Don't get caught up in repetitive, negative patterns of behavior.
You've probably had one of those knots in your back like the one I have right now. You stress out over something, lean over your computer too much, go to yoga, slip on your mat and, a day later, agony.
You can hardly lift your arm over your head without excruciating pain. This must be much like the samskara, or energy knot, my yoga instructor has been talking about.
Samskaras are negative patterns of behavior we have developed over the course of our lives. They're strategies that don't serve us well, yet we are compelled to repeat them over and over.
Like Freud's repetition compulsion, when we try to undo past trauma by engaging in the same ineffective behavior, we are doomed to fail.
There are some particular post-breakup samskaras I hear over and over. Consider a few options for releasing their maddening hold ...
1. Social media lurking
Checking your ex's activities on various platforms, via your friend's platforms or by allowing people to pass info onto you, each represent misguided attempts to hang on. What rational reason is there for needing to know what your ex is up to?
Unless he's sitting at home, which he will not be posting on social media, it's sure to make you miserable.
2. Waiting for your change of heart
Cyndi Lauper, I'm sorry to say, ain't gonna make it. Taylor Swift, the queen of botched romances, has it right.
Instead think, never ever, ever. Deciding that it's over and you're not going to indulge in fantasies of reuniting in the future is healthy. It places the future squarely in your hands, where it belongs.
3. Obsessing on the what ifs
There's a tendency to dwell on what if I'd done this or that differently. This type of rumination about the past is thinly veiled self-blame. Instead, ask yourself what your future self, say five years hence, will think about all this.
If you're like most people, you'll be so over it. Actually, give it three months and you're likely to be over it.
4. We can work it out
When he's moved out, bought a gym membership across town and enough new furniture to fill a house? Girlfriend, you must seriously begin questioning this type of thinking.
He is signaling, not so subtly, that he's done. Life is very short, so it's time to move on.
5. Blowing up his phone
No matter how many times you call or text you will not hear the words you want. Even worse, when he ignores you, you'll be forever waiting for his response.
It'll be painful each time. Why subject yourself to this? Decide that you're not going to continue to try to connect. It's time to work on disconnecting.
6. Don’t be a hater
It's so difficult not to hate your ex, or your ex's new flame or yourself for screwing up. Being angry is a waste of energy. Instead, figure out what you'd like to learn, take away from the experience or change in the future. Work on letting go by setting the intention to move forward in your life without holding onto anger.
In yoga we heal the samskara through the practice by cultivating inner peace and clarity of mind. Compassion and kindness take the place of negativity and that stressing out I've been doing.
If this is too woo-woo for you, just take the obvious steps. Stop checking, waiting, obsessing and hating. Use your energy to do the things that create positivity in your life.
Judith Tutin, Phd, ACC, is a licensed psychologist and certified life coach. She is the author of The Post-Divorce Survival Guide. Tools for Your Journey. Connect with her at drjudithtutin.com where you can request a free coaching call.