We need to talk. Few words strike fear in the heart more than these four little words. What follows these words is rarely positive. If you have recently experienced a breakup, they may be all too familiar. Oftentimes in relationships, both members are experiencing turmoil, but when the final breakup happens, it still causes shockwaves through our daily life and emotions.

You may have thought that you finally found your “soul mate” after years and years of searching. The two of you have shared memorable moments and you may have already decided, “This could be the one.” If you have been through a breakup recently, there are several things you can do to make this as positive of an experience as possible. It will still hurt, but the pain can be alleviated, and lessons can be learned for the future. It can even be a great opportunity to become a better version of yourself. Read on to explore some ways to get through your breakup.

1) Be Thankful.

What? Be thankful? Why would you be thankful for one of the most painful experiences in your life? You can be thankful that the person walked out of your life sooner rather than later. Be thankful that they broke up with you 1, 2, 3, or even 4 years into the relationship rather than 10, 20, or 30 years into the relationship. If your relationship was doomed for failure, what a gift to realize that while you still have time to find someone new. A door has been closed so that something better can come along.

2) Focus on Your Goals

As bad as it sounds, sometimes, relationships just come and go, even the good ones. Rather than beating yourself up after getting your heart broken, focus on making yourself happy. Remember, you were happy before you even met this person that broke your heart. Go back to setting goals for yourself. When you focus on pursuing interests and hobbies that you really love, you will run into more and more people that share the same interests as you.

3) Fully experience your emotions.

It is absolutely fine to express your emotions during a breakup. For some of us, we cannot help but wear our emotions on our sleeves. For others, we like to keep our emotions private and experience them on our own. We may feel that even when others ask how we are doing after a breakup, they don’t really want to hear the truth. It may be easier to just respond with, “I’m doing fine.” But this does not allow the other person to walk with you on this journey. If you feel that you do not have anyone that you can really trust or that you feel comfortable sharing your feelings with, you should also consider writing your thoughts down. Writing is great for unloading emotions because it takes effort to write your thoughts out coherently and to physically place it on paper. It is also therapeutic to read through your thoughts and get a handle on what emotions you are actually experiencing.

4) Share your story.

You may feel that you are completely alone in the world, and that no one would possibly understand what you are experiencing. However, almost everyone has experienced a breakup or some sort of betrayal in life. Sadly, infidelity is very common, and sharing your story with others may give someone the opportunity to connect with you in a new and deeper way. You may feel embarrassed to fully express how you are feeling or coping, but when you do, you are releasing part of the negativity that is overwhelming you. Simply telling someone the story of your breakup is therapeutic. Let others have the opportunity to connect with you, help you, and be present for you.

5) Forgive.

No matter who broke up with whom, feelings of guilt and resentment are bound to be present between you and your ex. In some cases, forgiveness is simply a matter of accepting the feelings the other person had regarding your relationship. Other times, however, we feel as if we have been truly wronged, especially if infidelity was involved. No matter what the situation is, holding on to feelings of bitterness does little more than keep us focused on the breakup, as well as the negative aspects of the former relationship. Forgiveness is a form of freedom.

6) Make a change.

This could be as simple as changing your daily routine, or as drastic as moving to a new part of the country. When you are presented with a major life change such as a breakup, you can take this opportunity to do something different. Perhaps you have always wanted to go to Paris. Why not now? Maybe you have always wanted to join the sports league in town. Give it a shot! When you focus on making positive changes, you will have less energy to focus on the negative in your life.

7) Move on.

At this point, it is time to focus on other things, or even other people. The best way to prevent thinking about your ex is to avoid activities and situations where they are present. For example, spending too much time on social media, where you can see their pictures, can bring back a flood of memories that will prevent you from moving on. Instead, spend your time doing things that you may have missed out on during your relationship. Hanging out with a different social group or working on hobbies you didn’t previously have time for are great ways to move on naturally from a relationship.

8) Consider Counseling.

If the sadness of the breakup is overwhelming, and you find yourself unable to complete your daily tasks, you may want to consider pursuing professional help. If you are sleeping too much, avoiding friends and family, and generally having a hard time functioning, a professional therapist or counselor can be very helpful. Counselors can help you understand why you acted the way you did, and how you can overcome your fears, pain, or possible depression. Talking with a counselor or therapist can really work on a deep level, answering questions that you may be afraid to ask elsewhere.

When it comes down to it, there is no simple or easy remedy for getting over a breakup. It just takes time. During that transition, make sure you are filling this tough time with moments and pursuits that can make the process easier. The tips above are positive ways you can make the best of an unexpected and painful situation. You are a person that is worthy of love, ready for a new adventure in life.

Basics with Flair

Introductions to common mental health issues, with more personality than Wikipedia.
It’s, Counseling 101 with a teacher who won’t put you to sleep.

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