The hurt that you feel in your chest and the sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, the constant thoughts of what could have been, and the memories that flood your mind all of the sudden. You are not alone, and there is always a light at the end of this tunnel no matter how dark it is and how far away it might be. There are so many lists you can find on how to move on past the pain and grief of heart break, and these are the steps that I have found to be extremely helpful to me when you are feeling that ever so popular and horrid feeling of a sinking heart. Not in a specific order.
1. Find your determination again. You know that you don’t want to feel this way, remember that. You know that you don’t deserve to feel this way, and you want to change that.
“It is during our darkest moment that we must focus to see the light.” –Aristotle Onassis
2. Stop idealizing them. They hurt you, therefore they do not deserve the pedestal you are putting them on. Don’t make excuses for the things they said, or the things they have done. They do not deserve the energy or time you are spending on these excuses. The actions of other people are much simpler than we perceive. Or maybe you made a mistake? Everyone makes mistakes, and if you can recognize that it was a mistake, you are human. Their forgiveness should mean less to you than forgiving yourself. Other people will never make you happy; you are in control of your own happiness. You are the only one who can achieve happiness in your life. Everything happens for a reason, and time will give you the answer you are looking for.
“No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change” –Barbara de Angelis
3. Play music. Playing the piano has an effect on our brain by using both hemispheres. Using both sides of our brain improves our emotional regulation and the connection between the two. It will help you in the long run if you can learn how to regulate your emotions correctly. You have probably heard a million times that music is a great way to express yourself and what you are feeling. Well it’s true. Music can inspire people, and just think of what you could do with that power.
“Music is love in search of a word.” –Sidney Lanier
4. Avoid all contact. This happens to be the rule that everyone breaks, including me. In these days, technology makes this task extremely hard. Things like facebook, twitter, and even simply texting, are just roadblocks in the healing process. It is best to delete them, block them, and ignore them. I can’t stress how hard and important this one is. You need time to cool down in order to see the situation from a different point of view. Once you see things in a different light, you will see the truth and the answer that you are searching for.
5. If you do run into them on accident (hopefully on accident!). Be mature, be the bigger person. Keep things simple and short. If they say hi and ask you how you are, tell them just the answer to the question and that’s it! How you answer the question is up to you. You can tell them the truth or you can lie, just don’t over react at this point. Keep it simple. Don’t make plans, don’t ask them any questions, and if you really are uncomfortable tell them you are busy and you have to leave right away. If they don’t approach you or say anything, keep it that way. Give them a short smile as you leave. Never do something that you will later regret.
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” –Carl Jung
6. Do something new. Start doing something that makes you feel excitement again. Not only will it be a good distraction, it gives your mind and body a break from the sadness and pain you are feeling. It will increase the feel-good chemicals and connections in your brain. Plus, it reminds you how freaking awesome you are.
7. Surround yourself with laughter. Plan a night where you and your friends make a pact not to talk about past relationships, and focus on making new memories. Do something that you will always remember. Go to a new place, play some pool, do some dancing, drive around a new town, meet new people, say silly and weird things, make inside jokes. Not everything is as bad as you currently feel, and that feeling will fade.
8. Remember that fairytales are only in books and movies for a reason, for entertainment purposes. That ending that you wanted so badly didn’t happen because it was your personal fairytale. It was the movie you played in your head so much that you simply just expected it to happen. Reality trumps entertainment. Your reality gives you opportunities to learn so many amazing things to create relationships that are meaningful and full of love and respect.
9. LEARN! Every failed relationship comes with at least five huge lessons to learn. Maybe you spent too much time together, next time you will have other things to fill your time with then obsessing over the time you spend together. Maybe you have jealous or obsessive tendencies, this is a tough one to learn but it is extremely important to recognize. Once you see that you have this problem you can start working on it fading from your love life. With jealous and obsessive issues, it is something you have to force your brain to mute from your thoughts. You must fight the urge to say things, and react to things. Become confident that if your potential or significant other is doing something behind your back, that it is their character flaw, and their fault. There is nothing you can do to keep someone from doing what they want to do. So it is time to give up trying to fight it. Just be calm and move on. Maybe they just aren’t at the same point in their life as you. You want to move in together, and they don’t. You want to get married, and they don’t. Maybe they want to move in, and you don’t or they want to get married and you don’t. It doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone lives at a different speed from you, and sometimes it’s just that simple. I will do a separate article all on lessons we learn from failed relationships.
10. Help someone else. At work, in your family, or volunteer your time somewhere. It will make you feel great about yourself, and you should. Seeing someone who feels down and helping them out of the dumps will show you that you have the courage and the strength needed to do anything you put your mind to. Making someone smile and making their day is one of the greatest feelings out there. This is the quickest way to recovery I believe. Plus, how dare someone make you feel sad because you are such an amazing person!
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” -Buddha
You will start to feel better if you focus on yourself and not the other person. Realize that they no longer deserve your time and energy, because you are no longer together. The truth in the end is just that. There are reasons, and this is the result from those reasons. You can believe in karma, and you can believe in fate, but you should also believe in the present and in all reality, it is what it is. You can over analyze, complicate the situation, and make up excuses, but it will not change the outcome because it has already ended. Thru all of this process, you will learn more about what you truly deserve and what you really want, and these lessons will teach you how to have these meaningful relationships we all want in our life.
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” –Jim Rohn