Most of us have been there, when a relationship ends it is usually very upsetting – whether you are the one that instigated the break up or not.
Even if you know it was the right thing to happen as it just wasn’t working out, there is often a vortex of emotions involved. Sadness, anxiety, disappointment, blame, guilt, anger, frustration. Many people report experiencing a physical pain/aching in their bodies too.
The period of time after a break up can feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster. For brief moments, you feel okay then you are suddenly swept away by a wave of sadness or anxiety that feels overwhelming and never ending.
Usually the brief moments of feeling okay tend to become longer as time goes by and the uncomfortable emotions begin to fade, as they are processed by your unconscious mind over a period of adjustment.
For some people though, the after effects of a break up can be lasting and prevent us from moving on fully and being happy, as our mind becomes stuck in a loop of focusing on the past and what might have been.
Confidence can be affected making you doubt your self-worth. Anxious thoughts and worry can take over day to day life.
Some people stop socialising with their friends, especially if they are in couples and others self-medicate with alcohol, cigarettes, food etc to try and push the emotions away.
For some people who have new relationships, trust issues creating anxiety and jealousy may emerge because of past hurts.
If you or anyone you know is still affected by a relationship break up, these tips can help:
Talk about how you feel to someone you trust (not your ex!). Get those thoughts and feelings out of your head.
You don’t necessarily need your confidant to give you answers, just to reassure you and be there for comfort.
However – be aware that talking about the same things over and over for weeks on end is not a good thing, as it can cause you to re-activate those painful emotions by constantly reliving them and this can keep you locked into that unhelpful state of mind.
If you don’t feel you have anyone you can trust to talk to, go to point two below.
Keeping a journal or diary each day about how you feel is known to be very useful in helping to process emotions.
So be more like Bridget, get a daily diary going and each day write down your thoughts and feelings about the day. Ensure you write about good feelings too and positive experiences you have had.
Make a list of everything that annoyed you about your ex. Everything they did or traits they had that really got to you.
What did being in that relationship prevent you from doing that you are free to do now?
After a break-up we can tend filter out these things and only focus on what was good. In order to get over a break-up, bringing the other times to mind can be really helpful.
It’s not often you’ll find me advising you to focus on the negative but in this case it can be very helpful!
A break up is a big change in your life and it is completely normal to experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, loss and grief while you process and adjust.
Don’t expect to just get over it in a matter of days. Some days you will feel fine, then other days you may feel emotional – it can be a bit like being on a rollercoaster.
However emotions are fluid – constantly changing and on the move. You won’t feel like this forever and you will be happy again, even if you don’t believe it yet.
Don’t be tempted to self-medicate with alcohol, food, cigarettes or whatever it is you want to use as an emotion suppressant.
Feelings are persistent and are giving you a message. They will keep appearing until they are acknowledged and processed, so not only will you not be helping yourself emotionally by trying to push them away or not face them, you will also be hurting yourself physically and you don’t want to do that do you?
Instead, why not take good care of yourself. Eat healthy, nutritious food, do gentle exercise – outdoors if you can (excellent for reducing anxiety and stress). Get a massage or some kind of pampering that you know helps you feel good, spend time with people who make you laugh and lift you up.
Just keep putting one foot in front of another each and every day. That’s all you can do. Focus on one day at a time.
If you find your mind wondering to the ‘what ifs’ – bring your attention back to the here and now and the day in front of you.
Being more present and keeping your focus in the moment can really help reduce feelings of anxiety and sadness.
Feelings of anxiety occur when we are focused on possible unpleasant future events, whereas feelings of remorse, guilt or regret can arise when we focus on past events. The more time you can spend with your attention on the present moment, the better you will feel.
Use hypnosis or meditation to help yourself feel better more quickly. This healing state helps your body reduce stress hormones from your system, leaving you able to think more clearly and feel calmer.
By taking some time out each day, and it doesn’t need to be long, to relax deeply, let go of stress and anxieties and focus on how you want to feel, can have wonderful effects on your emotional well-being.
If you still feel the after effects of a break up after a period of time and you want to fully put it behind you so you can move on and be happy, you may find my new at home programme useful.
Having worked with many people in one-to-one sessions to help them move on from a past relationship, I have created this at home version. For more details about how it can help, please see here: