Why Breakups Hurt & What You Can Do to Stop the Pain
I am writing this post for anyone who is divorced, separated, or breaking up with a long-term romantic partner. Why am I writing this? Because breakups hurt and I want to help everyone who is going through one.
I know your divorce/breakup/separation may feel like the worst thing in the world right now, but I want to show you there is hope. Not only is it possible for you to heal from the hurt, anger, and resentment but you can go on to build a new life that is better than the one you had before.
I am going to support you through your journey, and I am going to give you the tools you need to transform your life. I want you to elevate your life – to the life you want. The life that makes you super-super excited. If you are willing to put the work in – I am going to show you how. I will be with you every step of the way so that you emerge happier, healthier, and whole again. This is all about YOU.
It is critical that you take the time to heal from the emotional fallout of divorce/breakup—all too often, people don’t do the work or know what to do. They dismiss their pain by assuming that it is normal that ‘breakups hurt’ and that ‘time will heal’. Through my own adversities, I have learned that it is not ‘time’ but the deliberate action you choose to take with that time, that makes the difference. Most people rely on time to heal because they lack the necessary skills or knowledge to do what it takes to change their lives for the better.
In this post, I will give you a deep insight into what your emotional journey will look like and what steps you can take to heal. If you are serious about your recovery, I am serious about helping you to get there.
You might not believe me right now, but you can truly heal from the heartbreak. In fact, you will eventually come to realise that a breakup or divorce is rich in opportunity.
Why does breaking up hurt so much?
Let me reassure you – you are not the only one who is going through the hell of heartbreak right now. Breaking up is painful for most people. You will not believe me when I tell you that breakups hurt even for the people who do the ‘leaving’.
Breakups Hurt Because Your Past is Undermined
One of the biggest causes of pain from heartbreak is the thoughts about the past that go round and round in your head.
Relationships are an enormous part of us. We invest ourselves in them fully, map out your future around them, and attach our dreams to them. We make a commitment to our partner/spouse, and feel secure that they are committed to us. When that relationship ends, all the hard work we have done has gone to waste.
You start to question the love and life you shared together. You question whether they ever felt the same as you or when their feelings started to change about you. Nothing makes sense anymore and you start to play the past in your mind over and over, trying to work out what happened and how you ended up here. These questions and thoughts about the past make heartbreak so much more painful and complicated. Your understanding of your world has been called into question and your sense of security taken away. You want answers but frustratingly there are none – at least not ones that will alleviate the pain.
Another main reason why breakups hurt is that the partner you set up a life with, now seems like a different person. A breakup usually reveals a side of them that you did not know existed. They might be behaving ‘cold’ towards you or turning a little malicious, which can be very destabilising. So, on top of everything else, you are mourning the loss of the person you thought you were committed to. This is especially true if you discover infidelities, addictions, or areas of your ex’s life that you knew nothing about. Some clients tell me that they had no idea their ex could turn on them in such a way. This causes anxiety because they question how they had been living with this person for so long without knowing what they were capable of. How can you share so much intimacy with a person and they become so distant from you?
Breakups Hurt Because Your Present is in turmoil
When a relationship falls apart, your life is filled with chaos and turmoil.
You are used to coming home to someone in the evening, to having someone to discuss things with, to having someone to go out with. Everything about your life and who you are is disrupted. This disruption can wreak havoc on your emotions. One minute you want your ex back, the next minute you are so angry at them, you want revenge! Some women even tell me that they wanted their partner out of the house but when they left, they begged them to come back. When your ‘normal’ changes it is overwhelming.
Aside from the heartbreak, there is the practical job of untangling lives that have been glued together. The purpose of the relationship was ‘growth’. You made plans together, pooled together your finances, grew your family, and built your careers. It took years to get here and now you have to dismantle all of it –bit by bit. There is no area of life that is unaffected: kids, finances, home, families, friends, hobbies, social lives, and lifestyles.
Even though you are hurting and even though everyone knows that breakups hurt like mad, the world does not wait for you to heal. You are under pressure to deal with the paperwork, lawyers, courts, and all the other practical issues. This can undoubtedly add to the stress and pain. One woman told me after her husband left her, she did not have the energy to get out of bed but the paperwork kept mounting, the bills kept arriving, the dinner still needed cooking, the washing never took care of it-self and worst of all, her friends still looked happy.
