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How to Heal a Broken Heart: Why It Hurts Bad and How to Recover

How to Heal a Broken Heart: Why It Hurts Bad and How to Recover

It is quite hard to focus on recovering when you are questioning yourself about what went wrong. 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 on how to heal 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.

The science behind a broken heart

The following video is a simple yet great demonstration of what people are going through with a broken heart.

Heartbreaks are painful, but 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 heal a broken heart gently

To heal a broken heart, it maybe difficult at first, but gradually you will get better with these steps:

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. Leave no room for guilt in your life going forward.

If you made a mistake then, by all means feel the guilt for the moment.

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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. Lose yourself in what you’re passionate about.

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. Feel the good and the bad in each and every day.

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 (and really move on)

When you start to feel a bit better, it’s time to take actions to move on with your life. With these tips, you will find letting go and moving on a lot easier:

1. Take good care of your body

How’s your health? Yes, it sounds cliché but having a healthy mind, body and soul is a great foundation for recovery.

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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. Listen to your inner voice and be peaceful with it.

Connection to the universe, nature, meditation or prayer–have you neglected your spiritual side?

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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. Re-visit an old place with new people.

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 neither 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 to 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: When You Start to Enjoy Being Alone, These 10 Things Will Happen

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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.

These articles maybe helpful for you:

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 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 a broken heart, 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: Pixabay via pixabay.com

More by this author

Anjelica Ilovi

Anjelica writes about how to grind and unwind for increased productivity, focus and joyful living anjelicailovi.com {grind + unwind}

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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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