by Tristan Coopersmith for SheKnows.com
BREAKING UP IS A PROCESS
It is true that breaking up is hard to do, but not as hard if you understand that everything that is happening to your heart, your mind and your body is totally normal. What isn't normal, though, is to stay stuck in your confused, lonely or sad state.
Much like mourning a loved one who has passed away, breakups have stages of grief as outlined below. These breakup stages may not be in order for you and there is no telling how long you will stay in each one, but consider progress of any kind positive. Be gentle with yourself during a breakup and don't stop reminding yourself that no matter how dark the day, YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS!
Or in other words, "What the hell just happened?!" Simply, shock is the body's natural protection against pain. And when your relationship first ends, you just might not want to deal with what's coming next... it may be too scary, too lonely, too confusing. A state of disbelief could last minutes, weeks or even months and likely lasts longer if you are unexpectedly on the receiving end of a breakup. Don't be surprised if you feel a sense of blurriness about the actual breakup scene, a literal loss of breath, or have trouble sleeping.Do/Do not:
- Do prescribe yourself calming cures like meditating or long walks.
- Do not freak out... you will make sense of all of this!
Or in other words, "This is so not happening." Denial is rejection of reality and a storage of feelings. The thinking is that if you don't accept the heartbreak then it didn't really happen, thus leaving hope for reunion. During this stage of a breakup it is common to call, email or even Facebook-stalk - anything that feels remotely "normal" about the relationship, in an effort to put dealing with the heartbreak on hold.Do/Do not:
- Do open up to a journal or trusted friend to begin unleashing fears, identifying unreasonable thoughts and more.
- Do not minimize the situation. Pretending your breakup doesn't have to be dealt with will lead to emotional numbness and leave you stuck.
Or in other words, "I just want to sit in this all by myself." Once you've recognized the breakup, you enter the dirty work - dealing with the dissolution of the relationship. You may replay the relationship over and over in your mind, trying to pinpoint where it fell apart and how it could have been saved. Your thoughts may feel very scattered and disorganized. This stage of grief has you caring less if you update your Facebook status or check your voicemails. You may draw your blinds and not even want to leave the house. Sitting in silence, darkness, or a pint of ice cream all feels better than going outside and admitting to the world that yes, it's over.
>> Check out: 4 ways to make "moving on" fun
- Do take regular showers and create reasons to face the day (work, social activities).
- Do not indulge in self-pity by letting irrational thoughts like, "No one will ever love me again" take over.
4... 5... 6... 7: See the four next stages of a break-up here!
READ MORE ON BREAKUPS:
How to move on from rejection, break-ups and being dumped
Is it okay to get back together after a breakup?
The best breakup songs
5 do's and don'ts for running into an ex