Breakups Hurt Because Your Future is Uncertain
Not only are you not heading towards the future you had planned; you do not know what is going to happen. This level of uncertainty and loss of control is very disconcerting for most people. People dislike uncertainty so much that they often stay with partners who they do not want to be with. As the saying goes ‘better the devil you know’.
When you are very young, uncertainty is exciting. You have your whole life ahead of you. You wonder you will be and what future your life holds for you. Your destiny is in your hands to make of it what you want. As we grow older, we start to yearn stability and certainty. We have already put all the work into building our life. We know exactly what we want our future to look like. To have that taken away and being put back into the position of having to start over, is frightening.
Breakups Hurt Because You’re Feeling Like You Have Failed
Feelings of failure after divorce/breakup is common. There is still a lot of social stigma surrounding divorce. Society has programmed us to feel that marriage is something we should all aspire to – something we should preserve at all costs. We are further conditioned to believe divorce is ‘bad’. It will devastate your life, leave you financially poor, lonely, miserable, and not to forget, damage your children. These beliefs can exacerbate your feelings of anxiety and depression.
As if heartbreak is not hard enough, clients also tell me that they worry that people are laughing at them or think that they were a bad spouse/parent. Some people tell me they feel embarrassed about the community finding out about their divorce. There is a lot of fear of being judged.
You need to re-programme your belief. Yes, marriage can be wonderful. Yes, we should work hard to save our relationships. But guess what? Sometimes it is best for all those concerned to see that there is no future together. Life after divorce can be a very amazing too. You have not failed – you have succeeded in recognising that your relationship is not serving you. You are going to succeed in overcoming what you are going through. If others are judging you, all you must remember is that they are running away from their own insecurities. Maybe their own relationship is in trouble, maybe they secretly envy you because they too want a divorce.
Breakups Hurt Because You’re Feeling Insecure
Ultimately, we all want to be loved and desirable. The end of a relationship naturally evokes feelings within us that we are ‘unloved’ or ‘unlovable’. Not only do the breakups hurt, but they also draw out our securities – like someone is confirming for certain that all the negative beliefs we hold about ourselves are true. This is a very challenging experience to go through and it is no wonder why breaking up is so painful.
Re-building your self-confidence is crucial after a trauma like a breakup. This is one of the main areas of my work. Your relationship or your split does not define you. You are so much more than that. This is your golden opportunity to strengthen your character. If you do anything – build your self-confidence. It can seriously change the trajectory of your entire life.
Breakups hurt but the pain can be a useful tool if you learn how to use it to your advantage.
Why is breaking up so painful – What is the purpose of the pain?
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” ― Rumi
I love the above quote because I am an avid believer that everything in life happens for a reason. Painful experiences are no exception. In fact, I usually find that they are often the most educating. Breakups hurt but I think we need that pain to bring out a part of us that we did not know was there. You might find breakup pain unbearable but I want you to use it. The pain has a specific message for you. You have an opportunity to learn something about yourself and progress. It is up to you to find the lesson and learn it.
What are the Effects of Painful Breakup – ‘The Breakup Symptoms’
When an important love relationship ends, a range of different responses is triggered. Symptoms of heartbreak can be both emotional and physical.
What Does a Breakup Feel Like? Emotional Reactions of a Painful Break-Up
In terms of emotional reactions, the most common symptoms of grief are:
If you are feeling one or more of these emotions – it is ok. This is perfectly natural. It is common to feel a mix of these emotions at the end of a relationship and in fact, it is a necessary part of the healing process. It is completely normal to take one step forward and two steps back.
What does a breakup feel like – Physical reactions of a painful break-up
Everyone acknowledges that breakups hurt but they tend to think of heartbreak as purely emotional. They do not realise that the effects of a breakup can be physical. If you feel physical symptoms of heartbreak – you’re not alone.
Heartbreak and the stress of the split can take a physical toll on your body. It can leave you with a general sense of being unwell.
A 2011 study demonstrates that the emotional pain of a breakup and physical pain activates the same part of the brain. Researcher Ethan Kross stated, ‘We found that powerfully inducing feelings of social rejection activate regions of the brain that are involved in physical pain sensation, which is rarely activated in neuroimaging studies of emotion.’
Although physical symptoms are common – it is always best to seek medical advice if you are feeling unwell.
Take care of your health during this emotionally turbulent time. Many women I know neglect themselves when they need self-care the most. Do not convince yourself that you are too busy to give yourself some attention, love, and care. Do whatever makes you happy: play a sport, shop, get your hair done, watch a film, night out with friends, stay in, and have a lovely bath. Keep it simple so that you don’t find it off-putting or too cumbersome.
Will the Pain of a Breakup go Away?
Breakups hurt but noT forever. Of course, the pain will subside. You are not incurable. I help many clients to overcome the pain of a break-up. In fact, they go on to love their new lives. There is hope for you as well.
You are reading this post, which shows that you are not just wallowing in self-pity. You are serious about your recovery so I have no doubt that if you keep taking positive action – you are going to create a new amazing life.
Remember your breakup experience is not about eradicating the emotional pain – there is so much more to your journey than that. Do not just rely on time to ‘heal’. I want you to achieve so much more than that.
How Long Does it Take to Get Over a Breakup?
Many people ask me, ‘when does a breakup get easier?’, or ‘How long does the pain of a breakup last?’
I want you to take as much time as you need to process your divorce/breakup. I do not care what your friends, parents, family, colleagues, or even your dog think. There is no recovery schedule or timeline for how long breakups hurt. Move as slowly (or as quickly) as you need to feel OK. I know it is a lot to take but I promise you the pain from your relationship breakdown will go. For now, I want you to focus on recovering ‘properly’ rather than the ‘duration’ of your breakup recovery. If you work through the grief purposefully and always take positive action – you will not need to wonder how long until a breakup stops hurting because you will start to see results very quickly.
If grief is not processed properly, it can stick with you for many months, or even years. This can impact your health, your ability to work, your relationships, and your self-esteem. The longer grief has a hold on you, the more difficult it is to rebuild yourself and your new life.
I help my clients to shift their focus and become determined to beat the pain. They follow the strategies that I give to them. This produces very fast results for them. Many notice a stark difference in their mood and outlook after the first session.
So, let’s work on doing this in your time – not anyone else’s – and get you to your brighter future as soon as possible.
How to Get Over a Breakup?
You may think it feeling good after a breakup or divorce is impossible. At first, it is difficult to think at all because of the shock and the pain. However, life does not stop because you have lost your relationship. Breakups hurt everyone but there are actions you can take to learn how to overcome heartbreak and begin the healing process. Read this post in conjunction with my FREE E-BOOK: 9 TOP SECRETS TO GET OVER YOUR EX & MOVE TO A LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS
Once you learn how to survive a breakup, you can learn how to move on after a break up and thrive.
Understand the Emotional Stages of a breakup (The 5 Stages of Grief)
Understanding the process of heartbreak will help you to understand why breakups hurt and the steps you need to take to heal from your break-up.
Our emotions guide our actions and reactions. So, learning about them and how they impact you in a particular way is vital for your healing journey. Trying to recover from your divorce or breakup without taking the time to assess your emotional state is like treating a medical condition before understanding the diagnosis. The more connected you are with yourself and the more you understand your emotional responses the easier it is to deal with the heartbreak and stress you are currently facing.
This Loss Cycle helps you to see what your emotional journey will look like:
It was created In 1969 by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. It shows the 5 stages of grief people go through after a traumatic experience such as death. I use to demonstrate what your emotional journey will look like because what you are going through is also grief. Grief is not limited to loss through death. Breaking up is the 2nd most traumatic life experience after the death of a loved one. Therefore the 5 stages that follow a break-up are identical to those of grief because you have also suffered a deep loss.
Understanding the Loss Cycle and the 5 stages of grief, gives you more clarity about why breakups hurt, what you are experiencing and what lies ahead in your journey towards healing. It will also give you a deeper understanding of why you have been feeling the way you have.
