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After the Break Up: How to FREE Yourself from Heartbreak

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file0001453400651-2The relationship is over, but you’re left with emotional baggage. Whether the break up was for the best or the worst, you may find yourself adopting new habits in an attempt to manage your feelings. Maybe you’re going out more to try to find a new distraction, or you’re isolating yourself by staying in and watching too many re-runs of Friends. Regardless of what you’ve done after past break ups, consider these four tips on how to FREE yourself from heartbreak.

FEEL what you feel

Be honest with yourself—it’s hard to go through a break up. You could be experiencing loss, rejection, regret, anger, sadness; allow yourself to express those emotions freely. Bottling it up will only make your situation worse, so find the best way to exercise your emotions without feeling guilty about them.

On the other hand, if you aren’t experiencing loss or even feel happy about being out of the relationship, you shouldn’t force yourself to feel bad. Your newfound freedom after being in a bad relationship should also be embracing without guilt.

 REBUILD self-esteem

People often blame a break up on themselves, not the circumstances, which often leads to feelings of rejection. It’s important to remember that break ups usually occur because of incompatibility, not because you’re a bad person. You both could be great people, but simply not meant for a romantic relationship. Viewing a break up through this lens will radically change your recovery and help you to rebuild your self-esteem.

EMBRACE support

Because of the many emotions you’re experiencing, it’s easy to want to isolate yourself from others after a break up. But being by yourself will not help you move on. Embrace the support from your friends and family and listen to their encouragement. Spending time with loved ones will help relieve your feelings of loneliness and rejection.

EVALUATE your past relationships

Once you’ve had some time removed from the relationship, it’s important to do some reflection. Look at the problems that caused your last relationship not to work. Are there specific character traits that you didn’t like, and do you have a pattern for choosing people with them? What you should be looking for in a relationship may be different from what you actually choose. Make a list of non-negotiables for a healthy relationship and pay special attention to looking for what’s good, not just what’s familiar. This will help you make better dating decisions in the future.

While you’re evaluating your past relationships, you should also reflect on yourself. Does your happiness depend on the people you date? If so, you will be setting yourself up for failure regardless of whether the relationship works out or not. Instead of depending on others to make you happy, look for an inner peace—such as faith and religion—that can be your rock to base your life on.

If you’ve been through a rough break up, the Stenzel Clinical team is here to listen and support you. We have trained counselors available to help you find healthy ways to be free from your heartbreak.