re at, whether you’re at the beginning or perhaps it’s been months or years and you still find yourself mourning over the relationship, it’s all normal. As much as they feel rubbish, your negative feelings and emotions are leading you on to the road to recovery so don’t feel bad for still feeling them – it just means you’re still healing and that’s a good thing. There are many actions you can take that will help you move in a positive direction; allowing yourself to heal while shifting your mindset to one of recovery and peace.

Remember There’s No Time Limit

The first thing that’s important to remember is that there really isn’t a time limit to how long it’ll take to get over someone you love. You have probably heard the phrase ‘time’s a healer’ and it is – but this also makes us feel pressured to get over something quicker than we can. We feel ashamed if it’s been months or even years and we still don’t feel we’ve moved on. Always remember that it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up about taking your time to heal as there really is no time limit.

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Let Yourself Feel Your Emotions

Negative emotions are often demonised and we are made to feel as though feeling sad, angry and hurt is not good for us. We absolutely need to go through the grieving process and that brings denial, anger, blame, depression, desperation, false hope and many more in between. Often these emotions go around in circles so it can feel as though you’re getting over it but then some come back to whack you straight in the face again. It may feel like the hurt is endless but remember to go with it – accept the feelings for what they are; a means to an end.

Remove Your Ex From Social Media and Your Phone

In this day and age, we are bombarded by other people’s lives. Seeing what your ex is up to is ridiculously easy to do but the problem with this is that you’re not giving yourself space to heal. If you’re finding it hard to let go of someone then you need to consider removing them from all social media including your phone. This may feel like the last thing you want to do but sometimes the best things to do aren’t always the most comfortable. Remember that you are doing this for yourself and no one else. Seeing what they are up to all the time is only opening the emotional wound over and over again and that wound will never have its chance to heal. After the initial sadness of deletion you will feel very empowered and this empowerment will be good for your soul.

Remember To Love Yourself

When we go through a heartbreaking separation, it’s very easy to blame ourselves and believe that we just weren’t good enough for them or the relationship. Even the most confident people can get an attack of unworthiness issues so don’t beat yourself up. However, it’s crucial to remember that your worth is not tied to them – you are your own person. As much as you may think it, your identity is not, and was not, tied to the relationship you had. Remembering to love yourself is probably the most important thing you can do after a breakup.

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Write Down How You Feel

There’s a wonderful power in writing things down. Journaling your feelings may seem straight out of a 90s TV show but it has great healing qualities. Write down how you feel, read it back to yourself, throw it away or box it up. Seeing your feelings down on paper can help your mind gain perspective and see things from another point of view. Another great thing to do is to write down a list of all the parts of the past relationship that annoyed or irritated you. A lot of the time we romanticise about the past and remember it better than it was. Writing down the negatives will serve as a reminder and will help when you have moments of relapse.

Turn Your Energy Into Something Positive

Although sitting around eating all the chocolate and binge-watching TV shows is a great thing to do initially, there needs to come a time when being proactive is a must to get our lives going again. If you’re still not up for seeing people or socialising then start an exercise routine. Go running, walking or cycling – anything that will get those endorphins going. Exercise is an excellent catalyst to recovery – it will clear and calm your mind and reduce any stress. Being around people also really helps speed up recovery. Immersing yourself around people who love you serves as a gentle reminder that love doesn’t just exist in romantic relationships – friends and family can help you get out of that funk all the more quickly.

Don’t Hold On To Anger And Blame

Although embracing our negative emotions are good, holding on to anger and blame for too long can have a detrimental effect on ourselves and others. When we spend too much time in a space of blaming the other person for the way we feel, we are taking away our power and essentially giving it to them. It acts as a hinderance to our recovery and makes the process that much longer. Remember that no one is really to blame no matter what happened to end the relationship – bitterness can eat away at you and it’s important to recognise when this is taking over your thoughts and feelings.

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Don’t Torture Yourself

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of over-analysing why the relationship ended and wondering if there was something you could have done differently. These thoughts really serve us no purpose other than to torture ourselves. It’s common to fantasise about how you could have done better or regretting something you said or did that you feel could have contributed to the end of the relationship but the reality is that there really is nothing you could have done. Your mind can go into over-drive sometimes but you need to do all you can to calm it down – whether it’s using yoga or meditation techniques or trying to focus on something else entirely.

Remember There Isn’t Just One Person Out There For You

We live on a planet with billions of people. It can feel like that person was the only one for you but we all know that isn’t the case. You probably believe that no one else will make you laugh like that again, or have so much in common with you and yes, that may be true. But everyone is unique in their own way and there will be someone (or many more people) who will connect and bond with you in so many awesome ways. There was a reason that the relationship didn’t work out and it’s simply because you weren’t meant to be together but that doesn’t have to be a sad thought. You grew as a person and that will only serve you well for the next amazing person to enter your life. It might not be soon but it will happen – just have faith it will all work out.

You Will See The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Fundamentally, you will feel like you are in some kind of darkness for a while. It can be a scary and daunting place especially if you haven’t experienced a serious breakup before. But as much as you probably can’t imagine it or think about it, there will come a day when you’ll come out the other side. It will feel wonderful and natural, you’ll feel whole again, you’ll be able to laugh and smile without thinking of them and most importantly, you will be a stronger and better person because of it. You may feel alone but millions of people have been through the exact same process in their own unique way and have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Use this as a reminder and a testament to the fact that you will also get through this too.

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Featured photo credit: Simone Perrone via magdeleine.co

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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