No one is immune to heartache. Whether it’s the end of a relationship, a loved one passing away, or any other type of devastating news, it feels like our world has come crashing down.
And while time is often said to be the best healer, that can be easier said than done.
According to experts, the following are ways to get over a broken heart.
Heartbreak Healing Coach, L.Y.F.E By Design LLC | Author, “The Breakup Pivot: A Guide to Overcoming Heartbreak and Designing Your Best Life“
I always say that not all breakups are treated equally.
- You have the breakup from the casual relationship that you were not all that emotionally invested in, and it was easy to part ways.
- You then have the breakup from the relationship that you gave all of yourself to…. your mind, body, heart and time and you are heartbroken.
That last breakup is the one we are talking about. That breakup can throw the toughest person for a loop and start a spiral into a dark abyss of pain, anger, and sadness.
As a heartbreak healing coach and author, I help busy professional women regain their peace, power, confidence, self-love, and joy again after that difficult breakup or divorce.
Related: How to Move on After Divorce
Understand that you are experiencing pain from deep loss
As a first step, I help my clients understand that heartbreak hurts so deeply because of the loss experienced.
It may be a:
- Loss of your hopes and dreams
- Loss of plans for the future
- Loss of love and affection
- Loss of financial help
- Loss of security
- Loss of identity
Understand there is a cycle of grief that is experienced due to this loss
When you are heartbroken, you experience a roller coaster of emotions. Those emotions correlate with the cycle of grief that most experience because of the breakup.
The six phases of heartbreak grief that I have identified are:
- Desperate for answers and/or contact
To start the emotional healing process, I recommend three things:
- Write out a daily routine list that includes the basics like opening your blinds, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, then eventually start to add those activities that brought you joy before the breakup, like journaling or working out.
- Make a list of people for your support system. Even though these feel like your darkest days, do not isolate and withdraw from friends and family.
Talking about how you feel can be very cathartic and help you keep things in perspective. However, make sure you seek people who have a nurturing spirit and are good listeners. At this stage you don’t need that “tough love” friend or family member.
If you don’t want to talk, I recommend to write down your needs on separate index cards so when someone asks how they can help, you can give them a card or text them a picture of the card. The index card might be asking for grocery items you need, for a gift certificate to a spa, babysitting services, or even help to clean your home.
- Concentrate on self-care and self-love. Breakups can be hard on your self-esteem. To help with confidence and self-love, I encourage my clients to indulge in activities that nurture their mind, body, and spirit. Some examples could be traveling, meditation, yoga, working out at the gym, getting a new haircut, enjoying a hot bubble bath, or getting counseling.
These are just a few quick tips that you can start implementing today that will help kick start your healing journey.
John F. Tholen, PhD
Cognitive Psychologist | Author, “Focused Positivity: The Path to Success and Peace of Mind“
Shift the dysfunctional thoughts to functional ideas that motivate self-assertion
We are social animals—biologically and psychologically programmed to bond—and our primary romantic relationships create our most powerful emotional experiences.
A loving relationship can make us feel more “grounded” and “centered” than any other experience, and losing one can cause intense emotional pain.
Our recovery from any disappointment—including one of love—depends on finding healthy thoughts and actions:
Thoughts that can help
Although it may seem that our heartbreak is the direct result of our partner’s rejection, it is instead a reaction to our self-talk—the internal monologue that streams endlessly through our waking consciousness, interpreting our every experience and creating our perspective (also called “mindset”).
Our automatic thoughts—the ideas that spontaneously “pop” into our minds—are often dysfunctional—causing distress without inspiring constructive action.
And when dysfunctional thoughts are allowed to occupy the focus of our attention, they can invade our self-talk, disrupt our peace of mind, and inhibit our best efforts—even though they are almost always incomplete, unreasonable, or completely wrong.
We can better overcome a broken heart, therefore, by learning to identify and shift our attention to more balanced and reasonable (functional) ideas that reassure, inspire hope, or motivate self-assertion such as:
- “I’m far better off single and on my own than with someone who doesn’t appreciate me.”
- “There is much about my ex I won’t miss, including…”
- “Now I’ll have the time and opportunity to build a rewarding independent life (or prepare myself for a better relationship, should I choose to pursue one).”
- “The best revenge will be thriving on my own.”
- “If I keep looking, I’ll eventually find a good partner who will appreciate what I have to offer.”
- “As many have proven, a wonderful life can be had without a marriage-like relationship.”
- “Relationships are always changing, and this one “spiraled” downward to the point that this former partner found intolerable. It happens; like everyone, I’ll learn to live with it.”
- “Compared with all the reasons I should feel grateful (e.g., . . .), I’ll be able to survive the loss of this relationship.”
- “Given all the time, energy, and personal resources I was investing in trying to make this relationship work, I’m better off out of it.”
- “Life is unpredictable and unknowable. Although I can’t control what life brings, I can respond with hope and renewed dedication.”
- “Disappointments like this are normal, inevitable, and usually insignificant in the long run.”
- “This disappointment cannot define me if I refuse to let it, consider it only an informative ‘setback,’ and continue striving to do the next right thing.”
Actions that can help
The goal is to adopt—or continue pursuing—a lifestyle dedicated to personal wellness. A wellness lifestyle (or “life journey”) is dedicated to the pursuit of “thriving” or optimal “well-being.”
This involves a perspective that considers all our needs, including:
- Physical Health
- Emotional Health
- Intellectual or Mental Well-being
- Interpersonal or Social Connection
- Spiritual or Philosophical Balance (a sense of purpose and meaning)
- Occupational and Financial Security
- Creativity and Self-Expression
When the goal is to find another romantic relationship partner eventually, efforts should be directed at building a healthy social support network and becoming involved in personally appealing activities and organizations.
Although it may be possible to later reconnect with an ex as “friends,” that is usually possible only after each partner has adjusted to the separation and developed a stable life as a single or in a new relationship.
Related: How to Be Friends With Your Ex
Cherrelle N. Shorter, LCSW-S/LICSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Board Approved Clinical Supervisor | Creator and Owner, Therapy Juice Bar, LLC
I wish I could say there was an easy remedy to getting over the pain of a broken heart, but sadly there is none. Honestly, the only thing that will get you there is time and intentional work to move through it.
The following are a few suggestions that may help with moving through heartbreak:
Understand that missing them is part of the process
Breakups, however necessary, are hard. Many times we look for signs that we’ve somehow made a mistake and should give the relationship another try. People often mistake missing their ex as one of those signs.
Understanding that you will miss this person, even if they weren’t the best partner, will help you navigate the breakup with less confusion/conflicting feelings.
This is someone you’ve spent a lot of time with; you’ve shared intimate moments and, at one time, made plans for a future. When that heavy presence is absent, it’s normal to long for what was once there or what was familiar.
You’re allowed to miss them, don’t go out of your way to distract yourself from these feelings but rather allow yourself the space to feel the pain of their absence as you learn to navigate life without them.
Be intentional about how you spend your time
When you’re going through a breakup, there will be a void or empty space that was once filled with your relationship. It’s human nature to want to fill empty spaces with…things.
With breakups, many people want to fill their voids with distractions— anything to take their mind off of their ex and their present pain.
We want to exercise caution here because filling your time with:
- New people
- Random hookups
- Redownloading your dating apps
- Binge-watching tv
These might provide some temporary distraction; however, they will do very little for your broken heart.
Be intentional about the things you do to make yourself feel better and fill your time with activities that support healthy mental functioning, like:
- Learning a new skill
- Spending meaningful time with loved ones
- Talking to a therapist
Activities such as the latter will help you move through the heartbreak, not around it.
Don’t go through it alone — seek support
Depending on the nature of the breakup, you may be embarrassed or ashamed to let people know you’re having a hard time.
Almost everyone knows what it is like to experience heartbreak, and there is nothing to be ashamed of; even if other people may have negatively viewed your relationship—you still deserve support.
Don’t suffer in silence.
Let your trusted loved ones know that you’re having a hard time and could use some support. They can spend time with you, check in on you, and offer words of encouragement. This helps combat the feelings of loneliness that accompany heartbreak.
Talk to your therapist and process your feelings in your sessions as well.
Have the courage to trust love one more time
“Always have the courage to trust love one more time and always one more time”– Maya Angelou.
During a heartbreak, you may make a vow to never put yourself in a position to feel this type of pain again. You’re not alone, but a word of caution, those who close themselves off to hurt also close themselves off to love.
Do the work involved to heal, and then when you’re ready, get back out there. Showing up after heartbreak takes courage, but it’s worth it.
