When your heart is broken what to do
How to Heal a Broken Heart: 10 Tips
Dana Bottari, LCSW, a psychotherapist based in Florida, says that at the start of a relationship, our thoughts tend to be happy and uplifting. “We may have felt good about ourselves — thoughts about the time our ex commented that we were beautiful or handsome or how much they loved us,” she says.
However, when the relationship ends, your thoughts may be mixed. “We have the positive messages that were given by our ex, combined with perhaps our own judgmental thoughts that we are not good enough or thoughts that things never work out for us,” explains Bottari.
Thoughts affect feelings, and feelings affect actions, she says. When you’re feeling down, you may engage in behaviors you typically don’t. For example, you may skip showering or avoid getting together with friends and family. “We may now feel more alone than ever,” Bottari says.
Gina Moffa, LCSW, a psychotherapist based in New York City, adds that the details and circumstances of a breakup determine how you feel.
“If you feel you’re leaving someone in a painful place after you end it, you may be ridden with guilt and sadness. If you’re the one who’s been broken up with, you may be in a state of shock and go through different phases of grief, including anger, bargaining, depression, and anxiety,” explains Moffa.
As you cope with the loss of a relationship, these tips may help you on your journey to healing.
1.Take time to grieve
If possible, try to think of the loss of the relationship as a grieving process.
“Give yourself time. Do not try to find someone new right away,” says Bottari. “The best thing we can do is to try to honor our emotions and not judge our emotions.”
To validate your emotions, it may help you to reframe your thoughts. Instead of thinking, “I shouldn’t feel so sad,” Bottari recommends thinking, “I am experiencing feelings of sadness, and that’s OK.”
While some people take time to be alone, look inward, or see a therapist to work through the complicated emotions of a breakup, others may suppress painful feelings and jump into another relationship. “I don’t recommend that. We need time to heal what’s been shattered,” says Moffa.
“We need time to look within and take inventory of what patterns we may have taken into the relationship with us that no longer work. We need to tend to our wounded hearts and take the time to allow the healing to happen with time, care, gentleness, and deeper self-understanding,” she says.
2.Find a new source of joy
When you make time for self-inquiry and self-reconnection, Moffa says that this can lead to connection with what may have once brought you peace, joy, or inspiration but was put on hold during your relationship.
“We may be more open to saying ‘yes’ to new things, people, and experiences as a way to explore a newfound sense of freedom, even if it hurts,” she says.
Bottari suggests pushing yourself to do things, even when you don’t feel like it. “Chances are, even after meeting a friend for lunch, you arrive home feeling better than had you stayed home,” she says.
3.Make a list of what you like about yourself
When you are feeling low about yourself, consider making a list of all the good things you did for your past partner or all the qualities they liked about you — and the qualities you like about yourself.
For example, you might write a self-love list like this:
- I made him coffee in the morning.
- I picked her up from the train station when it rained.
- I put on her favorite song when she was sad.
- I reminded him about his dad’s birthday.
You may also find it helpful to write out a list of positive things you’ll do in future relationships.
If you’d rather not think about relationships, Bottari suggests searching the internet for self-affirmations that resonate with you, such as:
- I am not my mistakes.
- I am enough.
- There is no wrong decision.
“Recite these when you are having negative or self-defeating thoughts,” Bottari says.
4.Acknowledge thoughts about your former partner
When thoughts of your ex arise, try not to stop or block them. Instead, Bottari says, practice being a “witness” to these thoughts. When the thoughts come up, take a step back and acknowledge them.
“You know you are experiencing them; they are passing through your mind. You observe them. You practice observing and letting them go,” she explains.
“The minute you pay attention to one and label it as something ‘important,’ you are no longer witnessing them. You are now judging them. Judging brings more negative emotions since your expectations were not met.”
5.Express your needs to others
If you’re not feeling up to meeting friends out or are having a hard time following through on commitments, try to share your feelings with others.
