Breaking up is more than simply “difficult.” Your partner was practically a part of you. Losing them is like losing an arm or a leg – you can live without it, but you need months of practice getting used to your new situation.
There are right and wrong ways to go about healing after a rough breakup. Surviving a break up is as much about making the right choices as it is avoiding mistakes. You must make sure that you are acting appropriately, otherwise there is a considerable risk that your recovery will not go smoothly.
Tools for Surviving a Break Up
- Make it “Over” – The worst thing you can do is hold onto the idea that you may get back together some time in the future. The reason this is so important for surviving a break up is because the idea of getting back together will always be on your mind. You will meet someone new and the first thing that will pop into your head is “should I bother with this person, or should I just wait for my ex?” Your ex will constantly be on your mind when you meet new people and enjoy new activities.Even if your relationship was amazing, it is exceedingly difficult to get over the breakup if you think of getting back with your ex as a possibility. It isn’t and it shouldn’t be, at least not if you want to feel better.
- Exercise – When a dog has too much energy, it starts to become destructive. This is because energy leads to anxiety, and anxiety leads to negativity. Dogs seek out destruction because it is the only thing they can do to calm their active minds.Human beings are not much different. When you are filled with energy, your mind and body start to experience more anxiety, and that anxiety will turn to negative thoughts about your ex. Exercising calms both your mind and body (and helps you look better in the process).
- Socialize – Have you ever tried to hold a conversation with someone else while playing with your iPhone or watching TV? It’s hard. Your mind can’t focus on two things at once. When you are focusing your mind on one thing, it starts to lose track of the other.Actively socializing (without talking about your ex, of course) does the same thing. Hang out with your friends and participate in the conversation. The time you spend talking will keep your mind off your ex, and the less time you spend thinking about your ex the easier you will find surviving the break up to be.
- Expect Pangs of Sadness – Our emotions can be incredibly misleading. You cannot get over a breakup if you trust your emotions at face value. You need to make sure that you are prepared for intense sadness, even after you are feeling better. Emotions are not linear. Just because you feel better one day doesn’t mean you won’t start feeling worse the next.Most people believe that what they are feeling is constant. They assume that if they are feeling better they must be better. Then they experience intense sadness and assume that their emotions are telling them they will never survive the breakup. Don’t trust your emotions. Prepare yourself for feeling sad, even after you are feeling better, and do not let that sadness influence your decision making.
- Listen to Exciting Music – It’s amazing how much music is able to affect your mood. After a breakup, however, most people choose songs that match their mood – slow sad songs or harsh angry songs. You do not want to feed your bad mood, you want to stop it. Surviving a break up is about helping yourself feel better, not helping yourself feel understood.Listen to fast paced, rhythmic, exciting music. If you like club rap listen to club rap. If you like exciting classical listen to exciting classical. Just make sure that your music matches the mood you wish you had, not the mood that you currently have.
The Most Important Element is Time
There is no substitute for time. The longer you are apart, the better you will feel. The key to surviving a breakup is to ensure that during that time you are not doing anything to reinforce the feelings or behaviors. The better you are able to feel during the time after your breakup, the easier time you will have getting over the breakup in the future.