Moving on is always tricky, even if you are aware that it was fundamentally unhealthy for you (or your ex — or both).
The world tends to lose its color, your town becomes a living cemetery of memory triggers, and stress levels peak to the point where insecurity can threaten day-to-day decision-making.
This article is my personal shot at quelling the raging storm by employing common sense and a spoonful of perspective to regain a measure of emotional clarity.
1. Breakups are a double-edged sword
There’s no easy way to strip the pain from the stages of grief following a breakup, and there’s absolutely no surefire way to argue the subconscious mind out of its loss. However, there are ways we can attempt to dilute the pain.
Perspective is a great way to carve a little solace from the process. Instead of fixating on life without your ex, concentrate on everything you stand to gain instead.
While it sounds frivolous and trivial, every breakup has the potential to be a blessing in disguise. The simple exercise of drawing up a to-do list of things you now have both the time and resources to accomplish, is usually enough to regain a momentary measure of clarity.
2. Get busy, stay busy
Introspection is important in that it allows us to draw a contour around the past. For best results however, make sure you erect a productive day-to-day schedule. Not only will it serve as an emotional distraction, it will also help usher you into a brave new world.
This is more important than it can initially seem. Bear in mind that part of breakup pain revolves around having a routine smashed with all the subtlety of a ten-ton hammer. The world as you know it has disappeared. The simple act of keeping moving can soothe the subconscious mind (it wants its comfort-zone back) and help transition it quickly into a new familiar routine.
Here is an excellent article on how exercising is something of an all-in-one detox for relationship pain. Not only are you helping your wounded self-esteem inch upwards by improving your health, you are also tapping into exercise’s proven track record when it comes to beating stress.
3. Let the statue fall
Trauma and grief can color our expectations, and blind us to the negative aspects of an ex relationship. Your ex may have been special (or not), but they were only human.
While it is important to accept their good side and give credit where it’s due (as well as accept and forgive ourselves for our own humanity), don’t forget the negative aspects of the relationship. If a breakup was in the cross-hairs for a while, chances are your day-to-day wasn’t as amazing as your trauma wants you to believe it was.
Judge the relationship as it was on a day-to-day basis, and not as it was during those peak, honey-moon moments.
4. Forgive yourself (and them).
Anger and guilt are two notorious corner-stones of a breakup. Ultimately, you will have to forgive both yourself and your ex in order to move on completely.
Declaring a general amnesty is not something you can logically comes to grips with during trauma, but the simple realization that these feelings hurt nobody but yourself is a great way to shine the spotlight on your own pain and give yourself the motivation you need to shed their chains.
5. Put yourself first
Perhaps the most addicting and pleasurable part of moving on from a bad relationship is the realization that your needs no longer need to be compromised or discounted.
Not only does doing it all your way help you forgive yourself, but it also:
- Helps rebuild ailing self-esteem.
- Helps rebuild a fresh new comfort-zone for your subconscious mind to lean on.
- Cement fluctuating levels of self-worth.
- Is fun in of itself.
- Helps eradicate feelings of anger and guilt.
- Deteriorates the need for emotional validation from others (your ex included).
Above and beyond all else, breaking up is a chance to re-acquaint yourself with the person you should love the most. Yourself. Something which can be entirely too easy to forget when navigating the ups and downs of a breakup.
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