The 5 stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance:
- Denial is usually the first emotional reaction. You are in shock and do not want to accept reality. It is your body’s way of protecting you from the shock by numbing your emotions.
- Anger is an emotion many people experience during a break-up. The pain and hurt are unbearable. You feel so frustrated and you feel like it is all someone else’s fault (usually your ex).
- Bargaining is when you try to make changes to yourself. You do what you can to keep the relationship. You might start preparing lovely meals, dressing differently, or even try to lose weight. You feel like it is all your fault, so you try to change yourself to make things better.
- Depression is probably the most common stage. You just want to stay in bed and cry. You do not want to do anything. You do not want to face the world. It is natural to have these feelings (if it does not go on for too long).
- Acceptance is where you have taken off the rose-tinted glasses. You are not expecting to get back together. You have adjusted to your new reality. It is a liberating stage however many people get stuck when they reach it. They do not know how to live the life of their dreams. They do not know how to create a future that they are looking forward to. A lot of people have lost touch with who they are, so they need help to rediscover themselves.
The stages in The Loss Cycle do not run in any kind of order. Everyone grieves differently, so you may experience only one or two stages, or you may go through a series of emotional stages. You may even go back and between certain stages. Do not look at the stages as a checklist. Rather, they are guideposts, helping you to identify and understand what you are feeling.
Where Are You in the 5 Stages of Grief?
This is about you – so tell me where you are in your emotional journey. Breaks ups hurt everyone but your pain and experience are unique. I want to know about you specifically. Have a look at the emotional chart below and see what you are going through. Once you identify the stage you are at, you know what is next and what work you need to do to get yourself together again. By doing this you are diagnosing the problem before you work out the cure.
Do not forget, a period of grievance is necessary to fully digest a break-up/divorce/separation. So do not fight the emotional journey or deny it. When we lose something – it is always good for us to take time to process the loss and grieve for it. It is crucial to your recovery. Grieving is not a sign of weakness and it does not mean you are not resilient. The purpose of grief is to work through your emotions, get those raw feelings out of the way, and then reflect on your old life so that you can create a new life the way you want it to be.
If you ignore your feelings and do not take time to process them, you will stay stuck in grief – repeating the same painful feelings over and over again. This can be very self-destructive. Make sure you avoid this unnecessary repetition of pain and distress by acknowledging your feelings and taking positive action to heal.
Remember, grief happens one bit at a time. You feel terrible for a while and then it stops. You think you are fine and then it hits you again. Then you go numb. It is helpful to know that grief works like this so that you do not think you are going crazy and you do not think you are not healing. You are healing. It just takes time. It is common to feel like you are taking one step forward and then back. Whatever you do, do not give up.
Your Heartbreak Mindset
To have success with anything in life, you require the right mindset. To paraphrase life coach, Tony Robbins, Success Is 80% Mindset And 20% Mechanics. Our thoughts affect our feelings and the outcomes we achieve in our life. If you can control your thoughts – you can change how you feel. In fact, I believe you can change your life. I know I did.
You can either accept the universal truth that ‘breakups hurt’ and wait to ‘get over it’ or you can really use this experience to work out exactly what you want from your life.
Controlling your mindset includes:
- Stop Obsessive thinking (Ruminating) about your ex and your relationship
You may also find yourself in a cycle of repetitive/obsessional thinking, where you go over and over memories or thoughts about your ex and wondering what they are up to and whether they are with someone else.
These thoughts do not serve you. They keep you stuck in this place where you feel rubbish. You need to forget about your ex and start thinking about yourself and what you want out of life. Every time your thoughts drift to your ex or your breakup, tell yourself to ‘stop’. Then re-shift your focus on what you want to do with your life and plan your day. Another strategy is to shift your focus on all the things you disliked about your ex and how you never have to put up with those traits again.
Stop driving past your ex’s house, stop finding excuses to call them up, stop talking to their friends just to get information from them.
- Stop Asking ‘Why Me’ Questions
‘Ask the right questions if you’re to find the right answers.’ – Vanessa Redgrave
You may be lying awake asking:
- ‘Why me?’,
- ‘What is wrong with me?’,
- ‘Why aren’t’ I enough?’,
- ‘Why don’t they love me?’
