One of the most torturous symptoms of the breakup blues is struggling with being able to let go of your ex.
This is especially the case when you are the partner who didn’t want the relationship to end, but even initiators of a relationship termination go through this as well.
You know how it is. Your mind becomes preoccupied with thoughts of him that just won’t go away. You can’t stop thinking about him and what he’s doing, let alone who he’s with.
You have reconciliation fantasies that keep the hopes alive that you’ll get back together, all the while realizing this keeps the delusion going and it only serves to keep you hurting and stuck.
How do you grieve this loss and promote healing so you can get your life back on track again?
Here are some creative strategies you might employ to help you become more resilient in the aftermath of a breakup so you can move forward in a positive direction.
There’s no special formula for accomplishing this feat, and everyone is different in terms of how they grieve and which techniques they use. What works for one may not for another, so the key is to experiment with each of them and integrate those most useful to your personal style.
1. Journal your feelings.
The worst thing you can do is stuff your feelings in avoidance. This will only serve to perpetuate your pain, and your feelings will eventually show themselves in destructive ways.
Grab a notebook and write an emotion you have about your breakup at the top of the page. Every day, go to the page of the emotion that predominated and write about your experience with that feeling.
By doing this, you are helping to facilitate your grief process and are taking control over your own emotional life.
2. Start making plans.
Rather than focusing on the past and what could have been, channel your energies toward what you do have control over – the present and the future.
Create a vision board detailing all of your dreams, wishes, hopes and goals and begin developing an action plan to start accomplishing them. This is constructive use of your time that will only serve to further your personal growth.
“When we are suffering, it can be
therapeutic to help other people.”
3. Snap away those self-defeating thoughts.
Sounds corny but anytime you find yourself engaging in negative thinking, snap yourself with a rubber band that you wear around your wrist. This will “snap” you out of your trance and give you an opportunity to redirect your focus and behavior on more productive things.
With every snap, you’ll be training your mind to associate these negative thoughts with pain to the point that you’ll start having more control over your thought patterns and where they go. This is a classic behavioral technique.
4. Create a coping toolbox.
Grab a box and start filling it with items you can turn to for coping when the need arises. Whether it be your journal, a stress ball, a self-help workbook or an exercise weight, these resources will be readily available when you need them the most.
5. Develop your arguments.
Take out a piece of paper and make a list of all the reasons why you are better off not being in the relationship anymore. How do you benefit?
By turning to these when you’re hit with an obsessive funk about your ex, you’ll have a handy reference to help you keep the perspective of what’s most healthy for you to do with your life now.
6. Keep busy.
Keeping busy shouldn’t be done as an avoidance or distraction strategy. By keeping busy, I mean activities that are productive and meaningful to your life, not something just for the sake of being busy.
When we are suffering, oftentimes it can be quite therapeutic to volunteer for a cause and help other people. Or you can focus your attention on tackling the items on your vision board.
What are some strategies you use to help recover from a breakup and get over an ex?