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

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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

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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 July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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