These are the last questions you want to ask. They are disempowering questions to which there are no positive answers. These repetitive questions go ‘round and round’ without making much progress, like a hamster running endlessly on a tiny wheel. These questions do not create any forward momentum. They do not have any useful answers. All they do is disempower you, sap your energy and send you down a slippery slope of depression.
These questions reinforce how desolate you feel.
You cannot change what has happened to you, but you can change how you feel about it. Stop asking these questions and switch them into more empowering ones. Read my blog post here to learn how to shift to a more empowering mindset. I know this was strategy alone helped me to turn my life around after my personal tragedy a few years ago when I nearly lost my sanity!
- Take Responsibility
Take time to understand what led to the breakup of your relationship and what role you played in that breakdown. If you examine your own actions, you will stop playing the victim. Accepting responsibility will give you control, stop you from playing the blame game, and teach you how to prevent the same mistakes again.
What do you need to pay attention to? Maybe you are repeating dysfunctional relationship patterns that you need to change. Maybe you sacrificed too much to be in that relationship.
Self-reflection is not about blaming yourself. It is about learning from your experience so that you can find room for improvement. Recognising your role in any situation is hard to do but it is crucial if you want to grow as a person. Some people refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. By doing this, they are saying, ‘I have no responsibility for fixing anything. It was not my fault. My ex caused the entire situation so I have no control, power, or influence and I am unable to change anything. I do not need to change. I will stay as I am and anything else that happens will be nothing to do with me.‘
Self-reflection is key to taking control over your future. It is always good to turn inwards, free from blame and judgment, and acknowledge the role you have played in how your life has turned out. Then with an abundance of forgiveness and compassion, you can take responsibility for your actions, learn from them, and use them as an opportunity to progress and improve your future relationships.
There are some people who refuse to take responsibility for their lives so they continue to repeat old patterns and wonder why they remain stuck.
At the other end of the spectrum are people who take the blame for everything – those people are more suspectable to being taken advantage of or abused. Taking all the blame often occurs due to a lack of self-esteem and can be very damaging. If you are running this behaviour pattern – become mindful of it and take active steps to reflect on why you are doing this.
- Release Your Old Story
Retelling your victim story makes you powerless and inhibits your progress.
The more you talk about your ex or your break-up story, the more you keep them in your life and the harder you make it to move forward. Breakups hurt because often we refuse to let go of them. By constantly reminding yourself of your ex, you relive the pain and stay stuck in negative emotions.
Keep an eye on how much you are mentioning your ex and get in the habit of shifting your thoughts/conversation each time you do. It will get easier – I promise.
Get to Know Yourself Again
Post-breakup or post-divorce is the best time to work who you are and what you really want out of life.
When we are in a marriage/long-term relationship, we, as women, tend to lose touch with ourselves.
Our identity merges with our partner’s identity in many ways and we give up big parts of ourselves, which can include:
- Social life /friends
- Spiritual beliefs
- Values & beliefs
- ‘Me’ time
We become so committed to the relationship, we convince ourselves that our partner’s happiness is our happiness. This can lead to us losing touch of what makes us tick as an individual, what we love doing, and what our passions are in life. The person we were and the life we had ‘pre-relationship’ becomes unrecognisable. When that relationship ends, it shakes our sense of identity. We start to feel uncertain about who we are or what we want out of life.
Many of my clients make big sacrifices for their relationships. I’m not talking about the compromises you make in order for your relationship to work. I am talking about women, who gave up their ‘essence’, what’s important to them, and what made them truly happy. Sometimes it is their choice, sometimes it is not. After their split, I often hear them say, ‘I don’t know who I am anymore.’
According to a study called ‘Who Am I Without You? The Influence of Romantic Breakup on the Self-Concept.’ participants had a reduced sense of identity after a breakup. They did not know who they were anymore and this loss of identity added to the distress they feel after a break-up. It makes breakups hurt even more.
Focus on restoring your self-identity, either by doing the things you once loved but lost sight of during your relationship or by finding brand-new interests. Rebuild the person, you lost or let go of. You could re-visit a career or business that you had side-lined for your relationship or marriage. You may wish to work on their appearance to give you more confidence. Some choose to pick up a new passion. Some women want to go travelling. Some have no idea what they want so they try new things until something sticks. Explore what you want and put your heart and soul into it. This can be very healing. It will take your mind off your relationship and help you to build a new life that you are passionate about.
If I asked you – ‘Who are you?’ what would you say? I don’t know you, but I know one thing about you – you are so much more than your relationship. I want you to find that person again and fall in love with them.
We all have a sense of ‘identity’ or to put it another way sense of ‘me’. Our identity is made up of many different segments. It is comprised of the physical appearance, material belongings, your passions, your relationships (friends, family, colleagues, romantic etc), understanding of the world, your experience, attitudes/outlooks, beliefs, and attributes that you think or feel are characteristic of who you are. Start putting those pieces back together – how you want them to be.
Exercise and breakup
Exercise is an extremely powerful tool to lift your mood. It helps bump up the production of endorphins which is a chemical your body releases to make you happy/enhance your sense of well-being.
A reasonable amount of physical exercise each day is the best thing you can do for yourself especially when you are feeling low. Feeling depressed can leave you feeling low in energy so exercise might seem like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a massive difference to your emotional health. It will boost your mood.
I am not talking about a punishing regime at the gym. Breakups hurt enough as it is – do not punish yourself more. Nor do you have to follow a structured exercise program. If you are not used to exercising, just a short brisk walk, to start with, can help. Do something active that you enjoy – otherwise, it will feel like punishment. For example, gardening, cycling, swimming or just ditching the car and walking to the supermarket can do the trick. If you do not feel like stepping out of the house, there are also Youtube videos you can follow to learn yoga or a dance routine. Try different things so you do not get bored. As long as you are moving your body regularly, you are helping yourself get over the breakup and stop obsessing over your ex.
- It will help to take your mind off worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts.
- Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance and increase your self-confidence.
- It may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Whether you join a class, get a fitness instructor, go to a public pool/gym, or exercise with an ‘exercise buddy’, these are good ways to interact with others.
- It is a brilliant and healthy way to manage your feelings. You are doing something positive. Rather than turning to drink or bad eating habits.
Talk to your doctor or mental health professional for guidance and support. You can start by doing 10 to 15 minutes per day. Ideally, you want to do 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week. Eventually, you want to work your way to do more-vigorous activities, such as running or bicycling.
Many people overdo it on the first few days and then get put off. Think realistically about what you may be able to do and begin gradually. Do not set unrealistic goals that you are unlikely to meet in the long run. If you skip exercise one day, do not beat yourself up over it. Just try again the next day.
You also want to find something that you are likely to stick with. Remember you need to do something regularly so that your mood stays lifted. You can not exercise once and expect the results to last for weeks!
Practice gratitude (especially when breakups hurt)
If you are feeling low, just thinking about what you are grateful for can help you to feel much calmer. When I first suggest this, most clients say they have nothing to be grateful for. I know you probably feel the same way.
I do not want to patronize you or make it sound so easy with any kind of ‘woo woo’ or ‘airy fairy’ talk. I am not suggesting that practicing gratitude is the cure to all your problems. Of course, it is not going to magic all your troubles away. However, no matter what you have lost through your breakup, trust me you still have much to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude is just about taking stock of those things and focusing on them rather than your pain. It has a very calming effect when breakups hurt like hell.
When I got to the most painful and frightening period of my life a few years ago, most days were a blur. I had submerged myself fully into victim mode. One particular day, I was dragging myself around, depressed and desolate as usual, when I got a call from my children’s school informing me that my son was involved in an ‘incident’. The lady was beating about the bush, being very vague, so for a few seconds (which felt like a lifetime) I did not know what had happened to my son. My whole world was spinning. My heart was in my mouth. She eventually got to the point and confirmed he was fine but had a swollen/scratched eye. She just wanted to let me know so that I was aware. After the call, I realised that I was so focused on my pain; I had lost sight of all the important things that I still had. I had convinced myself that my life could not get any worse, when in fact, it could. If my son would have been hurt, that would have caused 10 times more anguish then anything I was going through. I had so much to be thankful for and I was taking all these things for granted because I was unhappy with one area of my life. This really gave me a sense of realisation that even though I was taking action to improve my situation, however, my mindset still needed work. From that day, I have made a point of reminding myself of the things I am grateful for, especially when worries start to creep in.
Now, when I struggle emotionally and find it hard to work out what I am grateful for, I always ask myself, ‘If my phone rang right now, what would be the last thing I would want to hear? This helps me to rapidly build a list of things I am grateful for. For example, I would not want to hear that my kids/husband are hurt. This means I am grateful that my family is safe and well. I would not want to hear that I am being incarcerated, so I am grateful that I am a free person. I would not want to hear that my house was on fire (I have had that phone call before) so I am grateful for my beautiful home.
Everyone goes through hardship. We all have a choice of what to focus on. We can either let the pain consume us and then blind us to the point where we cannot see the solution. We can continue to relive the painful experiences again and again. We can choose to keep our minds stuck in bitterness and anger. Alternatively, we can shift our focus and think about what is good in our lives so that our minds can open themselves up to new opportunities. If you can not find anything good, be grateful that have the ability to create something good for the future.
Find something you are grateful for and take some time to focus on it every day. No matter what is going on in your life there will be something in your life that is good.
- Be grateful for the opportunity to pick yourself up and start again.
- Be grateful that you know you are going to overcome this trauma.
- Be grateful that you can find a solution to your problems.
- Be grateful that you are getting wiser with these life lessons.
- Be grateful that you breathe.
- Be grateful that you have your freedom or the power to acquire it.
This story gives some perspective:
A trainer walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she did so, she raised a glass of water. Everyone expected they’d be asked the old “half empty or half full?” question. Instead, she asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” The answers ranged from 8 oz to 16 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. What’s important is how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not heavy. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will be numb and feel paralysed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change but, the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes”.
She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralysed—incapable of doing anything”.
It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. Put your burdens down when you can. Don’t carry them for hours and days and months.
Remember to put down the glass!
What I would add is: put the glass down and take some time to remember the good in your life.
How Long Does it Take to Get Over a Break-up or Divorce?
Grief is a very personal process. Grief is not linear, nor does it follow any timelines or schedule. Breakups hurt for all but everyone’s experience is different as to how long they take to get over their divorce or break-up.
I would say take as long as you need to process your emotions. However, processing your emotions does not mean you do not take any positive action toward recovery. You must keep moving forward. Whilst there is no set time as to how long you should take to recover, do not buy a home and move into Heartbreak Ville or Pity Town. As the Chinese Proverb goes: “You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.”
Many of my clients tell me that they feel rushed into moving on by others. Their friends and families are usually telling them ‘get over it’. Do not be pushed into what your family and friends want. They are likely to have a timeframe during which they expect you to get over your emotions – long before you are ready. This will put you under pressure and you may feel like you are doing something wrong. An WebMD survey found that ‘More than half of all participants (53%) said that they’d encountered people whose sympathy seemed to have an expiration date. Of that sub-group: 58% of the people who were pressured said they felt expected to recover within the first 3 months. … and 75% of those who’d lost a friendship or went through a breakup, said the same.’ This is your journey, so you must travel through in your own style. Do not let others hinder your recovery.
Aside from overcoming grief, ‘getting over a break-up’, can also mean, moving forward with your life. Some people are over the emotional cycle of their break-up or divorce, but they stay stuck in all other aspects of life. Some women I have worked with no longer felt unhappy about their divorce, but they had forgotten how to live. They were so reliant on their spouse to make them feel loved, or to show them how to live a happy, fulfilling lifestyle, that they did not know how to do these things for themselves. Instead of learning, they just let their fire die. They were just existing. I have worked with someone, who no longer went out, did not take care of her appearance, and even managed to decrease her earnings because her husband had convinced her she would amount to nothing. I love to show women the power they possess – it is limitless. The possibility that is within you is phenomenal.
You have my unwavering support every step of the way. I want to help to get you where you want to be as fast as you can. I know you can do this. You are amazing. Until you can believe you are amazing – I will believe it for you.
What’s On Your Mind?
Going Through a Breakup/Divorce? Call or Message me on 07967 012 006 and let’s talk about What’s Playing on Your Mind?