You are deserving of the love you seek.
I’ve found that the saying, “Time heals a broken heart,” is true. But who has time?
Fortunately, there are things that we can do to help us process our heartbreak in a manner that may allow us not simply to heal quicker and with less pain but also allow us to have fun as we move forward.
Commit yourself to try something outside your comfort zone
As a life coach for women, my first suggestion to a client who is going through heartbreak is to challenge herself to commit to trying something brand new that is outside of her comfort zone, something that excites her to the point that it feels a bit scary.
The emotion tied to trying something brand new that is exciting and so challenging that it gives you a healthy boost in adrenaline is such a high level of emotion that it matches and can replace the high level of emotion that comes with heartbreak.
It also takes the focus away from the heartbreak to the excitement, planning, and anticipation of the new challenge.
The challenge can be anything from joining a new volunteer group to signing up for a marathon and training with a professional to committing to go on 21 dates in 21 days — as one of my single girlfriends did.
Journal your feelings
My second piece of advice happens to be my favorite self-coaching tool. It is my favorite because it is not only free but it is also effective. Journaling! Journaling can be done with a traditional pen-to-paper method or, even easier, using a smartphone throughout the day to jot down notes when feelings surrounding heartbreak arise.
Journaling these feelings will show a pattern of repeated thoughts which will allow the pinpointing of the predominant cause of the distress that the person who is journaling is feeling.
Is it a loss of identity, fear of financial change, fear of being alone, guilt, or something else?
Related: How to Deal with Guilt
Once someone identifies what is behind their grief, they can then start addressing it and proactively rewrite those beliefs into beliefs that are true and supportive of their personal growth and happiness.
For example, if the fear is, “I will always be alone.” Rewrite that belief to what is true, which could be statements such as:
- “I have had relationships in the past, and I will have relationships again in the future. I don’t have to fear being alone.”
- “I have friends and family, and I know I’ll never be alone.”
- “People enjoy being around me.”
Reconnect yourself with friends
My third piece of advice to clients who are experiencing heartbreak is to challenge themselves to reconnect with friends that they haven’t seen in a while or join a gym, group, or class in an area of interest that will put them in place to have the opportunity to meet new people with similar interests.
I encourage them to commit to meeting three new people during the month or reconnecting with three people that they haven’t seen in a while.
This starts shifting their focus from mourning the relationship they lost to celebrating the relationships they are building.
Relationship Advice Writer and Relationship Coach
Avoid pushing down your emotions
I don’t actually believe you can fix a broken heart because then, that would mean that it’s actually broken, but I do believe that you can heal through a broken heart.
First of all, let me tell you this: There is nothing wrong with your heart. It’s not broken, it’s simply hurting, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
When we experience pain, it doesn’t mean we’re weak, or our hearts are broken; they’re simply healing themselves from the wounds they’ve sustained from our loved ones or from others who have hurt us in the past.
Just like any other organ in our body, our hearts need time to heal after an injury, just like any other organ in our body does when it sustains an injury.
The growth happens in our minds, hearts, and souls when we experience heartbreak.
The first time I felt my heart break, I felt like my whole world was crashing down on me. I had expected a different version of reality, and when it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, that was devastating to me; I felt like I had failed, and I felt like I was falling apart.
The truth is, I had to fall apart in order to truly put back the pieces of myself that needed to become more whole.
Heartbreak can come in many forms:
- The death of a loved one
- The end of a marriage or relationship
- The loss of friends
Heartbreak is caused by the loss of something or someone. However, with every loss comes a gain. Every struggle presents an opportunity for growth and learning.
You may be faced with a breakup or breakdown; this is your moment to face your biggest breakthrough. Some of your most challenging times will deliver your most powerful times.
The worst thing in the world is what hurts us the most because we thought something would never happen.
It hurts so much when you lose someone or something that was important to you because you expected it to be there forever. We are disappointed when we can’t control something that is beyond our power.
Instead of feeling grief, we look for new relationships or other things to help us forget our pain.
It’s important to acknowledge the pain and suffering that comes from loss and failure.
Still, it’s also important to recognize the good things that come from those experiences as well:
- What you learned from them.
- How they made you stronger and more capable of dealing with future challenges.
- How they made you into the person, you are today.
When we are experiencing extreme emotional pain, it is human nature to try to mask the pain or run from it. Instead of dealing with our feelings, we sometimes distract ourselves by focusing on other things and activities.
