I didn’t actually plan to write this post but it’s something that’s been on my mind lately. If you’ve been through the trenches of a breakup, heartbreak, health struggle, career breakdown situation or just feeling like life is throwing you one sh** brick after another, you’ll know how hard it is to get back on the horse of positivity and keep going.
(Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a post just about ‘staying positive’ ;) )
The reason why I wanted to write this, is because I totally get it. I was there throughout a previous breakup and it’s something I’ve experienced in my life recently, in a different way. Most people find me through my work in heartbreak; mainly breakups, but heartbreak can come in so many forms. It can also manifest physically in a multitude of ways.
You may have read a few of my older posts around my health challenges. As this blog is for the purpose of helping you, I won’t go into the nitty gritty of all the details but to keep it brief and offer some context, the ‘health heartbreak’ as I’ll call it, went on for some time and keeping on going, remaining ‘positive’ and finding a way up was a challenge to say the least!
As mentioned, I don’t want this post to be all about me but I just want you to know that I’m coming at this from the ‘I get it, I’m with you’ perspective.
So whether you’re going through a breakup, a health struggle or any kind of heartbreak that's completely unique to you, I wanted to share some coping techniques that I implemented and still continue to, that might be of use to you too.
1) Be grateful
I know, you’ll have probably heard this one a zillion times over but there’s a reason why you hear gratitude being spoken about so much. It’s POWERFUL. If there’s an instant way to defuse those feel bad vibes, it’s gratitude, and even if it doesn’t directly change your situation, it changes your perspective.
I love this quote by Roy. T Bennett -:
“Great things happen to those who don't stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.”
Being grateful shifts you from a dwelling, passive and stagnant mode into a receptive one. Being in the here and now and catching that glimmer of light through the darkness. From there you're open to new ideas, hope and inspiration. Whatever you’re going through, it’s not about discrediting it or trivialising it. Breakups are rough. Heartbreak can be agony; physically and emotionally. But you will ALWAYS have something to be grateful for. It could be something tiny such as a beautiful colour you spot in your home, a song on the radio, a call you had with a friend yesterday. The more things you list, the more you will find.
2) Look to others as examples
This is all about finding evidence that ‘if they can do it, I can too!’ Whenever I feel like giving up or resigning myself to always feeling this way, I find examples of other people who have come from a similar place as I have and are thriving. I’ve done this with my health and I did it when I was going through my last breakup.
You’ll often learn that for those people, it was also a process, but seeing them a few steps ahead of you or even miles ahead, can give you the fuel you need to know it’s possible for you too. As humans, we’re all really made of the same stuff. Yes, our genetics are different, our DNA is different, our backgrounds and social conditioning are different. But ultimately, we all have the same potential regardless of academic intelligence, appearance, wealth or background. When it comes down to it, heartbreak is the ultimate equaliser, shakes us all to our core and mindset trumps everything. So look to others as a way to remind yourself that if they can, you can!
3) Rewire and reprogram your brain
Something that I’ve been studying intensely over the past 6 months is how (and why) to rewire your brain. Honestly, it’s mind blowing!
What this means is learning how to identify and change your internal and subconscious beliefs to heal. Say you just can’t seem to get over your ex despite doing everything in your power. Yup, you’ve read all the books and all the articles and nothing seems to help.
Even though on a conscious level you want for the pain to be over more than anything, deep down, some of the beliefs you could be experiencing might include not feeling good enough to be alone or in new relationship, being scared of your identity without your ex, not wanting to let go of your ex or being afraid of change.
With health, it could be not believing you’re worthy of having perfect health, being scared of what would happen if you were healthy, feeling unsafe in the world, being afraid to speak your truth, not believing that you’re capable of taking care of yourself…..
Ultimately the process of rewiring is individual and allows you to tap into those deep rooted and often insidious reasons that are keeping you stuck - usually they’re a little ‘WTF?!’ and enlightening to discover! It’s then about calming down your limbic system to get into a parasympathetic state as opposed to a fight or flight one to then begin to rewire those old patterns and turn them into new ones that will support getting over your ex, getting back to perfect health or whatever situation you’re looking to bounce back from.
This process includes a highly repetitive blend of elements such as affirmation, visualisation and action. I’m going to do a separate post on this though - let me know any specifics you’d like me to cover. Honestly, this one is a game changer!
4) Just DO something
Feelings of depression tend to go hand in hand with heartbreak. Of course, there are different degrees of depression and if you do feel concerned about how you’re feeling or struggling, I really encourage you to seek support from a licensed and fully qualified therapist/expert or doctor who can offer the right tools to help you. Having that kind of support can be incredibly powerful. But right now, let’s talk about feelings of depression.
I’m not going to lie, over the past year when I was really going through it, I sometimes spent days in bed feeling emotionally numb. I isolated myself and felt like the days were on Groundhog Day repeat. It sucks. Depression is the worst kind of emotion because it’s passive. There’s no energy behind it.
Nothing is impossible but it can be very tricky to go from feeling depressed to absolutely elated in a short space of time. No amount of affirmations can make your subconscious believe it! But aiming just a few rungs up the emotional ladder is more do-able. Even moving from depression to frustration or anger is an amazing step, because those emotions have energy behind them. You can DO something with them.
To ignite that emotion climb it requires you to create energy within your body. Do jumping jacks, go for a walk, cook, clean, call a friend, do something which makes you feel like you’re ‘doing’ something. Movement is a great one. A brilliant definition of emotion is ‘energy in motion’. My personal new favourite is to put on a great tune and dance like a lunatic and let everything I’m feeling move through my body. I listened to a Tim Ferris podcast with Aubrey Marcus recently and Aubrey was talking about his ecstatic dance ritual to extract lower emotional feelings out of the body.
It’s amazing how when we resign ourselves to staying stagnant, we embody that physically and emotionally. We feel tired. We feel worse inside. But just a little movement or environment change can be all we need in that moment to shift and get an extra rung up the emotion ladder.
5) Be the inspirer you need
Imagine that your younger, childlike self is feeling how you’re feeling. Going through this experience. What would you do or say to them to help them through? To keep them feeling inspired, safe and nurtured? When I thought of the younger me going through what I was dealing with, it immediately shifted me from victim mode to ‘right, let’s do this!’ because I want to take care of her. I’d hate to think of my 7-year-old vulnerable self feeling unsafe in the world and in her body. So by giving her that reassurance that everything is ok, it gives me that too. By taking care of her, I take care of me. It helps me access an innate kind of wisdom where nothing can stand in the way of my healing - for my 35-year-old self right now and for my 7-year-old self.
Just know that whatever heartbreak you’re going through, it will pass. Feel it, be ok with it, know that it’s a human experience, know that like a captain steering a ship sometimes you have to adapt and go left, sometimes you have to go right; it isn’t a linear path. Do what you can to keep yourself moving forward a tiny step every single day. That’s all it takes.
Plus, you have your bounce back celebration to keep you going and look forward to! I'm a huge believer in celebrating all the wins and getting through heartbreak is one to be celebrated big time! To help you do that, I’ve just added a really exciting new service to my offerings! I’ll be doing a separate post on that next week but you can read all about it here - events are something I LOVE to plan and it brings me no greater joy than to help clients and friends plan their own bounce back celebrations!
I hope you enjoyed this post and would love to hear your thoughts on your bounce back methods!