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How do you heal a broken heart?

How do you heal a broken heart? Here are a few tips I have picked up in my training, experiences and late night calls with girlfriends and family members. Many sessions have taught me much and I’ve also been where you are. ❤️



Take Your Time

Breaking up can trigger chemical, emotional and physical reactions that cause you to feel lonely, unloveable, depressed, and worthless. That’s not just going to go away with a new haircut, maxing out your Visa with a new wardrobe, or hitting the club. Instead of pushing yourself to move forward quickly, take time to acknowledge how you are feeling. Bottling up your emotions may seem like a good idea in the short term, but it can lead to unwanted long-term consequences, such as bitterness, a jaded view of relationships, fear, depression, a poor self-image, and serial dating. Your feelings are valid. Whether you were convinced that your ex was “the one,” even though he clearly wasn’t to your friends and family, doesn’t matter. Your thoughts might be distorted, but your feelings are real. Take the time you need to explore them.


Good Grief

Along with breaking up comes the loss of a relationship with your ex, some mutual friends, and your ex’s family. But the loss doesn’t end there. You might lose your home, your perceived social status, and whatever future you imagined you might have had with your ex. Just like with any loss, you need to give yourself the time and space to grieve what is no more. Now, this is easier said than done. The natural reaction is to avoid this, because it seems too painful to face reality. But avoiding this part of the process can lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, suppressed immune system, physical manifestations, such as body tension, despair, and obsessive thoughts, and yes, the inability to move on. Though it can be physically and emotionally unpleasant at times, grieving gives you a greater sense of being in control and feeling empowered. You do not want to enter your next relationship guarded, making negative predictions, and pushing your partner away by pleading “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” like the Backstreet Boys. Grieving is a necessary part of the healing process and the path to getting unstuck and moving on in a healthy way.

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief are one of the most popular ways to frame the grieving process. Though everyone experiences grief uniquely, I have found it to be a helpful guide in working with my grieving clients. The five stages are denial (inability to accept reality), anger (physical tension, frustration, resentment), bargaining (magical thinking, pleading to God), depression (sadness, emptiness, guilt, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, hopelessness), and acceptance.


While moving through these stages, be curious about your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical sensations. Take time to be aware of what you are experiencing, and practice letting things be as they are, without trying to control or change them. Do your best to notice when you are being judgmental of your thoughts or feelings and try to have compassion for yourself.


Though it feels like this is eternal, grueling pain, it does pass. It does get easier. You will meet someone who values you.


Grieving is difficult. Be kind to yourself and understand that it will take some time.

(Psychology today)


With love,

Michelle


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