“Try to reconsider your needs at this time and let others know what you are dealing with,” says Bottari. “Many people have felt the same way and will understand that you might need some time to return to your normal state. ”
6.Turn your attention toward others
When the pain of a breakup is too hard to bear, you may find that focusing on the needs of others can help bring feelings of wellbeing and distract you from focusing on yourself, explains Bottari.
Consider volunteering at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter, helping a friend in need with meals or cleaning, or cutting a neighbor’s grass.
7.Allow emotions to flow
You may find it helpful to talk to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist about emotions related to your breakup or ex-partner.
If you’re not comfortable sharing all of your feelings, consider writing them down or meditating on them. You can also engage in another project, such as painting, that may help you release what’s on your mind.
8.Find relief in exercise and movement
Research shows that exercise can reduce stress. “Use exercise as a healthy outlet to manage feelings of anxiety, sadness, lethargy, and stress,” Bottari says.
A daily walk, bike ride, or online workout video are ways to work exercise into your daily routine when you’re feeling sad or stressed about the breakup.
9.Avoid activities that remind you of your ex
If you continue to feel overwhelmed by unwanted thoughts and emotions, consider staying away from places, music, and people who remind you of your ex for a little while.
“Try to go places that make you feel safe. Surround yourself with people that care about you. Go places that you have never been. Take a day trip and explore,” suggests Bottari.
10.Make meaning of the breakup
If possible, try to make meaning of the relationship ending, or accept that there’s no meaning to why it ended.
“Over time, you may come to realize that the end of your relationship was ultimately in your best interest. However, it is possible that you might not be able to find any positive in the relationship ending. Both are valid conclusions. Try to have faith and keep moving forward,” says Bottari.
A breakup can leave you feeling sad and alone, no matter who made the decision to split up. Cycling through a variety of feelings after a breakup is normal, especially if it was unexpected.
“We forget that we are meant to grow and change and learn. That doesn’t always happen at the same time or in the same way in a relationship,” says Moffa.
“Sometimes, one person changes and the other doesn’t. So, be gentle with yourself. You’re changing and growing and healing. We can’t do that all by force.”
Remember, it’s OK to not feel OK for a while. Give yourself time to process the loss of the relationship and practice self-compassion.
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Heartbreak is a universal experience that comes with intense emotional anguish and distress.
While many people associate a broken heart with the end of a romantic relationship, therapist Jenna Palumbo, LCPC, emphasizes that “grief is complicated.” The death of a loved one, job loss, changing careers, losing a close friend — all of these can leave you brokenhearted and feeling like your world will never be the same.
There’s no way around it: healing a broken heart takes time. But there are things you can do to support yourself through the healing process and protect your emotional wellbeing.
It’s essential to look after your own needs after heartbreak, even if you don’t always feel like it.
Give yourself permission to grieve
Grief is not the same for everyone, says Palumbo, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to give yourself permission to feel all of your sadness, anger, loneliness, or guilt.
“Sometimes by doing that, you unconsciously give those around you permission to feel their own grief, too, and you won’t feel like you’re alone in it anymore. ” You just might find that a friend’s gone through similar pain and has some pointers for you.
Take care of yourself
When you’re in the midst of heartbreak, it’s easy to forget to take care of your personal needs. But grieving isn’t just an emotional experience, it also depletes you physically. Indeed, research has shown that physical and emotional pain travel along the same pathways in the brain.
Deep breathing, meditation, and exercise can be great ways to preserve your energy. But don’t beat yourself up over it, either. Simply making an effort to eat and stay hydrated can go a long way. Take it slow, one day at a time.
Lead the way in letting people know what you need
Everyone copes with loss in their own way, says Kristen Carpenter, PhD, a psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
She advises being clear about whether you prefer to grieve privately, with the support of close friends or with a wide circle of people accessible through social networks.
Getting your needs out there will save you from trying to think of something in the moment, says Carpenter, and will allow someone who wants to be supportive to help you and make your life easier by checking something off your list.
Write down what you need (aka the ‘notecard method’)
How it works:
- Sit down and make a list of what you need, including needs for tangible and emotional support. This could involve mowing the grass, grocery shopping, or simply talking on the phone.
- Get a stack of notecards and write down one item on each card.
