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The 4 Stages Of Letting Go Of A Past Relationship, And How To Do It In 3 Months

The 4 Stages Of Letting Go Of A Past Relationship, And How To Do It In 3 Months

Why letting go is such a hard thing to learn?

We love hard so we fall hard. We dedicate all our love to someone who was thought to be the one. But it turns out everything just doesn’t happen as we wish.

Since the day you bid farewell to each other, you have been thinking about everything about him/her: the place where you first met, the movie which you watched a thousand times together, the love song he/she used to sing to you, or the way how he/she said he/she loved you.

But everything is gone.

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We can’t let it go. We are insecure. We are afraid. We are losing hope.

We doubt if we are not good enough to make him/her stay. We are afraid of losing the most important person in our life. We fear that we might not ever be able to fall in love and be loved again.

But still, we have to LET IT GO.

Don’t let one single relationship ruin the rest.

Your world is not limited to only one person. You have your friends, family, and perhaps someone who is going to be madly in love with you. They deserve your love. If you still hold on to someone who would never come back to you, your heart would be always occupied with sadness and you can hardly let anyone else touch your heart.

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And the thing about being single is, you should cherish it.

You can only enjoy the time of being alone when you let it go and are not tied up in a relationship with anyone. You have only got one moment to stand on your own. It is the time for you to grow and be independent: to unzip your own dress, to do all the housework on your own, to know more about yourself, and to pursue your dreams.

Letting do is hard. But it doesn’t mean you can’t. Let’s see how we can get through the hard times day by day, bit by bit:

The first 30 days: it is like the end of the world

It is the craziest part. Every morning, what you do the most often is scrolling your Facebook news feed to see how his/her new life is. But every time you see his/her face, your heart aches. And you want to ask him/her why, but there won’t be any reply…

You may think you’re just like a drug addict and he/she is the drug your can never quit. This sense of addiction is supported by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine.[1]

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They found the attempt of letting go, including past relationships, would trigger the brain circuit to generate cravings. That means the feeling of quitting a relationship is highly similar to the feelings of quitting smoking and drugs.

What you can do to stop yourself from indulging in the obsession:

  • Stay away from social media
  • Avoid any contact with your ex
  • Stop wandering in the places you two visited before
  • Spend more time with your family and friends to distract your mind

30-60 days: keep yourself in the spinning wheel

After a month, you tell yourself yourself you can’t be like that anymore. You go into another extreme to force yourself to be strong. You keep convincing yourself life is still fine without him/her. That’s why your schedule is fully packed every day. Work, meeting your friends, helping your family to fix their every issue… When your loved ones ask how you feel, you put on a big smile and tell them your life goes better.

But the truth is you’re telling lies to yourself. You’re afraid if you have time, you can’t help missing him/her. Armouring yourself only makes letting go harder for you. Don’t bury yourself in busy schedule. Just accept you still need some time to mend your broken heart.

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What you can do to be true to your feelings:

  • Write down your feelings in your journal or smartphone
  • Leave some space in your schedule for alone time
  • Do some art to help connect you to your true feelings
  • Allow yourself to cry when you feel sad

60-90 days: have the energy in store to fly again

Another month has gone, you are tired of pretending to be strong. Whenever you think of him/her, you still can’t help bursting into tears. You realize how fragile you are and how much you want him/her back. It is not going to happen. But it is exactly the same time when you begin to learn that you can grow stronger only by accepting what has happened. That’s the stage for you to recharge yourself and move on.

What you can do to gain more positive energy:

  • Read positive self-help books
  • Do more outdoor activities to get healthy from the inside out
  • Appreciate the beauty of every small thing around you
  • Rebuild your regular daily routine

90+ days: some pages turned and there were lessons learned

Three months has passed. Everything is getting better. Although sometimes the old good days still sneak into your mind, you begin to accept what is good about this. You become more thankful for everything he did to you. You become more grateful for everything around you now. A lesson is learned and whatever is going to happen will be exceptionally awesome. All you need to do now is to do things differently.

What you can do to start something new:

  • Learn something new (language or any skills such as cooking and painting)
  • Expand your social circle and make some new friends
  • Challenge yourself to quit a bad habit (waking up late, drinking, or being lazy to do workout)
  • Travel to a place you haven’t visited before

For every relationship, there are some lessons we can learn from it. Those tiny little things will guide us to become better and better. But don’t rush. Take one step at a time. And you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Reference

[1]Crusher: The Brain Science of Clutter: Why We Can’t Let Go

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Sheba Leung

Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

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Last Updated on October 9, 2018

27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

Who has never gone through some ups and downs in the life? But some people can feel better in a quicker way than others because they’ve found their own remedies to heal the bad feelings.

If you haven’t found yours, these ways will help you instantly feel better and ditch that negative self talk when you’re feeling bad about yourself:

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  1. Listen to the songs you loved when you were in high school or university, this will recall you of the old good times.
  2. Write something. Write down how you feel as a way to express your thoughts if you don’t feel like talking to anyone.
  3. Draw something. Draw anything you want because no one’s going to judge your drawing skills.
  4. Read the postcards or letters your friends or family sent you before, remind yourself there are people who always remember you.
  5. Silently think of a day or moment which you truly enjoyed and try to recapture that very first feeling. Was it the day of your graduation? The moment you traveled with your loved one?
  6. Take out your photo albums and go over your childhood photos.
  7. Cry when you feel like doing so. There’s nothing wrong with crying; cry out all your fear and stress and just face the truth after crying.
  8. Sing loudly like no one can hear you. Do you know that in Japan, people always sing karaoke to relieve stress?
  9. Cook a nice meal for yourself or for your family.
  10. Read your previous diary entries and look at your great memories.
  11. Dress up nicely to feel happier.
  12. Don’t stay in your bed! Get your laptop or a book and sit in a coffee place.
  13. Take a walk outside and feel the fresh air.
  14. Sweat yourself! Go jogging or play some sports.
  15. Pick up the musical instrument you used to play a lot and start to play it.
  16. Tidy up your desk or wardrobe, you’ll feel good that you’re being productive and actually doing something.
  17. Watch some funny videos, sure you can find a lot of them on Youtube.
  18. Eat something you like, be it a chocolate cake, or an ice-cream. Just please yourself with the flavour you like.
  19. Re-read your favorite book and write down the sentences or passages that you love.
  20. Watch a new movie, there must be a movie which you’ve always interested in but had no time to watch it.
  21. Do something nice that no one will notice, say picking up a rubbish in the street and throw it to a trash bin.
  22. Call your best friend and just talk whatever you want! Human beings are social animals after all, connecting with people close to you will make you feel better.
  23. Do voluntary work and help people in need, you’ll feel happy and satisfied.
  24. Get drunk with your close friends at home – a safe place for you to get drunk and get crazy. Let loose and have fun with your very close friends.
  25. Write an email or a note to a friend who you care about.
  26. Get out of your routine life and meet new friends. Get out of your comfort zone! Meeting new people can give you new inspirations in life.
  27. Look into the mirror and smile. Act like today’s already a wonderful day. How we act affects how we feel. It’s difficult to go on feeling sad if you’re trying to smile!

Remember:

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It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.  — Epictetus

If you want to feel better, change what you’re doing because obviously what you’re doing doesn’t make you happy!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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