You’re surrounded by the debris of a post-breakup binge, a half bottle of wine, an empty pizza box, and a melting puddle of Ben & Jerry’s.
You blearily stare at your mobile as you struggle to decide:
“I’ve waited an hour, and my ex hasn’t called me back, should I try them again?”
You emit a wet sounding sigh as you choose to wait. Instead, you click through to the 10th post of that evening about getting over a breakup.
Every post seems to offer you the same advice; block them from social media, throw out that T-shirt that has their smell, get under someone to get over someone.
In the depths of who you are, you know that these suggestions won’t heal that gaping wound inside your chest. Because your mind is no longer on your side; your head is swirling with cruel questions which have no answers:
“Why did this have to happen? Why can’t I move on? Why am I such a loser?”
So, you take another gulp of wine and move on to another post, desperately looking for something to distract you from the heart-ache.
No doubt, moving on from an ex is a hard, painful, and often lonely process because it taps into our primal fears.
We fear that we’re unloveable, we fear that we’re not good enough, we fear that we’re defective in some fundamental way.
Those fears serve a purpose; to remind you that you have a choice.
Choose to live like a prisoner, cut off from the world and trapped behind the bars of poor decisions from the past.
Choose to soar like an eagle, gaining height for a broader perspective and flying freely into clearer skies.
If you’re ready to soar, then keep reading, and you’ll discover six powerful exercises that will help you to overcome a breakup.
How To Gain Maximum Value From This Post.
I recommend that you read through this post and note down the breakup exercise that jumps out at you. Once you’re finished reading, then go back and complete that exercise.
If you found that exercise helpful, then you could move on to complete another.
Alternatively, you could treat this post as your six weak plan for bouncing back from a breakup, perhaps scheduling an hour each week to complete a different exercise.
Keep in mind as you go through these exercises that the process of overcoming a breakup most likely won’t happen overnight. However, if you invest the time, then you’ll be amazed by how quickly you take back control over your life.
Take back control with your breakup recovery plan.
In the diagram below, you’ll see a scale that represents the level of control that you see yourself having over this breakup.
The left-hand side of this line (marked with the No. 1) indicates a low level of control
The middle section of this line (marked with the No. 50) shows a moderate level of control
The right-hand part of the line (marked with the No. 100) indicates a high level of control.
I’d like you to write a number between 1 and 100, which indicates the level of control you see yourself having over this breakup.
For example, let’s assume that you wrote down No. 25. That would indicate that you see your control levels as low to moderate.
Next, please add 10 to your original number and write this second number down.
If we follow on from the example above, then this second number would be 35.
(My GCSE Math teacher would have tears have pride brimming in his eyes upon reading that) 🙂
This second number is the target. It represents the level of control that you’ll work towards achieving over the next seven days by working on your breakup recovery plan.
A breakup recovery plan details 5 to 10 actions that you’ll take to move on from your ex. For example, your breakup recovery plan might look something like this:
I will remove my ex from my social media feeds by November 5th.
I will return or throw out mementos of my ex by November 6th.
I will text my ex to request that they do not contact me in the future by November 6th.
I will arrange a fun activity with a friend by November 7th.
I will start a journal for processing my emotions by November 8th.
Reward: I will treat myself to a massage on November 10th.
Motivate yourself by incorporating deadlines and a breakup recovery reward.
If you’re motivated to claim back your life, then start by completing this first exercise.
You could identify targets for the next 30, 60 and 90 days.
For each of these targets, focus your Breakup Recovery Plan on wellbeing boosting activities, for example:
I will commit to daily meditation practice by January 1st.
I will sign-up for a half marathon by January 16th;
I will enrol on a course by February 1st.
I will plan a fun weekend away with my friends by March 18th.
I will try out some new hobby ideas by May 20th.
You’ve realised that you’re in control over how you move on, and you’ve significantly progressed by creating your breakup recovery plan. In the next exercise, you’ll be using the power of negative visualisation as a tool from moving on from your perfect ex.
Bounce Back from a Breakup with Negative Visualisation.
I’d like you to add a title to the left column, which says negative memories and add a label to the right column that says emotions.
In the left column, list at least ten bad memories between you and your ex.
Next, in the right-hand column, write the emotions related to each memory.
Once you’ve written the list, review it every day for at least a week. Set a reminder on your phone as a prompt.
Every day, after you’ve read each item, close your eyes.
Vividly visualise this memory in your mind’s eye; What did you see? What sensations did you feel? Hear? Smell? Taste?
(Visualise the memory as if you’re seeing them play out on a TV screen)
As you visualise, pay close attention to the emotions that arise. Review the emotions you wrote down in the right-hand column to act as a prompt.
Keep repeating this visualisation process until you’ve reviewed all the memories on your list. Note down any changes in your attitude at the end of this visualisation practice.
If the scenes on your list are traumatic, violent, or sexually abusive, then please cross those off because you’re at risk of re-traumatizing yourself.
By completing this exercise, you’ve shown yourself that you’re able to face discomfort and that you have the persistence to push through to the other side. Keep your positive momentum going by joining me in the next exercise, where you’ll be releasing yourself from the emotions that hold you back.
Get Over Your Ex with the Emotional Release Letter.
You feel as if you’re stuck on an emotional seesaw.
At one moment, you’re plummeting, feeling depressed, angry, lonely.
The next, you’re swooping, feeling relief, happy, free.
You occasionally find yourself balancing precariously in the middle just before the cycle starts over again.
Your seesawing like this because your emotions are trapped inside your head; they want acknowledgment, expression, and freedom.
And that’s what you’ll be doing in an exercise I like to call the emotional release letter.
Before you start this letter, grab paper, a pen, an envelope, a lighter, or matches.
Once you have those items to hand, then I’d like you to write your ex a handwritten letter, which contains three parts.
In the first part of this letter, I’d like you to pour every drop of emotion you have towards them.
If you feel angry towards them, then write it down, if you feel hurt by them then write it down, if you’re in love with them then write it down.
Permit yourself to roar and rage; to unleash all the emotional force that wants to be let loose.
No one else will read your letter, so say whatever you like.
Okay, you’re turn. Please begin writing your letter now and then come back, ready to complete the second part.
Oh great, you’re back.
Ready to continue to part 2?
In the second part of this letter, I would like you to write a few paragraphs where you forgive your ex and yourself for what happened in the past.
If writing about forgiveness sounds like a hard thing to do, then keep the following in mind.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning. Forgiveness offers you an opportunity to find peace within yourself and to release negative emotions towards another; you’re freeing them to free yourself.
Once you’ve written this section on forgiveness, then you’re ready to move onto the third part.
In part three of the letter, I’d like you to write a couple of sentences where you say goodbye to your ex; write as if you’re bidding them a final farewell; write as if this chapter of your life has finished.
Place your letter in the envelope and remember to write their name on the front.
For the final step, I would like you to burn the letter. Please be careful when doing this; I suggest that you incinerate the message outside and over concrete.
You could add extra potency to this exercise by bidding your ex fair well as you watch your letter turn to ashes in the wind.
This powerful exercise will clear the emotions from your mind that have been holding you back. That means you’re ready to uncover the crucial lessons that your suffering has been hiding from you in the next exercise.
You want the suffering from your breakup to end; you want these personal Chrises dealt with so that you can live your life fully.
What if you looked at the suffering differently?
What if the suffering from your breakup was disguising crucial lessons that have the potential to transform your life?
Often in these moments of crisis, you discover who you are; in these moments when life feels unbearable, you find resources within you to keep fighting on; in these moments, you find out that your suffering contains valuable lessons.
The question is…
Are you ready to learn?
This exercise will help you to see that a breakup is more than two people separating; it also contains valuable life lessons.
Your future unfolds before you like a long, lonely, and dark stretch of empty highway.
You’re questioning if you will continue this journey alone or if you’ll have the good fortune to meet likeminded travellers along the way.
Your future can seem hopeless when you’re moving on from an ex because you’re adjusting to life without them and the possibilities which the relationship represented.
Maybe you were thinking of marrying, raising children, retiring to the south of France, living out the rest of your days together.
Poof! All gone
And that’s when your imagination starts fucking with you.
Now fuelled by anxiety, your imagination tells you stories about never finding someone new and that life can seem hopeless.
So, how can you find hope when no hope can be found?
The answer is…
You borrow hope from the future.
I know that must sound like a crazy idea, but stick with me because this exercise will make a gigantic difference to your breakup recovery.
To borrow hope from the future, you will need internet access and an email account.
You’ll use these to send yourself a message by using a site called Future Me.
Future Me allows you to deliver a message to your email account on a specified date. For instance, schedule a message so that it arrives in one, three, or five years.
Future Me provides a powerful tool to help you move on because the process allows you to create a message to your future self, which details the exact steps to recuperate after a breakup.
Please visit Future Me and let’s continue this process of moving on from your ex by writing a message to yourself using the below template as a guide:
Section 1: Describe your situation
Write a few paragraphs that describe your breakup, focus upon your feelings, any negative thoughts which keep repeating in your head, any destructive behaviours, etc.
“I’m feeling sad since we broke-up. I keep thinking that if only we got back together, then everything would be okay. I’m using booze to try and numb myself against the pain.“
Section 2: Focus upon changes
Write a few paragraphs where you describe the changes you wish to implement. The modifications can range from small, medium, and large.
“I’m going to plan some fun activities with my buddies throughout the next six months, so I have something to look forward too. I’ll start a Mindfulness meditation, which will help with the repetitive thoughts running through my head. I’ll allow myself to have one glass of wine once to three times a week“.
Section 3: The Steps to take
Write a few paragraphs which detail the steps to take to implement these changes.
“I’ll call Dave and Ted this afternoon to plan that trip to Scotland. I’ll start my Mindfulness meditation practice by signing up for Headspace or Calm. I’ll chuck out all the booze from my house“.
Section 4: Create a brighter future
Write a few paragraphs about all the fantastic things you will experience during the next year, three years or five years, now that the breakup belongs to the past.
For this section, use sentences in the present tense, positive emotional language, and words that paint a bright picture of an incredible future.
“My heartbeat races with exhilaration as I touch down upon the golden sand. I uncouple myself from the glider’s harness, and I jog across to my four best friends who have an ice-cold beer waiting for me at the bar. They greet me with warm smiles, slaps on the back and high fives. Steve whispers in my ear and says, :Look at that table of five Bikini wearing babes, the blond in red keeps darting glances your way.” He nudges me in the ribs and the boys, and I saunter over to introduce ourselves“.
You’ll be astounded by the power of this exercise when you receive the message from you in the future because you’ll realise how far you have come. In the final task, you’ll be introduced to a psychological tool that works at a subconscious level to mend a broken heart.
Harness the power of your subconscious mind to mend a broken heart
If you’ve read this far, then I know an essential truth about you, different from the majority of people.
You see, most people will have initially gotten excited about taking charge of moving on from their ex.
They’ll have read the first exercise and thought:
“I can’t do that, that’s too hard! I’ll go back to bed and hope that my problems go away.”
You’re still reading.
Because the truth is
Deep down, you know that you have the power to act; you won’t allow this breakup to cast a dark shadow over the rest of your life.
And you know that you’re time for taking powerful action is now.
Take powerful action by going back to that breakup exercise, which jumped out at you and completing all the steps involved.
But, don’t complete an exercise because I’m saying that’s what you should do.
Complete the activity because you know a particular day is coming…
The day when you look back on this period and realise that this time was a defining moment in your life. The day when you know the suffering is behind you and you’ve now become a stronger, wiser and better person.
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