- When people ask how they can help, hand them a note card or have them choose something they feel they can do. This relieves the pressure to articulate your needs on the spot when someone asks.
Research has found that spending just 2 hours a week outdoors can improve your mental and physical health. If you can get out to some beautiful scenery, great. But even regular walks around the neighborhood can help.
Read self-help books and listen to podcasts
Knowing that others have gone through similar experiences and come out on the other side can may help you feel less alone.
Reading a book (we’ve got some recommendations later in this article) or listening to a podcast about your particular loss can also provide you with validation and be a supportive way for you to process your emotions.
Try a feel-good activity
Set aside time every day for doing something that feels positive, whether that’s journaling, meeting up with a close friend, or watching a show that makes you laugh.
Scheduling in moments that bring you joy is vital for healing a broken heart.
Seek professional help
It’s important to talk about your feelings with others and not numb yourself out. This is easier said than done, and it’s totally normal to need some extra help.
If you find that your grief is too much to bear on your own, a mental health professional can help you work through painful emotions. Even just two or three sessions can help you develop some new coping tools.
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After giving yourself some space to grieve and tending to your needs, start looking toward creating new routines and habits that can help you continue to process your loss.
Don’t try to suppress the pain
“Don’t waste energy on feeling ashamed or guilty about your feelings,” says Carpenter. Instead, “invest that energy in making concrete efforts to feel better and to heal.”
Consider giving yourself 10 to 15 minutes each day to acknowledge and feel your sadness. By giving it some dedicated attention, you may find it popping up less and less throughout your day.
Self-compassion involves treating yourself with love and respect while not judging yourself.
Think of how you would treat a close friend or family member going through a hard time. What would you say to them? What would you offer them? How would you show them you care? Take your answers and apply them to yourself.
Create space in your schedule
When you are going through a difficult time, it can be easy to distract yourself with activities. While this can be helpful, make sure you’re still leaving yourself some space to process your feelings and have some down time.
Foster new traditions
If you’ve ended a relationship or lost a loved one, you may feel like you’ve lost a lifetime of traditions and rituals. Holidays can be particularly hard.
Allow friends and family to help you create new traditions and memories. Don’t hesitate to reach out for some extra support during major holidays.
Write it down
Once you’ve had some time to sit with your feelings, journaling can help you better organize them and give you a chance to unload any emotions that might be hard to share with others.
Here’s a guide to get you started.
Find a support system
Regularly attending or engaging in in-person or online support groups can provide a safe environment to help you cope. It’s also healing to share your feelings and challenges with those in similar situations.
Connect with yourself
Going through a big loss or change can leave you feeling a little unsure of yourself and who you are. You can do this by connecting to your body through exercise, spending time in nature, or connecting with your spiritual and philosophical beliefs.
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As you navigate the process of healing a broken heart, it’s helpful to have realistic expectations about the process. From pop songs to rom-coms, society can give a warped view of what heartbreak actually entails.
Here are a few things to keep in the back of your mind.
Your experience is valid
The death of a loved one is the more overt form of grief, Palumbo explains, but covert grief can look like the loss of a friendship or relationship. Or maybe you’re starting a new phase of your life by changing careers or becoming an empty nester.
Whatever it is, it’s important to validate your grief. This simply means recognizing the impact it’s had on your life.
It’s not a competition
It’s natural to compare your situation to that of others, but heartbreak and grieving aren’t a competition.
Just because it’s the loss of a friendship and not the death of a friend doesn’t mean the process isn’t the same, says Palumbo. “You’re relearning how to live in a world without an important relationship you once had.”
There’s no expiration date
Grief is not the same for everyone and it has no timetable. Avoid statements like “I should be moving on by now,” and give yourself all of the time you need to heal.
You can’t avoid it
As hard as it might feel, you have to move through it. The more you put off dealing with painful emotions, the longer it will take for you to start feeling better.
Expect the unexpected
As your grief evolves, so will the intensity and frequency of heartbreak. At times it will feel like soft waves that come and go. But some days, it might feel like an uncontrollable jolt of emotion. Try not to judge how your emotions manifest.