But there is no way to truly heal from a broken heart unless we pay attention to ourselves in this time of need.
When you’ve been through a breakup and heartbreak, the pain can be unbearable. One way to get through it is to allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling without judgment.
I encourage you not to avoid or push down your emotions; let them flow freely so that you can truly heal. Be kind to yourself during this time of healing; there is no wrong way to grieve.
Cry for as long you need, be messy, fall apart — and then acknowledge that you are still here and you will be okay. We will each experience loss at some point in our lives.
By learning to let go of what we cannot change and by letting go of attachments to people and things that are not ours to control, we can find greater peace within ourselves.
Terri DiMatteo, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor Relationship and Couple Counselor, Open Door Therapy
Grant yourself permission to grieve in any way you need
Getting over a broken heart is never easy, whether your relationship was long or short and whether you ended the relationship or the other party did. There’s just no way around it.
Broken hearts hurt, and the broken-hearted experience a painful grieving process.
One reason broken hearts hurt so much and are difficult to move on from is that you and your spouse or partner formed an attachment bond when you were together. This bond glued you together, and you had a profound effect on one another in ways you may not have even realized.
Romantically attached pairs are biologically linked. Your brain, hormones, and an array of physiological processes entwine your whole being with your partners.
When your relationship ends, it’s as if each of you is losing a part of yourself.
Bonds are much more serious and potent than most people realize. To help you process the grief and deep pain, you can give yourself a range of expressions to process your grief in how it works best for you.
Often, that is a combination of things. There may be a time when you want to keep your own company and wallow in your sadness. At other times, you might find comfort in talking and sharing with an empathetic family member, friend, or professional.
There is not one ‘right’ or ‘best’ way to deal with a broken heart; it’s all very personal. The main idea to keep in mind is that the grief is normal and part of the healing process.
Grant yourself permission to grieve in any way you need — be it turning inward, connecting with others, or a combination of both. In fact, what really helps in moving past the pain is feeling it fully and deeply. Let yourself ache.
Sometimes writing in a journal, listening to sad songs, and looking at old pictures can help you process the relationship and its ending.
What can really hinder the grieving process is trying to rush the process, behaving as if you are unmoved by the breakup, or quickly attaching to another.
Most people find it very hard to experience the pain of a broken heart and want to quickly ‘move on.’ Attempts to numb the pain can cause poor decision-making, risk-taking, and emotional instability.
If you find yourself with a broken heart, be gentle with yourself.
Related: How To Stop Beating Yourself Up
Realize that the pain will eventually subside. Do the things that bring you comfort and support while you are in this weakened and more vulnerable state. It helps to recognize that what you are experiencing is a normal response to breaking a romantic bond.
In time, the pain will lift, and your healed heart will open again.
Certified Relationship Coach
Having a broken heart is no joke. It can cause people to stop laughing, smiling, sleeping, and even eating. If not properly tended to, it can lead to serious problems like depression and anxiety.
The pain of rejection, loss, or tragedy is powerful.
When in this awful state, many unfortunately grasp for whatever they can, desperate to relieve the pain of loss. This can lead people down a dark and dangerous path, grasping for peace through unhealthy means.
This doesn’t work because, as we already know, peace can only be found within. We must choose to participate in our healing actively; otherwise, we just bury the pain. That stagnant energy can make our body and soul sicken.
This is how you can bring about the healing of your broken heart:
Honor your emotions
My second child was born right at the beginning of lockdown during the pandemic. The loneliness was unbearable. I remember rocking my baby to sleep and wiping my tears off his forehead. The grip of postpartum depression held strong for several months.
In the end, it was a paper and pen that saved me. I started to journal every day. I would write how I was feeling on one side of a paper, and on the flip side, I would write the reality.
For example, I would write, “I feel terribly lonely.” Then on the other side, “My baby loves me; I am his whole world.” I continued this exercise until I covered every emotion I experienced.
By shining a light on the truth of what was in my heart, I was able to heal it with self-love.
Honor your needs
How do you feel right now? Are you feeling exhausted? Or perhaps hopeless? What antidote can you give yourself that is within your reach?
If you’re feeling exhausted, perhaps it’s a good opportunity to put yourself first and prioritize your rest. If you’re feeling hopeless— where can you find your hope again? Is it through prayer, reading something inspirational, or connecting with nature?
