Heartbroken? Do these 10 Things (No really, do them, don’t just read this.)
1.) Feel Your Pain.
Right now. Stop pretending you aren’t heartbroken or trying to keep your sh*% together. Find a private space and let yourself fall apart. Whatever is real and present, feel it. Grab some computer paper or a legal pad and a pen and write uncensored directly from your pain. Don’t re-read it and don’t judge it. Let yourself fully express. Stab the paper with your pen a few hundred times, scream, cry, whatever. It is just energy trying to be released. Once you are finished rip up what you wrote into tiny little pieces and throw it away. Repeat this often.
2.) Write an email you don’t send.
Go ahead, get all those words down that your mind keeps repeating. The things you wish you had said or will say. Give yourself full permission to say absolutely anything. Then, delete it. No text or e-mail that you send, or don’t send, is going to dictate how your story ends.
3.) Ask for Support
Ask for what you need from friends, parents, therapist, coach, etc. You might need to teach people how to support you. For example, you could say, “I’m feeling really vulnerable right now, and I need you to listen.” Or you might say, “I need you tell me he is a bastard, idiot, asshole who will never find love again.” Or perhaps, “I need you to distract me and take me to the movies or just scratch my back and tell me it will be okay.”
4.) Move Your Body
Get outside or go to the gym. Play a sport you enjoy or hate. Just get out of your cave and get your sweat on. Cleanse your body of some of your grief and allow the fresh air to purify you. Do it because science has proven it will make you feel better. No energy? How about a walk?
Hate meditating? Fine, I get it. It can suck at first. Science has proven meditation works to reduce stress, heart disease, lengthen attention spans, and shift the density of gray matter in the parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. So do it. The more you are able to observe your thoughts, rather than become identified with them, the less you will suffer. Shut the door, set a timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes, breathe into your body, and be still. Try, the Headspace app.
6.) What is your life trying to teach you?
Get out a journal and write this question down. Slow down and just wait to see what comes up. Is there a pattern here? Run an experiment: If this is happening for you and not to you, what is here for you to learn?
7.) Question Your Beliefs
If you check in, you will be able to see that your mind is a thought sh*% show, and all of your thoughts, no matter how contradictory or irrational, feel true. Question thoughts that may be present like, “I will be alone forever. I will never get my needs met. I am unlovable. I must be crazy for thinking my ex is the one, or he/she is gone forever, or he/she will definitely come back.” Try Byron Katie’s "The Work" as a tool for investigating and letting go of thoughts that keep you in a spiral of pain. The real truth is that you don’t know what is going to happen. No one does. Ever.
8.) Write a Revenge Story
Write a creative revenge short story. I wrote a few furious pages that could be an homage to Darren Aronofsky’s "The Fountain” and Stephen King’s “Misery,” and it felt great. As I was earnestly weeping over my journal, scribbling a story filled with kidnapping, moderate psychological torture, spirit guides, and confessions of love, some deep wisdom was actually revealed to me. It was dark and twisted and kind of adorable. Let your shadow come out and play. Just don’t send your story to your ex or Google "how to hire a hit man".
9.) Seek Inspiration
Look for a teacher. It could be a yoga teacher, preacher, friend, poet, mentor, guru, writer, artist, musician, etc. A teacher is someone who is broadcasting a signal that currently feels nurturing and loving to you. It could be Chelsea Handler. No judgment. It is in this moment, when your armor is down, that the most healing can be accomplished. Open your mind and feed your soul with loving inspiration.
10.) Try on a New Belief
We make up the beliefs we hold constantly. We unconsciously make them up out of the material of societal constructs, family conditioning, and intergenerational patterns baked into our DNA. Luckily, we are learning that our brains are elastic and shifting our perception is possible. What if Love is the very essence of everything instead of an object that can be passed back and forth, like a football? What if this heartbreak is here to break you open to the awareness that you ARE love? The kind of love that Rumi and Bob Marley go on and on about. Worship Something – Find a sacred space that connects you to something greater than yourself. Whether your sacred space is the beach or the woods, a church, or the local science or art museum, find a sacred space and get on your knees (literally or metaphorically).
Pray to whatever you believe in and ask for some relief. Have faith that this heartbreak is temporary and breaking you open to a new understanding of Love.