Self, Heartbreak

5 Ways To Heal A Broken Heart (When You're Hurting Baaaaad)

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5 ways to heal a broken heart

Just about all of us have experienced heartbreak. We can literally feel the pain in our heart when someone breaks up with us. It is natural to go into a healthy state of grieving.  

Sometimes, however, people can get stuck in their heartbreak. Some people go into an emotional cocoon and don’t venture out to protect themselves from any future pain like the pain they are going through now.

If a person had had past hurts and abandonment, this last one can evoke the earlier trauma. How can we get over this pain and move on? How can we feel good again and open up to a future wonderful relationship? 

Here are 5 steps on how to heal a broken heart:

1. Feel your feelings.

Don’t avoid them by going quickly into another relationship or drugs or alcohol. Avoidance will only belabor your anguish. Slow down and spend time feeling what you are experiencing.  

Cry if you need to; there is always a beginning, middle, and end to emotional pain and heartbreak. Rushing into a new relationship is not fair to you or the new partner who is probably being used to help you get away from the pain.  

So take some time and be single for a little while and feel your feelings.

2. Make sure you utilize your support system to talk about your pain.  

Use this time as an opportunity to let others be there for you. Don’t worry about being a burden to others. Those that are actually a burden to others are generally not genuinely "feeling" the love and support. They are just complaining and venting to an audience. This is different than truly letting them into your heart.  

The first way leads to nowhere and friends and family might burn out. The second way leads to caring and deeper relationships, which can ultimately help you process the hurt and move on.

3. Go to therapy.

If you notice a pattern of picking the wrong kind of partner, get into therapy so that you can prepare yourself to choose a better potential partner in the future.

A good therapist will help you see why you pick that kind of unfulfilling or toxic partner and help you work on your own wounded "parts" so that those parts aren’t the ones deciding what is best for you in a mate. You want your grown-up adult ‘part’ to be the one who makes these decisions!

RELATED: 4 Ways To Not Beat Yourself Up Over Your Breakup (And Make It Hurt A Lot Less)

4. Learn what was missing in past relationships.

Decide to learn as much about the "recessive" parts of you that were not expressed in previous relationships so that you can integrate those parts of you into future relationships.

For example, if you discover that you have been too passive or adaptive in past relationships and have attracted controlling people, you can practice being assertive and become a "force to be reckoned with." You may find yourself being attracted to less controlling, more reciprocating people in the future.

It is amazing how this works. As you work on that "weaker" side, you don’t need to find a partner that makes up for your weakness who simultaneously lacks in other important areas.

5. Get yourself back out there.

When ready, get out there again with your new sense of self and be willing to ask for more from any prospective partner.

Practice being that force to be reckoned with and have good boundaries. Open yourself up to love and joy again. You deserve it!

RELATED: 7 Ways To Know You're Really Ready To Date Again

Todd Creager is an expert in relationships. For over 30 years, he has worked as a relationship therapist, specializing in marriage, sex and couples counseling.

This article was originally published at Todd Creager's website. Reprinted with permission from the author.