Heartbreak: pain could be exhaled
We have all been there. At that point of life when something ends without us being ready to let go. When someone just says “It’s not you, it’s me” and leaves. When so much love remains unfinished: plans for road trips that will never take place, movies that you will never watch together, moments you will never share… Something inside us just dies. Irrevocably.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s summer or fall. Whether you are 19, 27 or 35; living in the heart of Paris, or somewhere in the countryside of Poland. It just makes no difference what else you have or don’t have in your life now that they are gone — the person around whom your whole world was revolving.
Defeat! Shipwreck. Catastrophe. You are drown. And you can stay there at the bottom of your life for eternity, but you better don’t do that. Not that you have no good reason to spend the entire weekend watching TV shows in bed; indulging in immense amounts of burgers, pizza and ice cream; refusing to take off your ex-lover’s old T-shirt all week long; numbing the pain with a glass of wine or two, or maybe a bottle… Until you eventually forget how you met them, how they kissed you, loved you, or abandoned you.
You can drag your feet along the streets with the expression of Gru from Despicable Me. You can sniffle, cry, blame, and erupt on social media with heartbreaking posts at 2 am… You can stand beside the ruins of your long-gone relationship, bite your nails, and feel sorry for yourself. You can! But nobody’s absence is worth that price.
Self-pity is the shortest way to unhappiness — to deep long-lasting unhappiness. Hence cheer up! Let’s dust off and reduce the damage from falling. There is some special power in the sky crashing above your head. The chance to get up and move forward, and even doing it with grace, is not to be underestimated. And like any change, mending your broken heart and overcoming the breakup pain begins from the inside out (with a little help from your friends).
Here are some ways to help you go through the emotional pain which have been proven to work (or at least for me and a few other screwed up lost souls):
1. SELF-REFLECT THROUGH MEDITATION.
Reflect on what happened. Do not just numb the pain and pretend it did not shatter your world into pieces. What better way to connect to yourself than meditation? Meditation has an even greater effect when you find yourself in hardship. Difficulties mobilise all our resources. We can concentrate a lot more and therefore enter into a deeper level of self-awareness. Whoever left you, no matter how painful it is, whatever happened to you, at that moment: relax, inhale, exhale, and give yourself time to get back into your skin. You can try a guided meditation (there are plenty online) or you can design one for yourself. There is no right and wrong.
2. NURTURE YOUR SOUL WITH ART AND CULTURE.
Other people’s stories and ways to deal with life’s adversities could get you out of your pain and back into the world. It’s the perfect time to nurture your soul and enrich yourself with books, movies, art, and culture. Go to art exhibition, concerts, theatre plays; read those classics that you have always wanted to but never found the time; watch IMDb's top-rated movies or some international film festival selection; embrace any form of cultural experiences and take care of your broken soul. The only thing you should be mindful of are sad songs and romantic comedies. Instead of helping they might actually trigger painful emotions.
Sweat it off! There is no better way to get you out of your head and into your body than sport. Any kind. Anyhow. Anywhere! Be it zumba or yoga, or maybe pole dancing, kickboxing, running, swimming… Whatever floats your boat. Physical activity is quite beneficial to deal with emotional pain and could also help you regulate your appetite and sleep cycle. So put on your sport outfit and just move!
4. LEARN NEW SKILLS.
Acquire new skills. Learn a language or start a cooking course, sailing course, graphic design course, any type of course. Keep yourself busy with fruitful activities. Relationships do take time and now that all this time and space became available again, you better fill it up smartly and use it to your benefit. Imagine: if you only invest 2 hours per week to study anything, in a year you would have invested 104 hours into something. You would actually be able to do that thing on a maybe decent level. Turn this bloody heartbreak into your golden age of self-development and growth!
5. RECLAIM YOUR SOCIAL LIFE.
Call your friends. Meet your neighbours. Go out for after work drinks with colleagues. Talk to strangers in the metro if you want. Just do not isolate yourself in your loneliness. Open up to the world and start interacting. Attend public events, friendly gatherings, or birthday parties. But do not rush into dating yet. Give yourself the time to heal properly before hopping again onto the roller-coaster of dating. Try to meet people without any hidden agenda in mind and just enjoy the social interaction.
6. EXPRESS YOURSELF THROUGH ART.
Write, paint, or find a creative way to express yourself. Start a blog or a journal, maybe try poetry writing, recording podcasts or videos. Maybe doing graphic designs. Any form of artistic expression would do the job. It will help you to digest those hard emotions stuck in your heart and you might actually discover a talent or a passion you had no clue about. By all means, creativity is one of the best ways to approach the million problems life throws at us daily. So now’s the time to unleash your artistic genius!
7. HELP OTHERS.
The best way to help yourself is to help others. Every time I have approached someone with the intention to help them, I ended up being helped much more in the end. It just works! So find a meaningful cause that you care about or volunteering opportunities in your city and get involved. And by doing all this, you never know whom you will cross path with along the way.
Always remember: the worst part of the breakup is behind you. It will only be getting easier. And after all, losing a person does not mean losing the chance for love and happiness forever. Life always find a way to fill the gaps when they open up. And how do you know it won’t be better?
Hey, you are not Bridget Jones, Alan Harper or someone doomed to romantic misfortunes for life. It’s time to move on and I hope some of those ideas could push you to do it faster. Pain could be exhaled!