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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

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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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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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