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Letting Go and Healing After a Painful Breakup: A Step-by-Step Guide

Woman facing the sun feeling a brighter happier future

Letting go of relationship baggage can be a transformative journey. Learn how to move on and heal after a Let’s dive in.

1. Acknowledge and Accept Your Feelings.

When reminiscing about past relationships, it’s easy to focus on the good times and forget the bad ones. However, it’s essential to remember the moments of pain and heartbreak, too. Here’s a simple exercise:

  • To begin with, think back to how you felt during that painful breakup. Write it down.
  • Recall the emotions when you decided it was time to move on. Write it down.
  • Now, ask yourself: Is this how you want to feel in a relationship?

I am sure the answer is no and that you want happiness. Recognize that dwelling on the few good times won’t magically make that relationship the right one for you. It’s time to prioritize your future.

Let’s talk about regret.

Beyond heartbreak, what often lingers after a breakup is regret. You feel regret for all the time, energy, and efforts invested in a man that wasn’t worth it, or right for you. You reminisce on the good times to try to justify in your own head why you stayed or why it might have worked out. 

So, I need you to keep returning to how you felt at the moment of the breakup to help you accept that this relationship wasn’t making you feel how you want to feel in a relationship.

2. Reflect and Learn

Take some time to honestly assess the lessons learned from your previous relationships. Recognize the patterns and red flags you may have ignored due to a desperate need for love.

Those feelings you experienced during the breakup likely weren’t just a one-time thing.

Understanding why you overlooked warning signs can help you avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

3. Practice Self-Compassion

Throughout this healing process, be kind to yourself. Remember that feeling sadness and regret is natural but doesn’t determine your worth.

Forgive yourself for wanting to feel loved so badly, you ignore the signs he wasn’t right for you.

4. Forgive and let go

Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning hurtful actions of others; it means freeing yourself from constant rumination and resentment. Forgiveness is a process that takes time, but it starts with a choice in your heart to forgive.

If you are not ready to forgive, that’s okay. Just keep your heart open to one day considering forgiveness.

In the meantime, do your very best to let go of being tied to the past in your own thoughts, so you can allow space for positivity and newer and better experiences.

5. Focus on Self-Care

Do more of the things that bring you joy. Rather its sitting quietly at home watching a movie, hanging out with friends, enjoying a glass of wine, a special meal, a massage, exercise, or walks in nature (nature is incredibly healing) do more of the things that make you happy.

A great time to cultivate a healthy lifestyle.

Taking care of yourself physically and mentally shifts your focus from the painful past to healing your body and mind. 

6. Set Boundaries

Establish clear boundaries in your current relationships to prevent history from repeating itself. Communicate your needs and expectations openly and confidently. This is a crucial part of self-care.

7. Seek Support

It’s okay to ask for help. Whether it’s from friends, family, a professional therapist, a preacher, priest or a coach, having a supportive network can provide a safe space to process your feelings.

8. Visualize Your Ideal Future

Imagine the kind of healthy, fulfilling relationships you want in the future. Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you regain hope.

Einstein once said: “Imagination is the preview of life’s coming attractions“. This is a powerful statement on the power of visualization. If you can see it in your mind and feel it in your heart, you are perfectly capable of achieving it.

9. Practice Gratitude

 Every day, search everywhere for things and people to be grateful for. Shifting your focus toward the positives cultivates a mindset of abundance and helps you appreciate opportunities for growth. When we focus on lack, we attract more lack into our lives. Gratitude practice can really change how you see yourself and the world.

10. Don’t forget to include yourself

 Everything you’ve been through is valuable and important because these things helped shape who you are. When making a gratitude list, do not forget to include yourself on the list. Be grateful for who you are, the things you’ve learned, the hardships you’ve overcame and the beautiful journey of self-care you have begun. 

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