The Tool for Getting Over a Painful Breakup

Ariane Marder, Glamour magazine

Like Meredith (and many of you), I deal with bouts of depression and anxiety. It started the summer my dad died, and ever since then every breakup brings up intense feelings of loss, and I grieve like nobody's business. I've tried everything-shopping, massages, wine (never a good idea) and distracting myself with other guys, but none of that was more than a temporary fix. I always wished I was one of the girls that could bounce back and say, "Never needed him anyway," but it's not in my constitution. My overactive and analytical brain likes to play tricks on me, and I still wind up obsessing about every little thing in the relationship. Well, until I made an amazing discovery…

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My secret is meditation. Not to get all Luna on you, but it's truly the only thing that has helped me through the darkest of times (and helped me enjoy the good ones, too). What I love about meditation is that there's no right way to do it. And yet, there are so many types to try (way too many to go into in this post). It doesn't have to be a spiritual quest; it can just be a few minutes to stop and go inward and come back to the present moment. Whether you do five minutes or 25, the intention is the same: to step back and realize that thoughts are just thoughts. Acknowledge them and let them go. Just be.

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If you're interested in giving it a shot, I wrote up some beginner's tips:

- Start with two minutes and slowly increase.
- Find a comfortable position.
- Close your eyes or softly focus on a point in front of you.
- Listen to the sounds, notice how the air feels on your face.
- Follow your breath. Count them if you need something for your mind to do.
- When your mind starts to wander, just let the thought go (like it's in a balloon) and bring your attention back to your breath.
- Go back to obsessing. (Just kidding.)

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Taking five minutes a day when you're going through a breakup won't feel like a quick fix-but it will build up over time. Plus, you can come back to it anytime. Even if you go outside for a walk and look at the trees and feel your feet on the pavement, that counts as meditation. Cooking works for some, as does exercise. The closest I get to meditating when I'm not "sitting" is when I go horseback riding. I'm completely focused on the horse and nothing else.

Have you ever tried meditation before? Do you have a secret tool to get over a breakup that works long term? Or do you have your own type of meditation (like cooking) that helps you through the rough patches?

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