Dealing With the
Emotions of a Break Up
As difficult as it is, dealing with
the emotions of a break up is absolutely necessary if
you’re to move on with your life and feel joy again.
And if you have any notion of getting back
with your ex, it’s even more important to handle the emotional
turmoil you’re going through appropriately.
To begin, expect a bit of a roller coaster
ride, emotionally speaking. There will be lots of ups and
downs. Many people going through a break up experience
the same emotions that someone grieving the death of a love one
does. In a way, you’re grieving the end of the
The phases may include denial, anger,
bargaining and eventually acceptance. Depression is also
very common, and perhaps the one you need to guard against the
most – it can start a downward spiral.
You don’t want to dwell obsessively on the
relationship but you do need to clarify the
situation. Some people find it helps to write
things down. This keeps your mind from going in endless
circles and getting nowhere.
Write the history of the
relationship in a fairly objective fashion. Be
careful of a tendency to romanticize the relationship and make
it better in memory that it was in reality. Write
down the good points, but also the bad and unpleasant.
Include why you think the relationship ended. If there’s
a lesson there, you want to learn it.
Maintain a positive
focus. Even if your relationship has ended a lot
of other things in your life are going well or at least
OK. Avoid focusing completely on what isn’t
working. Feel appreciation and gratitude for your
friends, hot water, tasty food, work, sunsets – what ever you
can find to feel grateful for.
It’s important to stay
active. It’s too easy to feel depressed, not
want to do anything and just mope around. That will only
aggravate the depression. So make yourself get up and do
Along the same line,
exercise. Exercise is proven to work as
well or better to treat mild to moderate depression and it’s
very likely that you’re at risk for depression. Also,
physical activity is a great way to vent pent up
feelings. Finally, getting in shape will help your
This may seem a little harsh, but
after a while continuing to feel sorry for yourself
over the break up is self-indulgent
You’re really spending too much time
thinking about yourself. The antidote is to do
something for others.
To that end, look for a charity doing work
you believe in and volunteer. Maybe it’ll be working in a
soup kitchen, or maybe visiting shut ins, or maybe delivering
meals-on wheels. Whatever. The thing is to stop
thinking solely about yourself and your problems.
By volunteering to work with some of these
charities you’ll be doing some good for the community while at
the same time gaining some perspective on your situation.
It's remarkable how looking at some of the situations others
have to face helps us see our own situation more clearly.
There are many other ways of dealing with
the emotions of a break up. I hope these help you get
moving in the right direction.
Maybe it's not too