How To Be Happy When You’re Heartbroken
When I look back at young me, teenage me, 20 something me, I can’t help thinking, ‘man that little girl didn’t have a clue what she was doing.’ I was a bit of a paradox, because I had an innately, happy disposition, but I was always negative, always critical, never satisfied and always focused on what I didn’t have.
I was lucky enough to have my life completely torn apart by my Narcissist, and yes, I did say lucky. I was lucky, because I had been given a wake-up call. Rather than live out the rest of my days unhappy and slowly dying inside, the universe saw to it, that I take a look at my life and all of the poor choices I was making. I get a lot of emails expressing the deep, emotional pain people are in and they want to know – What do I do now? This hurts so much – How do I survive it and make it stop?
You’re in Pain – That’s Good!!!
If you cut your arm, you can’t expect that that arm will stop bleeding and hurting immediately, just because you want it to. You have to allow it to go through the normal healing process, starting from the inside out. The same can be said of healing emotional wounds. They progress at exactly the right pace that they’re supposed to. There is an advantage to healing an emotional wound though, and that is that we can speed up the process by simply shifting our perspective. The moment I changed my focus from the woe-is-me pity party I was having, to actually coming to grips with the fact that I was so much better off without him, my recovery went into overdrive. I realized that this was exactly what I needed – this break-up was my time to get my life in order. So when you are in emotional agony – think – that’s good – Why? Because it’s our soul’s way of telling us that we are off track – we are not loving ourselves – we are not living an authentic life and this is our chance to figure out where we’ve veered off course and to set ourselves straight.
But it Hurts
The second step is to take your focus off of what you are missing and put it on all you have to gain by moving forward. Steer your thoughts away from the past and all the dreams for the future and focus on the here and now. One of the things you can control are the thoughts in your head. Steer them towards who is here now, supporting you and loving you? When I lost everything, I had to let go of it, or be consumed by it. The only thing I could focus on, were things that were right in front of me and I began to appreciate who was there, reaching out to me, when everyone else had left. You really find out who your friends are and how much your family means to you. The truth is, everything that I fought so hard to keep, really meant nothing at all. I remember thinking, ‘I’ll lose my house,’ and this was so distressing to me, it kept me anxious and up at night, but really it’s just a house and keeping it was not worth all the anguish I was putting myself through. I should have been thinking, ‘I’ll get my own house and it will be mine and no one will ever be able to take it away.’ Look at the little things and be grateful. Do you have a roof over your head (even if it’s a friend’s couch)? – be grateful. Do you have food in your belly? – be grateful. You have more than the vast majority of people on the planet already.
We all need to feel connected to people and never more so when we feel lost and in pain. Contact your friends, even ones that you haven’t heard from in a while. There is nothing more important to me than deep meaningful conversation. That’s how I express myself and how I feel connected. Even when my friends were at work and I couldn’t be around them, I would still go for a walk at the beach and interact with as many people as I could. I loved going out for dinner, drinks, a movie, or just hanging-out. Just being around people energizes you and forces you to be in the moment. Have fun, don’t be afraid to laugh and be silly, it really is the best medicine.
Assume the Position
Meditation is the ultimate form of connection. It’s during this time that I really feel like I am part of something much bigger than myself. I feel rooted and deeply attached to everything around me. When I meditate I seek answers to questions that need answering, I look for advice and guidance and it’s here that I ask for help in my writing and to be a channel for God’s wisdom. I also use this time to focus on what I want in my life. It’s where I do my visualization, showing the universe what I want to have and accomplish. When I am in this space I feel nothing, but love and joy. When I’m done, I truly feel like I am vibrating on a different frequency, I’m fully relaxed and fully at peace. Meditation feels so incredible it amazes me that more people don’t do it. In the coming weeks I will post a guided meditation that I’ve recorded, on Youtube, for people who have never done it, but would like to try.
Take Care of You
In the week following my break-up I discovered that I could go 3 days without eating. If you’re like me you can’t eat when you’re in the midst of a massive depression, but not eating really did a number on my health and I certainly don’t advocate it. Instead, cultivate the mindset that this is your time and you need to make up for all the times when you weren’t taking care of you. Start experimenting with food and prepare healthy delicious meals that taste good and nourish the body. Incorporate exercise into your daily activities and you will be amazed at how good you feel, even if you haven’t exercised in years, start with a walk, just start moving. There is nothing like the rush of the natural endorphins that come from giving your body the physical activity it needs. Eating right and exercising forces you to a) be in the moment (try thinking about emotional hurt when you’re in the middle of a run – you can’t) and b) Put the focus on you. When you start to feel good physically it naturally merges into how you’re feeling emotionally.
Drinking, taking drugs, or using prescription medication to mask your pain are unhealthy coping mechanisms that have the ability to add problems to an already painful situation. You can’t heal and numb your feelings at the same time. You’ve got to allow yourself to feel your feelings – it’s the only way to properly heal. Everything else is avoidance.
Cognitively understand that when you‘ve developed an addiction to the drama, and the Narcissist in your life, you will have withdrawal symptoms, just like when someone quits smoking. It’s hard, but know that they will diminish over time. Change your perception and be happy that this adversity gives you an opportunity to get your life back on course. Go out, have fun and connect with friends and family and focus on what’s really important. There is no healthy quick fix to get over the pain of your loss, but you can diminish the length of time it takes, by taking care of you.
When you force yourself to live in the moment, it stops you from dwelling on the past and the future. Take a bubble bath, walk in nature, watch funny movies and read books that inspire you and before you know it, you’ll be better than ok. You’ll be a smarter, stronger and healthier version of you.
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