You’ll have periods of happiness
Remember that it’s okay to fully experience moments of joy as you grieve. Spend part of each day focusing on the present moment, and allow yourself to embrace the good things in life.
If you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, this might bring up some feelings of guilt. But experiencing joy and happiness is crucial to moving forward. And forcing yourself to stay in a negative state of mind won’t change the situation.
It’s okay to not be okay
A profound loss, like the death of a loved one, is going to look vastly different from a job rejection, notes therapist Victoria Fisher, LMSW. “In both cases, it’s imperative to allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling and remember that it’s okay not to be okay.”
Even if you’re doing everything you can to work through your heartbreak, you’ll probably still have off days. Take them as they come and try again tomorrow.
Don’t expect your suffering to go away sooner than when it’s ready. Try to accept your new reality and understand that your grief will take some time to heal.
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When you’re dealing with heartbreak, books can be both a distraction and a healing tool. They don’t have to be big self-help books, either. Personal accounts of how others have lived through grief can be just as powerful.
Here are some titles to get you started.
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling book “Wild,” compiled questions and answers from her formerly anonymous advice column. Each in-depth response offers insightful and compassionate advice for anyone who’s experienced a wide range of losses including infidelity, a loveless marriage, or death in the family.
Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace
Acclaimed author Anne Lamott delivers profound, honest, and unexpected stories that teach us how to turn toward love even in the most hopeless situations. Just be aware that there are some religious undertones in her work.
Love You Like the Sky: Surviving the Suicide of a Beloved
Psychologist and survivor of suicide Dr. Sarah Neustadter provides a roadmap navigating the complicated emotions of grief and turning despair into beauty.
The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: How to Turn the Pain of a Breakup Into Healing, Insight, and New Love
Through her gentle, encouraging wisdom, Susan Piver offers recommendations for recovering from the trauma of a broken heart. Think of it as a prescription for dealing with the anguish and disappointment of a breakup.
On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard
Despite being nearly deaf and experiencing the debilitating loss of her father as a child, author Jennifer Pastiloff learned how to rebuild her life by listening fiercely and caring for others.
The Year of Magical Thinking
For anyone who’s experienced the sudden death of a spouse, Joan Didion offers a raw and honest portrayal of a marriage and life that explores illness, trauma, and death.
No Mud, No Lotus
With compassion and simplicity, Buddhist monk and Vietnam refugee Thich Nhat Hanh provides practices for embracing pain and finding true joy.
How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days: A Day-by-Day Guide to Saying Good-bye and Getting On With Your Life
Howard Bronson and Mike Riley lead you through recovering from the end of a romantic relationship with insights and exercises meant to help you heal and build resilience.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Through her heartfelt, honest storytelling, Brené Brown, PhD, explores how we can strengthen our connection to the world and cultivate feelings of self-acceptance and love.
The hard truth of going through loss is that it can change your life forever. There will be moments when you feel overcome with heartache. But there will be others when you see a glimmer of light.
For some grief, as Fisher notes, “it’s a matter of surviving for a while until you gradually build a new, different life with an open space for the grief when it arises.”
Cindy Lamothe is a freelance journalist based in Guatemala. She writes often about the intersections between health, wellness, and the science of human behavior. She’s written for The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, Quartz, The Washington Post, and many more. Find her at cindylamothe.com.
life hacks from a psychologist when parting with a loved one or death of a loved one
What to do, what to remember, and how to survive grief due to a breakup with a partner, the loss of a friend or the death of a loved one.
There is probably no person who has never experienced a broken heart. We usually associate this concept with the end of a romantic relationship, but grief is not an easy thing. The death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a career change, the loss of a close friend can break our hearts. All this leaves us confused and feeling that the world will never be the same again.
Contents of article
There is no magic patch for a broken heart - it will take time to heal. But there are practices that help support yourself and protect your emotional well-being. Here are some recommendations from psychotherapists and healthline.com.
How to take care of yourself
Even if your last concern is to think about your needs, taking care of yourself is important. A broken heart needs strength - and so do you.