I invite you to really get in touch with your needs and honor them. You are worth it.
Heal through creativity
Creativity is medicinal. It brings us into a flow state where our mind is so focused on our project we are completely wrapped up in the present moment. This means there is no space to feel pain, worry, or anxiety.
It gives our hearts a breath of relief and our minds the chance to be fully engaged in creating beauty. It eases the spirit, brings positive energy out to the world, and can inspire us to continue to do the work of healing.
Give the healing process time
Healing from heartbreak takes time, patience, and a lot of self-love. A client of mine once said, “I wish the heart had an on/off button.” Anyone that has ever had a broken heart can probably relate to that sentiment. As it is, we must push through heartbreak and grow from it.
Healing is a slow process that can become a beautiful way to connect with your experiences and emotions while giving light to your growth and healing.
Rachel Davidson, MA, LPC-A
Therapist, Malaty Therapy
You must go through the stages of grief
Recovering from a broken heart is much like grieving any other loss. The emotions experienced when a relationship ends are no less significant or real than those experienced when a loved one dies or when a career is lost.
In order to move on and heal from any loss, we must move through the stages of grief.
The grief process looks different for every individual, and there is no expected timeline. It could take one person three months to heal from a broken heart, while for another, it takes decades.
As we grieve, we will experience a range of emotions that can be both confusing and overwhelming.
In order to heal from a broken heart in the most healthy and effective way, it is important to give yourself time to sit with your emotions and allow yourself to feel the sadness, regret, or whatever mix of emotions you associate with the heartbreak.
Related: How to Deal With Regret
It is healthier to feel than to stuff the feelings down and power through.
Limit the time spent focused on the heartbreak
The only way to move forward is to face the feelings. However, we must be careful to create boundaries when it comes to sitting in our feelings.
We want to allow ourselves to feel, but we also have lives to live. I suggest setting aside time each day to be introspective, cry, journal, or just sit with your feelings, but set a time limit.
If we don’t limit the time spent focused on our heartbreak, we are prevented from taking time to be present with the things that are going well in our lives, to move forward, and to take care of our daily responsibilities.
Self-care is vital when it comes to getting over a broken heart
This includes physical health, mental health, and social support.
It can be hard to feel motivated to get out of bed when we are experiencing a broken heart, but in order to recover, we need to take care of ourselves. This means:
- Getting adequate sleep
- Proper nutrition
- Practicing good hygiene
- Leaning on friends and family for support
Additionally, finding joy in our lives despite broken hearts is vital. Find activities you enjoy and practice mindfulness in order to allow you to be present and experience life at the moment.
When dealing with a broken heart, not only must we deal with the grief of the loss of a relationship, but we also often become riddled with self-doubt, criticism, and what-ifs.
Many people experience depressive symptoms as the result of a broken heart. We may ask ourselves what we did wrong or begin to blame ourselves for the demise of our relationship.
It is important that we catch ourselves when we find ourselves engaging in self-deprecating and unhelpful patterns of thought. It can become a vicious cycle when we begin to think negatively about ourselves, detrimentally impacting our emotions and behaviors.
Practice self-compassion, allow yourself time to process your emotions, and take time to care for yourself.
These behaviors will ensure the healthiest recovery from a broken heart.
Licensed Professional Counselor | Creator, The Pragmatic Therapist
Stay true to yourself
Men tend to go a little… how do I put it… crazy with a broken heart.
Neither gender is excluded from maladaptive behavior, but some men tend to want to go out, hit the bar, and meet a new partner as soon as they can. Obviously, this isn’t true for everyone.
But, for those who seek this interaction, they typically voice regret when the broken heart phase is over.
I am not passing judgment in any way, but some good advice is to wait a little bit and make sure finding a partner during the broken heart phase is what you truly want to do.
Stay calm and quiet
When you’re in the broken heart phase, it is easy to forget that the pain is temporary. It is, I promise. That isn’t to say the pain isn’t real and horrible, but it will go away. Stay calm, stick to routine, get out of bed and be outdoors.
Physical activity, even walking, is immensely helpful because it helps our minds stay quiet and calm. It helps us think clearly in a soothed state.
Socialize with your established crew
This could be family, friends, co-workers, or anyone else that is already established in your life. Stick with your established crew and try not to change too much about your life in the broken heart phase.
