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How Taking Good Care Of Yourself Is The Best Cure For Heartbreak

How Taking Good Care Of Yourself Is The Best Cure For Heartbreak

You thought your relationship was going to last a lifetime. You fought long and hard but it still ended, and now you are left with a heart shattered in a million pieces.

Heartbreak pain is different than breaking a limb. It’s an invisible, continuous throbbing from the inside that no one else can truly understand because it’s intimately personal to you alone.

So rather than depending on others to help you, it’s a time in your life when you have to simply be your own best friend. I advise those I coach to take care of their own heart first. It’s one of the most important survival methods I learned when going through this experience myself.

Here are some must-do heartbreak cures that may help you through this difficult time:

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1. Put your heart in a cast as you would a broken arm

Give yourself time. Recognize that the very core of who you are, your heart, is broken and you must let it heal. Just as you wouldn’t go run a marathon on a broken leg, don’t think that your heart is ready to jump into another relationship immediately. A general guideline for healing is one year for every four you were committed. Purposely letting yourself do this may lessen that time.

2. Be patient with your up and down moments

When we go through a traumatic event, it’s normal to have emotions that bounce up and down. One moment you may feel as if you are getting better, only to have something happen that will trigger the blues again. Expect this. As you focus on healing, you will find the good moments extending longer and longer.

3. Feed yourself good food even if you don’t feel like eating

You are a well-oiled machine that needs fuel to operate at its maximum. Some nights you will cry and eat ice cream, but for the most part, do your best to put yourself on automatic pilot for meals and choose good food. Your brain needs this as it’s working overtime right now to keep you in balance.

4. Take mini adventures – find new places and ways of doing things

What you don’t need are a lot of reminders of your ex. So begin carving out some new habits and make it interesting. Shop at a grocery store you have hardly ever been to (you may find some new ideas for eating well). Take a new route to work. Eat at new restaurants, try a new coffee flavor. It can be fun and you may discover some eye-opening preferences you didn’t know you had.

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5. Allow yourself to work out your anger positively

I discovered the treadmill when I went through a breakup. It was amazing for pounding off frustration. An added benefit was that I found myself in the best shape of my life. I joined a small gym, so it was conducive to meeting many people who were in the same situation as I was. I made some good friends there. This was much better (and less humiliating) than drinking myself into oblivion and then having to recover from that as well.

6. Find a way to help yourself sleep

Breakups are often not compatible with sleeping the whole night through. After a couple of hours – if you can fall asleep – you jerk awake and the pain hits you in the stomach again as memories come crashing in. You need your sleep just as you need good food. So if you must go to a physician and ask for help, do that. If that treadmill helps exhaust you so you can rest, do that too. Your sleep patterns will get better as your heart heals.

7. Realize that you have been through a loss and you need to grieve

If you had lost your spouse to death, you would let yourself grieve. We don’t tend to view breakups the same way. Separation can be worse than a death as the one you loved still lives and breathes and may have the power to continue hurting you, or you might have to watch them with someone else. So realize that you are facing the death of your lost dreams, the comfort of the love you once had, and the future you thought you were going to have.

The same stages of grief will affect you: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Bouncing back and forth between these is normal. Be tender with yourself. Learn how to go through them and you will be amazed at the difference in your healing.

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8. Give yourself permission to do some wild and crazy things you wouldn’t have tried before

Whether or not you chose to leave your relationship, this has now become your opportunity to become more ‘you’ than you ever have before. So cross over the boundaries of your comfort zones and find some new experiences to try. Start with going out to a movie on a work night if you and your partner just didn’t do that. Try rock climbing. Learn to ski. Take swimming lessons. You will find yourself distracted and you may discover you have some interesting likes you didn’t know were part of who you are.

9. Become your own coach by starting a Strength Journal

In some way personal to you, celebrate what is working on this journey from heartbreak to happiness. I started what I called my “Strength Journal.” In it I would write quotes from books I read that helped me to stay positive. I would record insights I had and the results of personality tests I randomly took. It was a place for anything that made me feel stronger and revealed who I really was and where I wanted to go. Then, when I was feeling low, I would go back and review all these wonderful entries. It was the inspiration I often needed to keep going.

10. Revive your dreams

When you are consumed by the difficulty of a troubled relationship and then live through the shock of breaking up, your dreams are often what suffer. That is, if you were ever in touch with them in the first place. Again, this is your time. As you begin discovering who you are again, let your heart tell you what it is you have always wanted to do or to be.

Pain is amazing for drawing out the compassion in us if we let it. So as you heal, notice what your heart is saying. Did you always want to start a bed and breakfast? Do you have a yearning to protect the lost or innocent in some way?

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Start small and build from there. Would purchasing a particular piece of furniture to go in that exact spot give you a sense of individuality and peace? Begin saving. Work step by step toward where you want to go.

You will heal.

You will find your life again and it will be richer and deeper than before if you take care of your broken heart now.

Many have traveled this road. What other suggestions do you have that may help others going through this? Have you got any great heartbreak cures? Share them in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Image credit: 123bogdan / 123RF Stock Photo via submit.123rf.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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