Avoid these Bad Mental Habits after a Breakup

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Avoid these Bad Mental Habits after a Breakup

There are those relationships that you are relieved are over, even if it took a year to finally get rid of them. Then there are those that rip a hole in your chest and mash your heart into guacamole. Nothing is more painful. A recent study using brain imaging had participants who had recently broken up with someone look at a picture of their ex while hooked up to an FMRI. They found that the parts of the brain that lit up fit the pattern of enduring physical pain. So a breakup literally hurts. Trouble is, when we endure physical pain it goes away relatively quickly. Depending upon the relationship, you and the circumstances, you could endure the pain of heartbreak for weeks, even months. One reason that heartache lingers so is that people fall into certain psychological habits that inhibit healing rather than lessening the pain. Unfortunately, feelings of anger, sadness, rejection and loneliness can be compounded by impulses that feel perfectly natural to indulge. We often consider negative habits we have in our diet, when we exercise, sleep and other physical aspects. But we avoid or disregard poor mental habits that can shackle us to anguish rather than liberating our hearts from pain. Here are some bad mental habits to avoid after a breakup.

A lot of us sub-vocalize negative thoughts or feelings. Inside our head we repeat to ourselves our inadequacies, play over and over mistakes we made, hurtful names or phrases we or our former lover uttered and more. This constant rerunning of negative thoughts may be particularly poignant after feeling rejected or if the relationship ended through some fault of our own. When the ego is bruised and one’s self-esteem has taken a blow, such self-talk will make things worse. Instead, catch yourself when you get into this pattern and replace negative phrases for positive ones. Show yourself some compassion. Think of yourself as a friend trying to get someone through this. What would you do? What would you say? How can you put things in perspective? Brooding over mistakes you’ve made can lead to the same result. Contemplating them and learning from them in an emotionally unattached manner is one thing. But dwelling and obsessing over them is like tearing out your stitches after heart surgery. Isolate those instances where you blundered, learn from them and move on, or else you will be hindering instead of facilitating your own emotional recovery.

Don’t throw yourself into dating if your heart is still aching and you are pining away for your former love. But if you just feel too vulnerable or just scared, you may be missing an opportunity to move healing along, and a way to repair your ego and boost your self-esteem. A couple of months without dating is okay. Six months to a year is a little obsessive. Some people even benefit from a rebound relationship, while others don’t. Find what’s right for you but don’t be too cautious with your heart or you may lose out on a chance at finding love or rebuilding your self-image. Some people cut off everyone, stop taking part in activities they enjoy and wallow in self-pity. Instead, connect and reconnect with hobbies, friends, family members and more. Sure, the first few days you may want to sit on the couch and watch comedies, polish off a crate of sinful snacks and curse the happy couples of the world. But afterward, isolation and keeping yourself from the things you love will only make it worse. Lastly, remember the point is to get over the person and move on with your life. Don’t keep them in your newsfeed on your social media pages. Get rid of all the mementos or put them in a box in the closet or the trash. The fewer reminders you have around the quicker your recovery will be. For more on embracing positive mental habits and avoiding negative ones after heartache read, Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts by Guy Winch, Ph.D.

Does your Ex make you Jealous?

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Does your Ex make you Jealous?

When you’ve been together with someone you care about and you break up, it’s hard to pivot away from seeing them as yours and instead seeing them as someone you’re not associated with anymore. But that painful transition becomes compounded when your ex moves on before you’ve had a chance to fully heal. Don’t hasten through when you aren’t ready. But don’t wallow in misery either. Some people reflect on it over and over, making the heart sicker than it needs to be. Instead, let the grieving take its course but focus on healing. Stop focusing on what your ex is doing and focus on what you are doing. Learn how to let go.

Whether they are enraptured in a rebound relationship with a would-be superstar or are touring the Vegas Strip, ask yourself what it really matters what they are doing? Should your focus really be on them? If they are going out on a rebound or partying up a storm, it shouldn’t matter. And what does it really say about them? Are they really emotionally secure or are they making grand gestures to show how “over” you they are, in effect showing a deeper side of how not over you they really are? If they were so over you why would they go through all of this trouble to show that they were?

Sometimes we focus on our ex as a target for the horrible emotions a breakup puts you through. We want an outlet and hating them becomes a good one. But it can also become an obsession and take away your own power, and your life. Your goal is to rejuvenate yourself. Become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Make this a transformative experience. Learn from it so you can make your next relationship ten thousand times better than the last and you ten thousand times better than the person you were.

Sometimes you aren’t ready to accept that things are over. But that is strictly part of the grieving process. Even at its worst you know brighter days are ahead. The pain subsides little by little each day, wearing away like a season until that season is gone. Let it go naturally of its own accord. Explore where the hurt really comes from. Is your ego bruised? Was it really this person? Was there some other deep seeded thing that surfaced in this relationship? Explore the root of your jealousy and use it to find out what issues and baggage you brought to the table, how you can own those, and release them from it. Through this transformative experience, that of self-discovery, you will ultimately become free. For more advice read, How to Stop Being Jealous and Insecure: Overcome Insecurity and Relationship Jealousy by Michele Gilbert.