Allow yourself to grieve
There is no one “universal” grief that everyone experiences in the same way. So the best thing you can do is give yourself permission to feel what hurts inside: sadness, anger, loneliness, or guilt.
And although we are all different, perhaps close people will be able to feel our pain, recognize something of their own in it and support us.
Take care of yourself
It is easy for a broken heart to distract us from our daily needs. But grief is not only an emotional experience, it drains you physically. Scientists have proven that physical and emotional pain use the same pathways in the brain, so feelings cannot be considered separately from the body.
Exercise, deep breathing, and meditation can help you deal with your feelings. But don't beat yourself up if you don't have the strength to do all this - just move in small steps, one day at a time. And don't forget to drink enough water.
Let others know what you need
Everyone deals with loss differently. Someone prefers to close completely, others have enough circle of friends, others live through feelings, sharing them with a large audience on social networks. Decide how it works for you and how other people can help - keep your distance, be in close contact or more distant, etc.
Write down things that can help you (“card method”)
How it works:
- Make a list of what you need, including material and emotional support. This may include talking on the phone, hugging, helping with groceries, etc.
- Take a stack of cards and write down one item on each.
- When people ask how they can help, give them one of the cards or let them choose their own. Some people are not very good at comforting, but are brilliant in planning tasks, others are always ready to be in touch. Choosing from several ready-made items will allow your loved ones to understand how to help you, and it will unload your head, already clouded with worries.
Research has shown that just 2 hours a week of fresh air improves our mental and physical health. It's great if you can take in the scenery while walking, but even just walking can help.
Read self-help books and listen to podcasts
Knowing that others have gone through and dealt with similar experiences can help reduce feelings of loneliness. Books and podcasts are a great way to accept and live your feelings.
Try to do something nice for yourself
Set aside time every day for something positive - watching a funny series or funny videos, meeting friends, reading a good book. Planning for moments that bring joy is vital to healing a broken heart.
Seek professional help
It is very important to talk about your feelings with others and not try to bury them in yourself. Easier said than done, so a meeting with a psychologist or psychotherapist may be helpful. Even two or three meetings may be enough.
Skills worth learning
Coping with grief is important, but it is also helpful to develop new habits and skills to help you overcome the loss.
Accepting your pain
Don't waste time feeling ashamed or guilty about your feelings, it's better to put all your energy into healing. Schedule 10-15 minutes a day to mourn well, this is normal in your situation. After a while, you may find that you want to do it less and less.
This means treating yourself with love and respect, without judgment. Think about what you would say to a loved one who is going through difficult times, how would you show him that you care? This is how you should treat yourself.
Unloading the schedule
When we are in pain, it can be very difficult to focus on business. Keep this in mind when planning your work or social workload, leaving room for "feeling breaks."
Cultivating new traditions
If you end a relationship or lose a loved one, it may turn out that a whole piece of life full of rituals and traditions has gone with him (holidays are especially difficult).
Enlist the help of friends and family to create something new to replace what has been lost—traditions and memories.
Writing in a diary or private blog can help you recognize and record feelings that you are not ready to share with other people.
Chat with a support group
This could be a social media group, forum or online support group. Regular communication in a safe environment, sharing feelings and experiences with those who have experienced similar things, can be very healing.
Getting in touch with soul and body
Experiencing loss or change can separate us from ourselves. You can return contact with the soul and body through physical exercises, walks in nature or meditation practices.
Things to remember
Our society, in movies and songs, has distorted ideas about how recovery from loss works. That is why it is so important to have realistic expectations.
Your experience is important
The death of a loved one is an obvious form of grief, but it can also be hidden, with the loss of a friendship or relationship. Even a career change or the departure of children from home can cause it.
The popular phrase “Children in Africa are starving” has never made anyone feel better. No one exclaimed, “Why am I crying, my problems are not problems at all in comparison with the problem of world hunger!”
It doesn't matter why you are in pain, what matters is that you are in pain. These feelings affect your life.
It's not a competition
It's natural to compare your experience with other people's, but grief is not a competition.
You can lose a friend to death, or you can lose a friendship, and the feelings will be very similar: you will have to learn to live in a world without important close relationships.
No expiration date in grief
Grief is not the same for everyone, it does not have a timetable like a train. Avoid those who say "it's time to move on" - you have the right to heal for as long as you need.
You can't avoid pain
No matter how hard it is, you have to go through it. The more you delay acknowledging your pain, feelings, and emotions, the further recovery is delayed.
Sometimes feelings will come over
As the experience of grief develops, the intensity of sadness will also change. Sometimes it will be soft waves coming and going, and sometimes feelings will overwhelm you, without any control. Don't judge yourself for the way your emotions show up.
You will have periods of happiness
It is perfectly normal to feel moments of joy even when you are sad. Focus on the present and allow yourself to accept the good things that are happening in life.
If you are experiencing the loss of a loved one, happiness may be accompanied by feelings of guilt. But joy is very important in order to move forward, and forcing yourself into negativity will not change the situation for the better.
It's okay to feel abnormal
Even if you do your best to heal your broken heart, sometimes there will be bad days. Take them for granted - you will continue healing tomorrow. It's normal to feel abnormal from time to time.
You'll need time
Don't expect your pain to go away before it's all gone. Try to accept the new reality and the fact that you will need time to process grief and heal.
What can you read?
Books help to distract and heal a broken heart, especially if they are personal stories about how other people experienced grief. Here are some stories that might help.
- Strayed Cheryl — Beautiful little things. Inspirational stories for those who do not know how to live on
- Lamotte Ann Small victories. How to Feel Happiness Every Day"
- Joan Didion "The Year of Magical Thinking" Joan Didion
- Nat Tit "Lotus grows from mud. How to transform suffering into happiness"
- Brown Brené "Gifts of imperfection. How to love yourself just the way you are"
Have you had your heart broken?
Sadly, the hard experience of loss can change our lives forever. But pain follows light, so it's worth keeping moving forward. Survival time will end and a new life will begin , slightly different, but no less valuable.0003
25 Important Reminders for When Your Heart is Broken - Website for the Soul
1. Your heart won't stay broken forever. You will meet people who will gradually heal him: new friends, new love, new family members.
2. Don't blame yourself for loving too much, for giving too much. You felt so, you love so much. Don't be ashamed of the way you love.
3. Sometimes we hold on to people who are not right for us. It may not feel like it right now, but in the end you will understand why it was for the best.
4. A broken heart makes you stronger and wiser. Pain changes people.
5. A broken heart teaches you how to be compassionate to others and to yourself.
6. Maybe you didn't get the explanation you wanted, but this is also a kind of explanation. Sometimes we slam the door shut without looking back.
7. A broken heart will build high walls around itself for those who want to break it again. Sometimes a broken heart saves you from those who could hurt you even more.
8. You will always forget the people you think you will never forget.
9. Everything that is too hard, or causes pain, that needs to be forced - this is not destined to be with you. What is destined - will smoothly enter your life, without such difficulties. The more you fight for something that is not destined for you, the more it will hurt you.
10. Every goodbye comes with a better hello. After every end comes a better start. This is a transitional stage for you as a person to focus on something other than this person. This is the moment when you truly change yourself and your life.
11. It's better to be alone than with someone who doesn't appreciate you or who makes you think it's hard to love you.
12. Just because someone left you doesn't mean everyone else will. Sometimes good things are taken away from us so that we can find something better.
13. If you have good friends, they will help you get through even the most difficult parting. Just don't hide from them.
14. Having lost someone who means a lot to you, you can fill this loss with something more meaningful and meaningful.
15. A broken heart will inspire you to do what you really like, to do something creative and creative. Sometimes pain turns us into musicians, artists, or writers.
16. A broken heart teaches you to accept loneliness, and loneliness teaches you how to survive.
17. Even if you miss him, it does not mean that he was right for you or that you should try to win him back.
18. Remember why you broke up every time you think about him. This will help you resist the temptation to text or call him.
19. If you don't want to be friends, don't. True friends don't leave each other.
20. You will laugh again, you will love again.