Many times we find our current lives too painful to be a part of during this phase, but stick with it. These are the people who genuinely care for you and will give you good advice and listen.
Seek professional or peer support
Seek professional or peer support if the broken heart phase also includes depression or anxiety that lasts for over a couple of weeks. Don’t wait for mental health symptoms to sink in too deep; and it can take longer to reverse their effects.
Professionals such as therapists or psychologists are your go-to providers.
Peer support, such as support groups, is great for meeting and being with people who are sharing similar feelings and situations. Support groups are particularly helpful for divorce or a broken heart that stem from long-term relationships.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Getting over a broken heart can be one of the most challenging experiences that we have.
When you have loved or cared for someone deeply, it hurts when it ends. You question yourself. You question what you know about love and relationships and about life. You wonder if you’ll ever be able to love again.
The pain can often be unbearable. In fact, the pain of a breakup is often what brings people to my therapy practice.
Here are four tips to help you get over a breakup:
Accept that it’s over
Whether you initiated the breakup or not, you’ll have to reach a point where you accept the reality of your situation.
Stop looking for closure and make a decision to allow yourself to close that chapter.
Avoid unnecessary contact
Give yourself some time to breathe. You probably still like or respect them as a person. This does not mean that you need to keep watching their Instagram stories or trading good morning texts.
Make an agreement to take a couple of months to take some space for yourself. You will thank me later.
Concentrate on yourself
Breakups are a great time to reconnect with yourself. Find things to keep you busy so that you don’t dwell on your pain. For example:
- Get back into old hobbies and passions if you gave up some of them during the relationship.
- Try new things and explore yourself in ways that you couldn’t during your relationship.
- Enjoy your freedom.
- Have fun!
- Go on new adventures.
- Go on dates or make friends with people who you find interesting.
- Travel to far-flung places or local spots that you’ve always wanted to try. See the world.
- Work on your personal and professional goals now that you have so much more free time.
Be gentle with yourself
Give yourself time to heal. Accept that you will experience a range of emotions as you try to move forward. Some days will be good, and others terrible. Find ways to manage your emotions. Journal, get back to working out, make new friends, and focus on learning from any mistakes you made this round.
If you need support, ask for it. If a broken heart turns into a broken spirit, that can be a sign that you should reach out for professional support.
Jared Heathman, MD
Psychiatrist, Active Ketamine
Validate your feelings and reframe your negative thoughts
When dealing with a broken heart, it is important to feel your emotions fully. Grieving the relationship is a crucial step in the healing process.
During this time, make sure to validate your own feelings and practice reframing negative thoughts.
Related: How to Get Rid of Negative Thoughts?
A common negative thought when experiencing a broken heart is, “I should not feel sad about this breakup.” Instead of dismissing your emotions, try to reframe the thought into “I am feeling sad about this experience, and that is alright.”
Validating your emotions will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and manage negative emotions effectively.
Take the time to focus on the present and set goals for your future
You and your happiness are the priority. When setting goals, think about what you wish to accomplish in the future and create a game plan on how you will achieve these goals.
Do you wish to change your routine, grow your interpersonal relationships, exercise more, or even increase the amount of self-care you do? Be intentional with your time and interactions, and this will help you achieve your goals and focus on the bigger vision you have for yourself.
Getting out of your comfort zone may be helpful in finding a new hobby or routine that brings you joy.
Build a support system
Connecting with others will help in building a support system that will focus on what and who brings you happiness. Talking to someone in your support system could be a great way to connect and gain support.
Although, if you are uncomfortable sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your support system, then you should seek professional help.
Talking with a therapist can help you learn more about yourself and provide you with more support. It can also help you sort through your emotions and help you learn healthy coping tools.
Remember to be kind to yourself and seek the support you need.
Allow the process of grieving to have its way on you
I was once dating… I’ll call him Tom. I thought we were moving toward marriage. Our children wanted us to marry. We had many mutual friends who expected us to marry.
One day he came by my house to tell me he was engaged to his secretary, a woman 22 years younger than he was. I was stunned and brokenhearted.
I asked all the usual questions:
- “What happened?”
- “What’s wrong with me?”
- “Why wasn’t I good enough?”
I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of that dark hole. Fortunately, I began seeing a wise counselor who reassured me about my value but also encouraged me to refocus my attention on what I wanted in my future… just to do something new and different.
