“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
Losing a significant relationship in life is never easy, especially after you and your former partner walked a journey together. The loss of a close relationship can feel like emotional amputation. You may feel sad and alone, as if you’re missing an important part of yourself. If you were on the receiving end of a break up, you may feel angry, rejected or betrayed.
The good news is that the sadness doesn’t last forever, and brighter days lay ahead. Below are seven tips to healing and finding happiness again:
1. Let Yourself Grieve
When we feel pain from a loss, allowing ourselves time to grieve is one of the most important steps in the healing process. Find healthy outlets where you can safely express your emotions. Have a good cry (or a few), talk with supportive friends, write in a journal, see a counselor, or pray to your maker. Acknowledge the pain and hurt. Those who don’t allow themselves to grieve carry repressed pain which will inevitably affect future relationships. When you let yourself grieve, you give to yourself the gift of tenderness. In time, the sadness diminishes, and the tears fall less. Your healing has already begun.
“We can endure much more than we think we can; all human experience testifies to that. All we need to do is learn not to be afraid of pain. Grit your teeth and let it hurt. Don't deny it, don't be overwhelmed by it. It will not last forever. One day, the pain will be gone and you will still be there.”
― Harold Kushner
2. Take Care Of And Pamper Yourself
It’s easy to feel sorry for oneself after separation, and in doing so neglect one’s own wellbeing. Some people self-blame, while others go into victimhood. There may be an urge to mope endlessly and wallow negatively. Some punish themselves consciously or unconsciously.
If you find yourself engaging in any of the above, may I ask have you decided to break up with yourself as well? Did you abandon the most important person in your life - YOU?
The more difficult the separation, the more important it is to take good care of yourself. Eat well and exercise. Do something to pamper yourself everyday - be it a hot bath, fragrant tea, fresh flowers, or massage at a spa. Be your own best friend. You absolutely deserve it!
“Get on good terms with yourself and see how quickly others get on good terms with you.” ― Napoleon Hill
For more on how you can stay strong in the face of life's challenges, see my articles "5 Keys to Enhancing Your Emotional Intelligence," "8 Keys to Life Hardiness and Resiliency," "10 Keys to Handling Difficult People," and "Are You Too Nice? 7 Ways to Gain Appreciation & Respect."
3. Surround Yourself With Healthy Support
As you heal, the support and encouragement of loved ones are essential to your regeneration. Embrace the affection of friends, family, or a beloved pet (the power of healing from animals is well documented). When interacting with your support system, there may be a desire to over-analyze your break up. While some processing is important and healthy, avoid endlessly revisiting the past and rehashing old wounds. If you pay attention to only mud on the ground after a storm, you won’t notice the sky above has already cleared. Focus on the positives.
“Normal people have problems. The smart ones get help.” ― D. Amen
4. Engage In Physical Activities
There’s a saying in communication: “motion dictates emotion.” How we use our body affects greatly how we feel. The easiest way to feel lousy about yourself is to keep your head down, sit like a couch potato, and wallow in misery. Conversely, healthy and enjoyable activities such as exercising, singing, and dancing can energize your body, lift your emotions, and enliven your spirit. So get up and get active. Have fun, keep your head high, experience your vitality, and feel good!
“I sing and dance not because I’m happy. I’m happy because I sing and dance.” ― Chinese proverb
5. Allow Yourself Peaceful Solitude
The next step in your healing process is to allow yourself peaceful solitude, and be comfortable in your own company. Engage in enjoyable, solitary activities that let you to feel peace and vitality on your own. Walking, cooking, gardening, art making and traveling are just a few examples. Get to know yourself again.
“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with.” ― W. Dyer
6. Participate In Meaningful Work Or Service
The next to the last tip is to reach out and help others in greater need than you. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, visit an elderly home, or engage in other types of meaningful work or community service. Realize how fortunate you are. Let service fill your heart with love and gratitude, and come back with a new perspective.
“Happiness may be had only by helping others to find it.” ― N. Hill
7. Get Back On Your Feet Again
If you have followed most or all of the previous six tips, you’re probably already in fairly good shape physically, mentally, and emotionally. The final tip is simply to get on with your life, knowing that your future is full of new and exciting possibilities!
If there’s one thing I’m convinced of after over twenty years of helping people improve communication and relationships, it’s that there’s a right partner for everyone (click & see my article "Seven Keys to Long-Term Relationship Success"). It may take time to find that person. It may require a good dose of self honesty and personal growth to attract him or her, but your partner is there to be found. And when that day comes, as you rest in the arms of that special someone, you’ll realize that everything happens for a reason, the search is over, and your courageous self-discovery has led you home to Love.
For more on personal and professional success, download free excerpts of my publications: "Communication Success with Four Personality Types," "How to Communicate Effectively and Handle Difficult People," "The 7 Keys to Life Success," "Wealth Building Attitudes, Values, and Habits," and "Branding Your Career Like Steve Jobs — Seven Essential Lessons in Work Success."
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Preston Ni, M.S.B.A. is available as a presenter, workshop facilitator, and private coach. For more information, write to email@example.com, or visit www.nipreston.com.
© 2013 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide.