Over the Christmas period, I was surrounded by so many break-ups. My mum, my best friend, every film I’d watch and all the music I seemed to be listening to. The festive season was seeming to be a time of heartache rather than cheer.
I didn’t want my close ones to hurt – especially during a time that’s so focused on togetherness..
So I’d give advice.
Advice about how to see the situation from different perspectives. To see the love and positives rather than anger and disappointment.
Then sometimes after I’d offer the advice, I’d think to myself, ‘Can you really do this Gabs? Can you really be in a position to give out this advice when you aren’t in their shoes..’.
Well, it seems the Universe was just gently preparing me… yep… lo and behold, my partner left me.
You got this!
So why have I decided to expose this experience here? Because although it was really tough, it was seriously beautiful too – and I’m hoping reading this can help you uncover the beauty beneath the pain too.
I understand not every relationship and situation are the same.. I was so in love with my ex who I had a gorgeous story with – and even though my heart was broken, I can now sit here with tears coming from a place of gratitude & love rather than confusion & resentment.
So I’m sharing because doing the tools below honestly made this the most mindful, mature & loving breakup I have ever been through.
And so if you’re going through a breakup and you’re still struggling, I truly hope something here can make your process an easier one.
Experiment with some or all of these mindful focused tools and see what you experience. And please do reach out with anything you’d like to share.
Mindful tools to ease your breakup
1. Be Present
It’s hard to stop yourself getting lost in thoughts and imagining things..
‘What could have been.. Any hidden reasons.. Are they with someone else..’
But there’s just no point.
You’ll never know these things so all this is doing is putting your mind through such unnecessary torment.
I know it’s hard, but these thoughts just honestly make things so much worse – and I know you wish you didn’t have them!
So when you see or hear the spiral about to begin, just bring your attention back to whatever it is you’re doing in that exact moment.
If you’re driving – just drive and give the strangers in the car next to you a smile. If you’re working – put your full attention into the task and absolutely smash it. Give meditation a go
, or throw yourself in at the deep end and do a Vipassana course
like I did.
Or simply focus on your breath. Take some deep inhales & exhales, and come back to where you are, what you’re doing and give your mind, body & heart some love.
2. Feel The Pain
We often try to make our pain or sadness go away through some kind of escapism. Sometimes it’s alcohol, sometimes drugs, shopping, or maybe even sex with a Tinder match.
We bury the pain because it feels good to do anything that gives short-term happiness in that moment; making unconscious decisions for some instant gratification & dopamine. But when that moment passes, digging those wounds up from an even deeper place can make the healing harder and distract from actions that lead to long-term happiness.
By blocking the pain out, you limit the opportunity to take anything valuable from this situation or use it to grow.
Of course we all want to be happy, but escaping or avoiding the sadness just sends the pain deep inside – slithering its way into your life and getting ready to pop right back up even stronger.
Fact is, you’re going to feel sad. You’re going to feel hurt and you’re going to feel pain.
So feel it!
Actually feel and face it.
It’s gonna feel shit – but you can learn and grow so much from this darkness. So let it teach and guide you until you can start feeling grateful for the pain.
3. Realise it’s You that Makes You Happy
If you’re feeling like your world is falling apart, it could be that you lost sight of your own independence during your relationship.
Maybe you felt your partner and the shared memories or plans were the reason for your happiness; so it feels overwhelming or sad to even think about the future without these and potentially alone. You had so much to look forward to and work towards together, and now you feel like something is missing. You feel alone…
So maybe here’s where the issue lies; you relied on someone else being responsible for your happiness.
Nobody, including your partner, has any obligation to make you happy.
So if you’re feeling lonely, incomplete or feel a sense of emptiness, this is the perfect opportunity for you to figure out what makes you happy. Figure out what you want to do, what direction you want to take, how to make yourself happy and how to be happy by yourself.
That way, when and if your next romantic relationship presents itself, it will be from a place of ease and detachment as you enter into it free of neediness. This new feeling of wholeness and contentment will be with you in every aspect of life.
4. Ignorance Is Bliss
I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before, and it just felt pretty relevant for the point I’m trying to make here.
Sometimes we can seek out information just to feel closer to our former loved one, but this can often just lead to painful and unnecessary assumptions or perceptions.
Whether it’s from mutual friends, family, social media – try to resist digging.
Okay, so there’s a girl liking your ex’s photos all of a sudden.. It’s random, she’s pretty.. So you start to think. Which leads to overthinking. Which leads to digging. I’m pretty sure we’ve all been here. And it’s not fun.
We have no idea the reasoning behind this other than the stories we tell ourselves, which usually lean towards worst case scenario.
So if you can, try to avoid snooping or asking around trying to look for something. Or if you do find something out unintentionally, try to detach from the uncomfortable feeling you’ll likely feel.
Ideally, the aim is to train your brain to sit with acceptance of the fact you’ll probably never know. All your stories & ideas are thoughts or perceptions – which at the end of the day can be whatever you want them to be. However, mastering this can take practice, so if right now your mental spirals are too intense or difficult… give yourself a healthy dose of ignorance.
5. No regrets
When your other half leaves, one of your first thoughts may be about how this relationship was such a huge waste of your time, but no matter how much time you invested into this relationship, it wasn’t a waste.
Thinking & feeling this way leads to feelings of regret, which isn’t a fun time and doesn’t actually have to be true.
Rather than focussing on a wasted past or a lost future, try to focus on everything you have to be grateful for during the time you spent together. Focus on all the wonderful memories you have with this person and all the lessons you learnt being with them. About yourself and existing in a relationship with another human being.
Resentment, anger and bitterness are feelings that will keep your heart closed and create some form of barrier in your present & future. Whereas forgiveness, understanding and maturity will open you up to a world full of possibilities & love.
It might seem inconceivable to you to do this right now, especially if you’ve been hurt badly, but just try and give it a go so you can compare how your body & nervous system react when focusing on regret or focusing on gratitude.
6. Transform Yourself!
Take this opportunity to transform yourself and your life. Make the absolute most of it and become the flower you always knew you could and wanted to grow into – now is your chance. So take it.
Maybe your own dreams got lost when you were in the relationship or maybe you couldn’t see what they were.
Perhaps you didn’t feel motivated or inspired to do or go for something you always wanted to. So allow this breakup be your motivation. Let it give you that big boost towards what you truly want in life.
Become the best version of yourself and grow through the past – for nobody other than yourself.