I got an RV and took a trip with my two boys, ages about 11 and 13, to Arizona, where we explored Sedona and visited the Grand Canyon. It was so liberating to do something bold and independent. We had a blast.
In addition, I began a small business where I met a group of ambitious, positive people who inspired me.
A year later, I met Jim, who eventually became my husband. A few years after that, I was completing my Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology when we were to practice a form of therapy called Gestalt.
I imagined Tom in a chair facing me. I told him how deeply he had wounded me and asked him, “Why?” Then I traded places with the imaginary Tom and waited to hear what he had to say to me.
He told me that I was intimidating to him. That he couldn’t handle my intelligence or the potential he saw in me. This was a deeply spiritual and intuitive exercise.
Tom was not literally there, and the answers may have been coming from my own deepest intuition. But I heard those answers as Truth, and they helped to finish healing the wound he’d left in my self-confidence.
Combine that with Jim’s utter belief in me and his encouragement to go for my dreams, and I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Universe had had my back… saved me from a marriage to a man who would have eventually smothered me.
I’ve experienced a broken heart from the deaths of my eldest son and, eventually, my dear Jim. I had learned by then to express my feelings of loss, despair, anger, and confusion and allow the process of grieving to have its way with me.
During those dark times, I also did creative projects. I’d learned that doing something creative was a sure way to restore my energy for life.
It’s interesting that after Jim’s death, I also purchased an RV and drove slowly up the coast of California, soaking up the reassurance of beautiful ocean views. Even while traveling, however, I kept my weekly appointments with a therapist and frequently spoke with family members.
Maybe it was an attempt to run away from the pain of this loss. But I could afford to run away, so why not? I was gone for six months and then returned home to face life without the love of my life.
Getting over a broken heart by understanding people don’t belong to us
We have been programmed to believe someone we lose from a breakup or death belongs to us. People come into our life for a reason or a season to learn and grow from. It is important to take time to date, forgive, heal and love yourself.
A person should start with loving themselves, and you are worth more than settling just to have someone that does not offer you:
- Unconditional love
Sometimes this healing process of a broken heart may need an expert like a therapist, relationship/life/wellness coach, a group, or a retreat.
This will help build a better relationship with yourself and heal your broken heart.
Relationship Expert, Texas Divorce Laws
Love is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world, but heartbreak and pain become immensely unbearable when we lose that love. Nobody enters a relationship expecting to be heartbroken.
But you can’t predict what the future will bring. You have to get back up, keep going, be resilient, and learn how to trust again.
Accept things as they are
Acceptance, or accepting things as they are, is the first step in moving past a breakup. Accept that your relationship is over, and it’s time to move on. Allow yourself to feel your emotions while being extremely kind to yourself.
Recognize that crying is okay and that a breakup is a loss like any other.
Heal with self-love
Take your time to heal, one day at a time, as all wounds need time to heal. The recovery process is not simple.
Even though it might not feel like things are returning to normal right now, if you give yourself time to recover each day, eventually, everything will be okay. Start taking care of yourself and tell yourself you’re worthy of love.
The best remedy for a broken heart is self-love. So look after yourself and let healing take place gradually.
Try to be positive
It is possible to maintain optimism even after experiencing heartache. Everything, so the saying goes, has a purpose. Start to wonder if your ex isn’t the right person for you and whether still seeing your ex would prevent you from finding a soulmate.
Develop the mindset that good things are about to happen in your life. Forgive and try to forget so you can completely move on with your life.
Mental Health Practitioner
Give yourself time to mourn the loss of your relationship
A breakup affects you mentally, emotionally, and physically. It’s normal to go over past conversations to see what went wrong or to try to find hints that it was going to end.
Your emotions can come out in any form, not just sadness.
- It’s okay to feel mad about it ending.
- To be scared that you will not find another relationship again.
- To have a sense of guilt or shame that you may have done something wrong that lead to the breakup.
- Even to be happy or relieved that it is over.
Your body may also process the breakup through:
- Digestive upset
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
All of these are totally normal.
The key is to let yourself feel these feelings and let them out. If you hold them back, you will draw out the healing process longer than it needs to be. And worse, you will carry these emotions into your next relationship, and that will interfere with you being able to open up and love again.
Mindset Coach, Forward Life Coaching
Set a deadline to fast-track the natural healing process
Time will heal — or at least desensitize— most things. However, when you have a broken heart and the pain disrupts your whole being, you are in a dark place with no end in sight.
