In this month’s blog I talk about the pain of heartbreak and offer some simple steps to help you recover and an exercise you can do to help relieve the pain and speed up the healing.
- Have you ever felt like your heart has a gaping, burning hole after being so hurt that you feel you may never recover from the pain?
- Have you spent every waking hour thinking about the person responsible for the pain and not been able to concentrate on anything else?
- Have you ever felt so vulnerable and exposed with the emotional pain that you find it hard to function and go about your daily business?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions then you are in the right place. It is a life wrenching event to have your heart broken, to feel like it has been ripped from your chest leaving a hole so big that you feel the pain in an extremely physical way. There is no instant cure for this kind of emotional turmoil, a broken heart needs time to repair. But there are steps you can take to help the healing process.
When you let someone close to you, your energy, thoughts and emotions become intertwined with that person. Imagine tendrils of energy emanating from you and from the person you love, when you connect with them on a deep level of love your tendrils intertwine and grow into each other, essentially becoming a part of each other.
When one person in the relationship pulls away and tries to detach the connection it can be painful for both parties, especially for the one on the receiving end. Having something ripped from you is not an easy thing to deal with. Or if you are in an unhealthy relationship with someone you love but you know is bad for you, and you have to back away to protect yourself. Although it is you making the conscious choice it can be just as painful.
Here are some simple steps to help you through this very traumatic time.
Firstly it is best to accept that you are feeling what you are feeling. Don’t start with distracting yourself and burying the emotions inside as this will make you feel worse in the long term. Accept the pain, but keep hold of the knowledge that it will not last forever. Remember back to times when you felt strong in yourself and happy and independent in your life, and know you have felt that way before so you can feel it again. If you struggle to remember a time when you felt this way then choose a role model, someone you feel is strong and independent, imagine them and imagine stepping into their shoes and feeling how they feel.
Find somewhere you can be alone or with a trusted friend and let yourself cry, shout, be sad, angry, or whatever emotion is there for you. Accept where you are right now, no matter how painful it is, this will be better than denial.
Secondly, once you have fully accepted where you are and the emotions that are very real and inside you, you need to be careful not to go into a place of wallowing. This is the time to find the occasional distraction to take you out of the headspace that these emotions have created for you. A distraction could be spending an evening with a friend or friends, going out dancing or watching a film that keeps your mind occupied for a short period of time. How you distract yourself will be personal to you, but do try to avoid plastering your body with mind altering substances like alcohol, prescription and non-prescription drugs, sex with lots of partners, these kinds of distractions will be more destructive than helpful. The distraction needs to be minimal so each time you can come back to yourself and continue to allow yourself to process the pain, in a gentle and gradual way.
No one should go through such a traumatic time alone, so find someone supportive to talk to. It could be a friend or family member. Or if you feel you have no one in your life you can talk it through with, talking to a professional councillor can be extremely helpful, and you can talk everything through with someone who is completely separate from your life and will have no judgement of you or your situation, who is fully trained to hold that supportive space for you.
As much as you can, try to continue with your routines of daily life. Go to work, look after the children, attend college or university and social events if you feel able to. This will remind your body and mind that there are other things going on in your life. It can be very easy to forget your identity when your life has been intertwined with another, simply keeping going is a small gesture to yourself to remind you that you are a strong, independent person who can get through this, even if you don’t feel it right now.
It is easy to let your self-care slip when you feel rubbish.
Make an effort to get enough sleep, if you are struggling to sleep do something relaxing for an hour before bed and don’t watch any screens at all in that time. Allow your central nervous system to calm down from the day, have a relaxing bath with nice relaxing oils or bath salts, drink camomile tea, practice a breathing exercise to calm everything down, find a meditation which talks you through a relaxation. Anything that works for you.
Look at your diet and make the effort to eat good healthy food and drink plenty of water. Your nutrition affects your emotional responses so having a balanced, healthy diet will help to balance out your emotions and aid in your recovery.
Get some regular exercise, even if it is a 20 minute walk every day, this can be very therapeutic. Exercise can be stimulating and promote the release of hormones into the body which can promote and elevate positive emotions. Choose whatever kind of exercise you prefer, walking, running, fitness classes, swimming. Anything to elevate your heart rate for 10 minutes or more, 3 or more times a week.
Looking after yourself regularly is so important, it gives your subconscious the message that you are worth it; that you have value. And when we are nursing a broken heart we can often feel like we are worthless, so this message to the subconscious is a very important part of the healing process. Pamper yourself, book a massage or other treatment, get your nails or hair done, buy some new clothes, book a camping trip. Again what you choose to do will be very personal to you and your preferences.
Often when someone breaks off a relationship with the person they have loved there are still strong energetic connections which make it harder for both parties to heal. Below is a simple exercise you can do to fully separate your energy from the person. This will not stop you caring about them or them about you, or turn you into an emotionless zombie, it is about taking all the parts of yourself back into you so you can feel more complete, and it will support your healing process.
Emotional turmoil can be greatly helped by Reiki healing. If you are experiencing emotional pain, booking a reiki session is one way you can help the healing process of a broken heart and get back to being the empowered version of yourself.