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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 14, 2020

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

“Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

1. Make a Gratitude List

In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

2. Write in a Journal

Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

3. Meditate

Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

4. Do Child’s Pose

Yoga Outlet says:

“Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

     

    Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

    5. Try Positive Self-Talk

    Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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    When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

    Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

    When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

    When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

    Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

    6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

    Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

    You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

    It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

    Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

    If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

    7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

    “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

    If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

    You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

    When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

    If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

    Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

    Final Thoughts

    If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

    Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

    You can invest in yourself via self-care.

    You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

    More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

    Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

    Reference

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