Reasons Men end Relationships

BREAKING-UP

Reasons Men end Relationships

There are the normal reasons men end relationships such as his girlfriend is too clingy, a high maintenance drama queen, a baby, a cheater, a gold digger, too freaky to bring home to mom, always complaining, gossipy, or have nothing in common with. But there are little reasons too, that are often off of a woman’s radar that a man will end a relationship. Have you ever fought with your family or spoken to them in a harsh manner in front of him? This can be a deal breaker for men. If that’s just the way you talk in your family and you are serious about this guy, sit him down and explain it to him. Not all families, ethnicities and customs are the same. It can often be hard to understand as an outsider. But if you are clearly disrespecting your parents in front of him and you have no excuse for it, think about what it makes him think about you.

When all the photos you have on your Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites are all about partying your man notices, and he wonders. Just as if you have some idea that a man parties too much or might have an alcohol or substance abuse problem. Make sure to have photos of varying kinds. And go on dates with your special guy to the coffee house, museum, art gallery, park or some other romantic and cerebral venue. Guys can feel vulnerable if you talk about your ex too much. It makes him think they are the rebound guy or that that relationship meant more to you than the one you are in with him. Instead, proceed carefully and let these stories unfold over time. Keep the lines of communication open and make him comfortable enough to ask you anything. And expect him to return the favor. For more advice read, Why You’re Still Single: The 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid with Men by James Taylor.

Do Guys Always have someone on Deck?

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Do Guys Always have someone on Deck?

Have you and your boyfriend broken up, and before you know it they are dating someone else? What gives? Did they have someone on deck or did they just jump into a rebound relationship that quickly? Some men hate being alone. So they do have a girl on deck just in case they become single again. Others find it best to attract another woman when they are with someone. So they have a woman they like to call and date casually from time to time, not only for validation, fun, and to bring to those awkward plus one events, but if she finds him attractive it will make other women attracted to him as well, and even bring out some healthy female competition. So he may call her up or start dating her again until he can find the one he really wants.

Sometimes men have female friends who are interested in them waiting in the wings. Maybe the guy didn’t even know she had a crush on him. You just assume that she was waiting to swoop in and snatch him up, and you might be right. But if you were thinking he had his eye on her the whole time it may not be the case. This happens to women as well.

When a man is young he tends to want to sow his wild oats. In his late teens and early twenties he wants to experience life to the fullest. That also means dating different kinds of women to see what he likes but also help him figure out who he is. Just as women go through a process of exploring their identities at this time, so do men. They also find out more about themselves via the women they’ve dated. It becomes a growing experience. But when it comes time to settle down in the later twenties or the early thirties, it generally isn’t someone he’s had in his rolodex a while, although it can be. Many times a man will come to the conclusion that he let the right woman go, and he will go and pursue her. Some women believe that this means he’s had her on deck for some time, when in reality he was in denial about his true feelings for her, and only now realizes who it is he should be pursuing. And sometimes two people just happen to get together when the time is right. Although it may look like he had her waiting in the wings, it was really an organic happenstance.

In the end, don’t worry about your ex having someone he can go back to. Instead, get over your heartbreak and look for the man you’re meant to be with. Dating games can be fun, but they can also be nasty, crude, quizzical and confusing. If you are into someone who is exciting but unreliable, realize that you probably will get your heart broken. But if you are going for the guy with a heart of gold, your chances of suffering from these games are slim to none. Date the right kind of guy and you won’t have to worry about someone waiting in the wings, anxious to take your place. For more help with getting over your ex read, It’s Called a Breakup because it’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Breakup Buddy by Greg Behrendt & Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt.

Breakup Habits that Exacerbate the Problem

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Breakup Habits that Exacerbate the Problem

A breakup can tear you up inside, especially if you didn’t see it coming. What’s the best way to breakup? A clean break. But that’s hard to do for a lot of people. The Huffington Post recently conducted the “Breakup with Your ex Survey” and found that 86% of respondents believed a clean break was best, while 64% were still pining for their ex.  If you are in this situation, you may feel all alone, but in fact you are in good company. Still, there are normal go-to habits most people take part in that exacerbates the problem rather than alleviating or lessening it. Don’t fall victim to your own misguided good intentions. Avoid these common pitfalls and you should be on your way to healing that broken heart.

First, don’t leap into bed with someone else the moment you get the chance. Of course you should definitely move on when you’re ready. Finding that you are still loveable and attractive to the opposite sex will renew you. But when the wound is fresh this new relationship is just bound to make you more confused and upset. Instead, take some time to be sad and to mourn.

Next, get rid of your ex on your social media sites. Quit stalking their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. Unfriend them as quickly as possible. Some people believe that doing so is sending a message to their ex. But so what? It’s better than watching their every move on social media, and getting yourself more angry and upset than you already are. How can you move on if you keep looking them up? If you two are going to be friends in the future you can refriend them at that time. Don’t confront your ex to get closure. It won’t help any. It will just make you look bad in your ex’s eyes, and others who know about it. Any interaction to provide closure will just result in where you are now, with a broken heart.

Don’t take it as a bruise to your ego. There are reasons why this relationship isn’t healthy, satisfying or compatible. That means you two are just not compatible. It’s no one’s fault, though it’s important to see what you might have done that you may bring to the next relationship. Focus on your feelings, yourself, how incredible you are and ways to soothe your heartache. Don’t brush over your feelings, embrace them. But don’t wallow in self-pity forever. Recognize when it’s time to get back out there. The next great love of your life will bump into you when you least expect it. For more advice read, Breakup Rehab: Start Over Stronger by Rebekah McClaskey, M.A.