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8 Ways To Use A Tough Break Up To Become A Better Version Of Yourself

8 Ways To Use A Tough Break Up To Become A Better Version Of Yourself

Sometimes, breakups feel like the end of the world. In a sense, it is an end, but it’s only the end of that particular relationship. It’s also the beginning of a new relationship, the most important relationship of all — the one with yourself.

Breaking up with someone is like moving out of an old house. It takes time and effort, and it requires you to let go of stuff. However, it also allows you to reevaluate some of your own personal baggage and belongings and decide whether or not they are serving any purpose.

If you’re going through a tough breakup, think of it as a grand opportunity. Here are 8 ways to become a better version of yourself after a painful breakup.

1. Remember your passions.

Relationships are time-consuming. The hours you used to spend practicing an instrument, reading, writing, playing a sport, or traveling suddenly turn into hours spent with your significant other. We often forget about what drove us or brought us real pleasure before falling in love.

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This is a chance to remember what you’re passionate about and pursue it again. You never know where this pursuit might lead you.

2. Start a journal.

One of the best ways to learn about yourself is to start a journal. When in a relationship, we often lose sight of who we are because we’re so focused on our significant other. It’s important, especially during a breakup when you’re feeling vulnerable, to turn your attention inward.

Writing down your thoughts, fears, aspirations, and observations of the world is a great way to process and understand your own emotions.

Research shows that journaling not only decreases stress, it can also help you cope and heal after a traumatic experience.

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3. Spend time with people you’ve neglected.

Be honest. You haven’t been as available to friends and family as you were before you got into a relationship. It happens to the best of us.

Like I said before, relationships are time-consuming. It’s easy to spend every available moment with your significant other, creating a distance between you and the other people in your life.

Breakups are a perfect time to mend those other relationships and remember who you are as a single individual.

4. Don’t rely on friends to cheer you up.

If they care about you, they’ll do it whether you’re depending on them to or not. It’s important to cheer yourself up first. Don’t be that friend who disappeared when they got tied down only to reappear as a total mess after the relationship abruptly ended.

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Use your own sadness to reflect and relate to other people who are going through a tough experience. Inspire them with acceptance and positivity.

5. Don’t stalk your ex.

Nothing good has ever come from stalking. It will only make you pity yourself and seem creepy. The best revenge you could ever get on a painful breakup is not caring — or, at least, seeming like you don’t care.

You might have to pretend at first. Fake it until you make it. Eventually you’ll stop thinking about them. Eventually you’ll stop missing them and obsessively thinking how to get back together with them. You can’t do either of these things if you’re obsessing over their social media accounts or showing up at places where you know they’ll be. Let them go so that you can move on.

6. Practice forgiveness.

You should forgive your ex and yourself. Forgiveness is a virtue that doesn’t come easily to a lot of people. It is also a virtue that, when accomplished, engraves true character in a person.

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Staying angry or holding a grudge only hurts yourself. Having the will and grace to forgive is true strength.

7. Embrace your freedom.

We all strive to be easy-going, free-spirited people. A tough breakup is the perfect test of this characteristic. Do you have what it takes to move on, to embrace your newfound freedom and take advantage of the situation?

When you have the right attitude, being single is actually pretty great. It’s a chance to be selfish and focus on yourself and nobody else. It’s an opportunity to open your eyes and work on self improvement.

When you’re ready, it’s a chance to meet other people, which will, in turn, introduce you to yourself again.

8. Travel.

The worst thing you could do during a tough breakup is lock yourself in your room. Get out there! Explore. Travel. If you don’t have the funds to go on an actual trip, drive down the road to a local bar or café or park.

New experiences are waiting for you at every turn you take, and they will teach you about yourself and the type of people you attract.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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