This is another part of my series on getting over a breakup. Part of getting over a breakup is how to heal a broken heart.
One thing that can really make getting over a breakup very difficult is the amount of heartache that you go through.
The heartache after a breakup is a very real experience and you can’t just kind of paper it over by giving somebody fortune cookie advice like:
“Oh, there’s plenty of fish in the sea.”
“If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”
“I never liked him or her anyway.”
That’s not very helpful because you are actually going through a very difficult emotional experience which ranks as one of the most stressful emotional experiences that people can go through in life.
Losing someone you love is right up there with death, losing your job and going through major illness.
How exactly do you go about healing a broken heart?
There’s actually a couple of things involved in healing a broken heart.
1. Mourn the loss of the relationship.
The first thing that you want to do is to actually mourn the loss of the relationship.
The relationship that you lost was probably very important to you otherwise you wouldn’t have gone through this whole heartbreak thing.
You wouldn’t have a broken heart to heal, right?
It’s important to recognize that the relationship was important to you and to mourn its loss and accept that it actually is over and your breakup is an event that has happened.
I remember what the heartbreak was like back when I was going through a couple of breakups in the past.
In the morning I would wake up and for a few brief moments I did not even remember that I went through a breakup. I would feel totally normal.
Then, after I remembered everything that happened, the heartache would all come crashing down on me again.
So what I want you to do is to soak it all up and let it in, so you can accept that the breakup is something that has happened. You have to let yourself feel the pain and the hurt that comes with that.
The more you resist the heartache from your breakup, the more it’s going to cling to you and it will eventually morph into bitterness and resentment. That is not something that I want for you at all.
So allow yourself to feel the heartbreak and mourn your loss.
Eventually, once you’re able to fully experience it you’ll be able to let go of that emotion and have so much more spaciousness that will allow you to let in more good things into your life. That’s the first thing for healing a broken heart.
2. Honor the relationship that you lost.
I want you to honor the relationship that you lost.
What was great about it?
What did you learn from it?
What did you actually love about your partner, about the connection that you had and all of that stuff?
Often many people flip on a dime when they’re going through a breakup. Suddenly they hate their ex’s guts.
They look back on that relationship and think:
“I can’t believe you lied to me.”
“I can’t believe you cheated on me.”
“I can’t believe all of these bad things happened.”
Maybe those things did happen but there were also some good qualities about the relationship too. Otherwise, the two of you would have never gotten together in the first place, right?
So it’s important to really acknowledge the good things about the relationship as well because there was value from that relationship and that partner.
If you’re trying to turn your back against that then you’re doing yourself a disservice because everything in life is a possible learning experience.
Everything in life is a possible blessing.
If you just turn away from it, you’re ignoring however much time the two of you spent together. You’re basically trying to wipe it all out.
If you were together for a substantial amount of time, maybe a year, two years, five years, 10 years or whatever, then that’s a really sad thing to do.
So take some time to really honor your partner and the relationship you had. Try to learn something valuable from it.
Even if you just learn, “I now know that I don’t want to be in a relationship with that type of person,” right?
Maybe now you know you want a relationship with different circumstances.
Maybe you know you don’t want a long distance relationship or something else, right?
As long as you can learn something from the breakup, it is not a wasted experience. You’ll be able to move forward knowing that you can take all of the wonderful lessons from that relationship into whatever the future may hold for you.
3. Work through your difficult emotions.
The third important thing for healing a broken heart is to really work through the difficult emotions that you’re going through.
One thing I learned when I studied Buddhism and mindfulness at a Buddhist temple is as these experiences come up, we often have the tendency to cling and to attach to them.
When this happens, we’re agitating our own emotional experience and this can be absolutely true in the world of breakups. I mean you probably don’t need me to tell you that.
Instead, try doing is a simple practice:
Just as these emotional experiences come up for you, note that they are actually happening.
Acknowledge that this experience is something that’s happening rather than trying to stuff it down or ignore it.
Know that just like every other experience in time that it will fade and pass away to be replaced by some other new experience.
Nothing lasts forever. I know in the moment of heartbreak and the throes of despair, it can seem like you will feel that way forever. But you know at least intellectually that that is not true.
It is not true that any emotional state will last forever.
No emotional state that I’ve ever had has lasted forever and I don’t think any emotional state that you’ve ever had has lasted forever either.
Then the third part of the practice is to let it go.
Let go of the emotional attachment that you have to that feeling and simply just watch it drift by like you might watch clouds drift by in the sky.
You’re not emotionally attached to one cloud or another.
You might think, “Oh, that one looks like a dinosaur or something.”
But you’re not emotionally attached to it. It’s simply something that’s drifting through the sky.
If you can treat your emotional experience that way too, you can be a lot less attached to it and you can move through the process of healing a broken heart a whole lot faster.
4. Turn off your B.S. machine.
The fourth thing that you can do to heal from a broken heart is to turn off your BS machine.
In our world we often refer to that inner critic— that voice in the back of your head that tells you all the worst things about yourself.
Whenever you’re confronted with some sort of blank in life like,
“Oh, why did they break up with me?”
The inner critic rushes in to fill in he blank with the worst possible outcome.
“Well, they broke up with you because you’re unlovable.”
“They broke up with you because everyone was right who ever said you’re an ugly stupid loser.”
Instead, what will going to help you to move on from the breakup is to turn off your inner B.S. machine.
Taming your inner critic is much more easily said than done but you absolutely can do it.
Once you stop having these negative thoughts about yourself, they will stop agitating you emotionally and then you won’t have to go through that whole process of knowing it, noting it and letting it go like I said before.
Instead, with practice you can just not have those thoughts to begin with.
There is process of challenging your negative thoughts in your own mind.
I’m not talking about affirmations.
Affirmations don’t work for a lot of people for a very specific reason which is that oftentimes our affirmations are in complete polar opposite to how we feel.
For example, if you feel horrible— telling yourself, ‘I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy” isn’t going to necessarily work for a lot of people, in my experience, at least not for me because I’m not happy.
It’s not my experience and so my mind is just going to immediately reject it.
Instead actually challenge your negative thoughts in a way that doesn’t go the complete polar opposite of them.
5. Cultivate real self love.
The fifth step to actually healing your broken heart is to really love yourself.
Oftentimes, broken hearts hurt so much because we suddenly find ourselves without love.
We get the sense of love from our relationship or from our partner.
When that goes away suddenly, it can often seem like there’s no love there whatsoever.
You always have the ability to provide your own love and you always have the ability to love yourself.
As long as you love yourself, you’ll be able to fill yourself up from within and you’ll go out into the dating world in a much more confident, smoother, composed way that will allow you to have the kind of successful, loving relationship that you want.
Maybe you’re not ready for it right now but with some work with some self-love and with many of the other things that we’ve talked about in this video, I believe that you can love again and you can get everything that you want from love and relationship.
To learn more about how to heal a broken heart and get the love you really deserve, fill out the quiz, 30 second quiz on my website.
Next I’ll send over customized tips, strategies and ways to help you get started healing from your breakup.