Getting your heart broken is one of the worst emotional pains possible, and the reason for this is more scientific than you might believe. A broken heart is an all-consuming, numbing, and maddening experience. You might spend hours pining over ‘what went wrong’, or ‘what you could have done differently’. There are countless scenarios you can go over in your head but know this, the answers are in front of you, not behind you.
I am going to share with you some tried and true exercises to help you get over your heartbreak. You are absolutely right if you think these exercises are going to be hard, they are hard because they work. The true beauty happens once you see the fruits of your labor and you can, once again, open your heart to happiness.
GET OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family but it is toxic during a heartbreak/breakup/rejection. We become impulsive, desperate, and obsessive. This is not for a lack of general self-respect and self-worth, however, heartache makes us act out in ways we otherwise would not. Even worse, we use social media to keep tabs on the source of our heartbreak and I promise you-you will find exactly what you are looking for. So know this, if you go looking for a reason to justify your anxiety and anguish, you will certainly find that reason on their account. By some tragic poetic justice, our worst fears manifest when we desperately look for them.
- Delete your account and start over in six months. Give yourself that time to reconnect with people face-to-face.
- Temporarily deactivate your account if deleting it feels too severe BUT do not use that as an excuse to go on from time-to-time.
- Under NO circumstance allow yourself to keep tabs on the object of your heartbreak.
- Tell your friends and family they will NOT update you on this person. Explain to them that knowing what ‘they’ are “up to” is not healthy for your emotional growth. Do not be afraid to be firm with your friends and family—your well-being is more important than their need to gossip.
Do not be mistaken, social media does have its place post-storm. When you have removed yourself from the platform(s) long enough, social media can be greatly beneficial.
Use Social Media To Your Advantage
When the right time comes, social media will be a great asset. This should not be considered prematurely. Your mind may convince you that you are ready to get back into the Thunder Dome, but believe me, it is probably too soon. The best time to reactivate/create your profile(s) is when you have had enough time to heal and you are positively unreactive to this person. It may take a while, but do not rush your healing because it will backfire.
What to do when you get back on social media:
- When you think you are posting an amazing and appropriate quote or an “irrelevant” selfie—you are SCREAMING for attention, and everybody knows it.
- Be it an innate-human instinct but people are pretty intuitive to what others post on S.M. If you are sharing a picture or a quote and you think to yourself, ‘they will react to this‘, they will—but not the way you had hoped.
- Ease-up on the selfie over-load. Selfies have become a sort of obvious need for admiration and attention.
- If you are posting a selfie and you think to yourself ‘this will make them miss me, I look so good,’ again, you are not going to invoke the reaction you want.
- Selfies are not received as the attractive innocent picture you are posting. There is a fine line between posting a great photo of yourself in front of a monument, for example, and posting a meaningless selfie for attention. PSA too many selfies will make you look desperate and narcissistic.
- A great way to have yourself seen by this person who broke your heart is to have people/friends take candid photos of you (and post sparingly.)
- Avoid posting quotes at all costs. This person is going to relate everything you share to them (again you do not want this recognition), no matter how accurate or inciteful this quote may be.
Read Uplifting Books
If you love books already, then this is going to be a great exercise and if not, you are going to learn to love them. Some ‘self-help’ books cease to capture our attention, the contents do not resonate with us and therefore get shelved, never to be read again. On the other hand, the right book can not only eloquently decipher your feelings, but it will light a fire in your broken soul. There truly is nothing like reading a line from a book that enlightens your mind and electrifies your dejected heart.
Read these books, read them again and highlight which parts inspire you.
Take Your Mind Off of it with Exercise
Exercising doesn’t just make us look good, it makes us feel good too. Good feeling chemicals and hormones are released into the brain when we workout. And for all intents and purposes, exercising is your double-shot at mending your broken heart.
Exercise your way into looking like losing you was the biggest mistake of their life, while you relish in your natural euphoria.
Wanting to look your best is not vain, do not talk yourself out of doing something that is both healthy and good for your overall well-being.
Lucid Dream Your Way to Happiness
Lucid dreaming is the brain’s greatest gift—in my humble opinion. If you have read my previous articles, you are probably well aware of my affinity for lucid dreaming. To put it simply, I truly believe that lucid dreaming can enlighten the mind beyond most awakening-state exercises. This is because many scientists (including my non-scientist-self) believe that lucid dreaming allows us to create our personal utopia. And beyond creating this world where anything we desire is attainable, there are dream-state exercises you can do to help you move past your heartbreak.
When you become lucid in a dream:
- Fly. Flying in a lucid dream is a feeling so euphoric that it can generate ‘positive feelings’ in your waking state.
- Create a scenario where everyone in your dream loves and admires you.
- Be the person you want to be in your awakening hours. Imagine what it would feel like to be this desirable person.
- Confront your fears head-on. Take the time in your lucid dream to work through what is hurting you most.
Your Beautiful Brain is Sabotaging Your Progress
The irony of a “heartbreak” is that it has nothing to do with your heart. Not that your heart is not affected by your devastation, but your brain is behind all of the pain. Our brains are brilliant organs, but they can be our worst enemy when it comes to overcoming heartbreak.
Your brain will try desperately to figure out what went wrong, what could have been done differently, and what to do to rectify the situation. Our brains are convinced that the harder it tries to figure it all out, the closer to closure it will get. This is never the case. The good news is, you can teach your brain to work for you.
Practice these exercises below:
- Let go of intrusive thoughts. The more we try to suppress intrusive thoughts, the more persistent they become. Instead, allow an intrusive thought to come and let it go with no emotional investment.
- When an intrusive thought comes into your mind (i.e. picturing your ex with another love interest) recognize the thought as unnecessary and redirect your mind to your current state of being—aka “mindfulness.”
- Practice being aware of your physical body. Feel your chest as you breathe in and out; examine how your body feels; take note of the sensations around you.
- Make lists of your personal attributes. What do you love about your self? If you can’t think of anything, you need to sit down and make a list of everything that makes you incredible and unique. When an intrusive thought invades your mind, think of these qualities.
- Stop fantasizing. When dealing with a heartbreak our minds have a frustrating method of fantasizing about what ‘woulda-coulda-shoulda’. These fantasies are often embellished in the mind and can grossly alter your reality.
- Recognize what is reality and what is in your mind.
- Stop creating new scenarios in your head, instead focus on the present and the future.
- Treat your mind like you would treat a dying flower. Only allow healthy surroundings and make sure to feed your mind with nourishing substances (thoughts).
Stop Thinking about How You were Done so Wrong
You can’t change what was done to you. We make mistakes, and we must allow other people the same decency to make errors (whether they recognize it, or not.) And do not try to justify their actions to ease your heartbreak, or obsess over how you could have avoided it—what’s done is done. Hakuna Matata all the way to your present existence.
Above All, the Best Revenge is Happiness
The cheesiest and most cliché sayings are painfully accurate. This usually makes understanding an old saying appear obsolete. Do not fall into this trap. A saying such as “the best revenge is happiness” exists because it is so true, simple, but true.
Faking happiness is like taking a sugar pill—the placebo may only get you so far. I do believe in fake it until you make it, but if you really want to stand out (and make someone regret losing you) you must forge true happiness.
To be recognized as a happy, healthy, and prosperous person: speak of it less and manifest the feelings from within.