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How to Heal a Broken Heart

Love hurts.

You finally find someone you thought was "Mr. or Ms. Right," only to learn they were all wrong. It just doesn't seem fair.

The good news is that time heals all wounds. While it wasn't the most pleasant feeling, it was definitely a learning experience. How can you mend a broken heart? According to grief counselor and breakup expert Susan J. Elliot, the end of a relationship is the same as other grief processes, which means there are phases to the process. The phases of breakup grief include "shock and disbelief," "review and painful relinquishment," and "reorganization, integration and acceptance." How an individual moves through these phases is based on the nature of their break-up as well as the individual's personality.{relatedarticles}

To help you through a break-up, it's important to have a plan of action. These 10 tips will help you ease the pain. It's important to keep in mind that everybody is different and recovers at their own rate.

Tip #1: Face the Pain

The worst thing you can do is turn away from your emotional pain and deny you are hurt. This will bury your feelings making it possible for them to emerge some other time when it isn't appropriate to feel them, for example, when you are in a new relationship.

The best way to face the pain of your broken heart is to think as much as you want to about the relationship, cry as much as you need to and talk to someone who will listen to you. Find a shoulder to cry on whether it's a family member, friend or professional. Processing what happened in the relationship by getting it all out will help make sense of it, so you can accept the reality and move on.


Tip #2: Understand the Relationship

Why didn't the relationship work out? To answer this, think about the relationship and all of the reasons why it just wasn't headed in the direction you or your ex wanted it to go in.

List all of the reasons why the breakup occurred and allow yourself to take it all in. Again, cry over it if you need to. The best part of this exercise is realizing and accepting the flaws in the relationship. As you unearth the major shortcomings, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that your relationship wasn't built to last.{relatedarticles}

Tip #3: List All the Reasons He Wasn't "The One"

No one is perfect, and a breakup is the ideal time to point out all of your ex's imperfections. What really got under your skin about him? What do you want out of someone else? The relationship didn't work out for a reason. Even if you can't find anything wrong with him, the mere fact he wasn't willing to work out the difficulties should be a major strike against him.

Relationships require work from both people, and it is difficult to make love last if one doesn't want to put in the effort to make the other happy.


Tip #4: List Your Awesomeness

Breakups can make you feel like you are a horrible person that no one will ever love again. Good thing this is simply not true.

Think hard about all of the qualities you love about yourself. Think about what your friends and family love about you. Be honest with yourself, not self-conscious. You are a great person, no matter if you make mistakes. You just need to realize it and that will make you feel you are strong enough to repair your broken heart and worthy to allow someone to love you again.{relatedarticles}

Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself

When you are depressed over a breakup, you might start eating and sleeping more or less than you normally do. This can make you feel ill and even more upset over the breakup.

Sleeping the right amount gives you even more energy and helps you process your emotions better. Eating well will help you feel less sluggish and provide you with the energy you need to get moving. Exercise will get your heart pumping and release endorphins that will help you feel better about yourself and the situation.


Tip #6: Think About Your Independence

Was there anything you wanted to do that you couldn't because you were in a relationship? Maybe you wanted to hang out with your friends more, have more time with family or see particular movies your ex didn't like to see. Now is your chance to do whatever you feel like doing with whomever you feel like doing it with, because no one stands in your way.

This is your life now. You are free. While you may prefer to be with your ex, rather than free, you can't deny the release of restraints when you no longer have to take someone else into account.{relatedarticles}

Tip #7: Consider the Future

The future may not seem bright to you right now, but just fantasize a bit about finding someone who is just perfect for you - someone who will come sweep you off your feet and carry you off into the sunset. Imagine a point in your life when you're happier than you have ever been with anyone, including your ex.

Can't seem to release those feelings for your ex because you miss him so much? You don't have to...just allow yourself to create a story in your mind despite the longing you have for your ex. Play around with it and try to have fun. If you find yourself smiling or feeling a bit hopeful for the future, you've succeeded.


Tip #8: Support Others

Sometimes the best way to deal with pain is to lend your support to someone else. It helps you see that your situation may not be as awful as you thought. It also may help you feel less alone when you see someone else going through as much grief as you feel.

Just be careful not to impose your problems on your friend's problems or she won't feel supported. If she comes to you for help first, you should focus on her. If you go to her first, she should help you.{relatedarticles}

Tip #9: Do Something New and Exciting

Living the same old life you were living when you were in a relationship will only remind you of how much you miss your ex and wish he were with you as he used to be. However, if you start engaging in new activities your ex was never part of, you won't miss him as much because it doesn't remind you of him.


Tip #10: Give It Time

Time heals all wounds. While you may want the pain to go away as soon as possible, it just doesn't work that way. You need to let yourself heal and that can take some time. Just hang on for as long as you need to start feeling better about the break-up. You will feel better...it just takes time.

When the Pain Ends

As you start to feel better and more like yourself, start to consider love again. You may be scared of it because you don't ever want to go through this type of pain again, it's important you give it another try. You never know whom you will find next and if that person will be the one you will be with forever.