5 Healthy Ways To Heal Your Heart After A Bad Breakup

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5 Tips On How To Get Over A Breakup & Heal A Broken Heart

How to pick up the pieces and move on.

Not all breakups are the same. Whether you are the unfortunate recipient or the deliverer of those dreaded relationship-ending words, learning how to get over a breakup can feel impossible, when you have no idea how to heal a broken heart.

In the aftermath, your emotions are a constellation of negative vibes — lonely, hurt, angry, dejected — day in and day out. "How can you mend a broken heart?" you wonder. "And how long does it take to get over someone?"

The sad truth is nothing you or anyone else does can make you feel any better immediately after a breakup.

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The process of getting over it ending is like a virus — it will simply run its course. But all hope for a full recovery after heartbreak should not be lost.

Regardless or how or why your relationship ended, here are 5 tips for how to get over a breakup and mend a broken heart.

1. Rethink your relationship story.

You probably have a few voices in your head blaming you for the relationship failure or reminding you of how you can’t keep a partner. Additionally, these voices may have you believing that you will never find anyone else and you’ll be alone for the rest of your life.

If only you could break up with these voices, too.

Like a victim of an abusive relationship, you are traumatized and heart broken. Your story about yourself and your relationship are emotionally driven.

In due time — and with the help of friends, family, and professionals — you will want to reexamine the ingredients that you both added to this recipe.

What were the "red flags" you overlooked? Were you both good communicators? Was there only one person bringing emotional baggage from the past? Did you both know how to effectively love, respect, appreciate, and support each other?

As you work toward getting over a breakup, these questions will help you shift from self-blame or "them-blame" to self-awareness and "them-awareness."

2. Re-frame your contributions to the relationship.

It’s very important to tell yourself, "I am not defined by my last relationship." No matter what baggage you carried into it nor what baggage you put up with, your past relationship is only that — a past relationship.

Accepting this is crucial to developing a healthier narrative of you and your relationship experience; it's the key to helping you learn how to get over someone.

As you re-address your contributions to the relationship, it’s more important to address your shortcomings as areas for improvement. Perhaps you were told you were insecure. Instead, acknowledge this as having difficulties trusting you are lovable.

Or perhaps you allowed them to treat and speak to you harshly. Instead, acknowledge this as lacking the courage to enforce your boundaries. Maybe you discovered they were cheating on you. Acknowledge that you did not know them as well as you thought.

By re-addressing your contributions, you now have a framework from which to operate to ensure you do not carry the same ingredients into the next relationship. This will allow you to make the necessary upgrades in how you relate to your future significant other.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Get Over A Painful Breakup As Quickly As Humanly Possible

3. Re-focus on yourself.

As you figure out how to move on and get over an ex, your new singleness is a time for refinement. While it may feel like you are being selfish by making your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs a top priority, think of it as your time for healing.

Physical health refers to exercise, dieting, sleep habits, and pain. Emotional health includes your mood, anxiety, trauma, and stress levels to name a few.

A breakup can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. If you find yourself struggling in one of these areas after being heartbroken, please enlist the help of medical and mental health professionals.

Social health is simply how connected you feel to friends and family. Some of your relationships with others may have been strained or damaged as a result of your relationship with your ex. Reconnect with family and friends. Repair the strained relationships. A healthier you includes having healthier relationships.

Spiritual health is regaining a connection with your moral barometer. Maybe the fights with your ex were toxic and you lost your sense of morality. Or maybe you sacrificed your personal identity to become everything you thought would make them happy. Regaining your spiritual health is about reestablishing who you are and reclaiming your life.

4. Reclaim your identity.

Relationships come with a degree of sacrifice. Maybe you had planned to start a degree program or start a non-profit for underprivileged youth.

Sacrificing your identity for the life of the relationship may seem like a noble thing, but it can have some serious consequences.

Losing your self-identity is never a recipe for a healthy relationship and is often the result of codependent thinking and behavior. Consider the following thought: you can’t be true to someone else if you can’t be true to yourself.

Remembering that you have a larger purpose than being a significant other is a great way to begin reclaiming your purpose.

While being a partner does come with great rewards, it is important to know that your life is also about being a positive influence in other areas of your life to include your career, school, parenting, community, financially, and spiritually.

5. Re-commit to dating.

Remember, you have to know what you want in life before you can know with whom you want to share your life. The work you’ve done to heal and reconnect with yourself and others will prepare you for your next relationship.

Consider dating to be more like the hiring process for someone to share the dreams you have for life. Just because a person applies does not mean they’re a great fit for you. Develop your criteria for who is ideal for you and give yourself some time to date them before you hire them.

And keep in mind that you are dating to establish a friendship with the possibility of a committed relationship. In other words, make sure the expectations and actions are conducive to a friendship first before you both engage in the expectations and behaviors of a relationship.

Your next relationship needs a different set of ingredients from your last relationship. All relationships are governed by different rules, expectations, and perspectives.

Therefore, taking your time to rethink, re-frame, re-focus, reclaim, and re-commit will provide you a way to adjust the ingredients you control for the next relationship.

RELATED: 19 Best Ways To Get Over Heartbreak (And Finally Move On With Your Life)

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Dr. Eric A. Williams is a counselor and marriage and family therapist specializing in both interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships who helps individuals and couples reconnect with their inner selves, as well as their partner. Contact him through his website to set up a face-to-face or telemental health counseling session so that he can “walk alongside” you, ensuring both personal and professional success.