An effective way to cope is to have a target to aim for, a light at the end of the tunnel that we can focus on and drive towards. So, give yourself a ‘healing deadline,’ a date by which you will have to let go of the heartbreak and turn a new page.
You can set your own goal, perhaps using events that you have already planned as guidelines or simply deciding how long it is acceptable for you to mourn. Set the date, imprint it in your mind, write it in your diary, and have that goal to focus on.
In the meantime, allow yourself to connect with the grief, feel the sadness and hurt, and let the brain’s pain processing patterns run their course.
The natural brain healing mechanism will be activated more quickly and efficiently as it knows that it has a time scale to work to and can visualize the end result within time and space.
This is how setting goals works so well.
Bring to your mind an image of you completely healed, see how great you will look, sense how good you will feel, and tell yourself that you can do this. And start the process right now.
Professional Matchmaker and Relationship Expert, Incredible Love
Don’t ignore the feelings or try to push them away
There’s one thing nearly everyone can expect at some point in their life, and that’s heartbreak or two.
Love is imperfect because people are imperfect. Broken hearts can trigger feelings of failure. You may even start questioning yourself, wondering if there is something wrong with you, or questioning your self-worth.
Recovering from a heartbreak means going through the stages of grief because you’re mourning the loss of what that relationship represented. My advice? Don’t ignore these feelings or try to push them away.
Surround yourself with a supportive group of friends and take time to process the relationship because there are hidden lessons for you to garner.
One of the exercises I give clients to help them accelerate the healing process is called “The Funeral of the Heart.”
Take a piece of paper and start writing a letter to your ex. Let your consciousness freehand your burdens, the words never said and anything in between on that piece of paper.
Once you feel complete, dress up in a color you choose to mourn in and host a burning ceremony of the letter. This ritual represents the closing of a door and making space for the beginning of your rebirth. Repeat this exercise as often as necessary.
Afterward, get some fresh flowers for yourself and place them in sight.
Healing from a breakup takes time, and continual investment in your self-care is crucial.
Licensed Counselor and Strategy Coach
The window is cracked, but the car still drives
I say this because when we think about our broken hearts, we make it an all-inclusive package. We forget to recognize that one person never created everything that makes us capable of love, joy, excitement, thrill, and all of who we are.
The broken heart is truly only a fragment of a whole. If you can still experience sorrow about your friend moving away or grief because you lost a pet while having a broken heart, then there is more in your heart that is still very much alive.
The heart can still function even if some of it is broken. This means you can continue to live and go anywhere in life you set your journey.
The heart is very much like a cracked window. It obscures our visibility and makes the car unattractive. However, the car doesn’t know because it still drives. Allow your broken heart to be that car on a journey.
When the heart feels heavy, pull to the side of the road until the storm passes. If the heart is unbearable, then pull over and call your roadside assistance (friends, family, etc.) to come to get you until the car is ready to get back on the road.
You may not be ready to replace the window now but just keep driving.
The car (your heart) can carry the load of brokenness (broke part of your heart). Your heart was built to endure and last through the tribulation so that you can continue moving forward in life.
Master Spiritual Teacher, Sedona Sacred Journeys, LLC
Point yourself in a nice direction
Getting over a broken heart is always and forever about the perspective you land on about that relationship. Whatever “meaning” you give the ending of the relationship will match the feeling you get about the end of the relationship.
If, for example, you think, “I will never meet anyone I will love like that,” then you are going to get sadness. I do believe there is a natural grieving time, but there comes a line in the sand where the grieving becomes self-indulgent.
How do you allow an empowering perspective to flow up from inside yourself? By not trying to figure it out. But opening to seeing something deeper about how the meaning we give things we are actually making up in our head.
We are looking for insight into this as opposed to understanding it intellectually. How do you get an insight? By creating space. Wisdom loves space.
Point yourself in a nice direction; it doesn’t matter what it is:
- Go for a walk
- Take a bath
Then have faith that your wisdom will manage you back to your nice feelings or, in this case, a feeling of letting go and acceptance about the end of that relationship.
You will suddenly have new fresh thinking flow up from the inside, which will create a very different feeling than a “broken heart.”
Everyone knows what I am talking about or has experienced what I am describing. I am just unpacking it so you can get to the place of getting over someone and moving on.
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