Going through a break-up can be tough. Moving on completely? That can feel even harder. We share six ways you can let go of the past, and start moving towards a more positive future
We’ve all been there. Whether you thought they were ‘the one’, or it was something more casual, even the most amicable of splits can have a big impact on us. The end of anything can feel like a time of emotional upheaval. For better or worse, a chapter of your life has come to a close. And that can feel pretty scary.
According to a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, it takes around 11 weeks to start feeling better after a relationship ends. And following the end of a marriage or long-term relationship, it’s believed that the figure is closer to 18 months.
So what steps can we start taking to put ourselves first, start healing, and move on?
Lean on loved ones
Reaching out when we’re at our most vulnerable can feel tough. When you’re already feeling low from a break-up? It can seem impossible. Yet that’s often when we need the support of friends and family the most.
Whether you need to have a good cry, or you want someone to take your mind off of things, having someone to spend quality time with, talk, and just let you be, can help you feel like a weight’s been lifted from your shoulders.
If you don’t want advice right now, let them know. It’s OK if you’re not ready to talk, but our loved ones aren’t mind readers. Setting boundaries can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed, and can reduce some of the pressure they may be feeling with knowing what topics are (and aren’t) on the table. Open, honest communication is key.
Disconnect to reconnect
Taking a break from social media seems to be the go-to solution for everything nowadays. But when you’re faced with the temptation to look up your ex – or scroll through your old photos – taking a step back to refocus on you can be a solid move.
Ditch the FOMO, and spend some time getting to know yourself again. You wouldn’t expect your friendships to flourish without a little TLC, so why should your relationship with you be any different?
Make time for quality self-care. Enjoy the silence, walk in nature, or do something creative. Regularly stop to ask yourself: how am I doing? No matter what the answer is, it’s OK – just taking the time to acknowledge your feelings can have a significant impact on your overall wellbeing.
When trying to move on, it can be easy to fall into common traps. Playing the blame game, finding a rebound fling, trying to be ‘just friends’ – there are so many ways in which we can let ourselves dwell on the past, or temporarily numb the pain with decisions that, rationally, we know aren’t best for us.
If you find yourself struggling to make a clean break, letting off some steam by chatting to friends can provide a good release, but try to focus on moving away from feelings of anger or resentment, as this can improve your mindset. Plus it can be good to give yourself a break from situations where you may bump into each other. You need time to grow and prioritise you right now – it’s not selfish to let them know that.
By turning the focus on what you want from your future, you can start redirecting your energy away from dwelling on your past relationship
If rebounds are your weakness, try focusing on friends and family. Chances are, you’re feeling pretty vulnerable right now. You need time and space to rediscover how to feel comfortable with being alone romantically. That doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely though. Spend time with close friends and loved ones in a relaxed, platonic setting.
Give yourself a new source of focus in the form of a hobby or rediscovering an old passion. Yes, taking time to figure things out and heal is important, but you need something to help you start rebuilding your life. Cultivating your non-romantic relationships, hobbies, and passions can all help you take this step.
Think outside the box
Hypnotherapy can be a great tool when you’re struggling to find closure, or aren’t sure how to start over again.
During periods of transition between relationships and being single, you may struggle to adapt to a new way of thinking. A hypnotherapist can help you to enter a state of deep relaxation, where they can assist with identifying any specific areas you may be struggling with, implanting more optimistic views of your future. This can help you to reframe your thoughts, focuses, and goals – without stagnating on how things ‘might have been’. A hypnotherapist can even help you to feel more comfortable and confident in yourself and your ability to feel fulfilled without the need for outside validation.
By turning the focus on what you want from your future, you can start redirecting your time and energy away from dwelling on your past relationship. Through visualisation and positive suggestion, you can begin to get a clearer picture of the path you want to create.
Focus on your future
One of the best ways to move forward can be actually planning how you want your future to look. Where do you see yourself going in your personal and professional lives? Journaling can be a great way of exploring both where you hope to be, and where you are right now.
Set aside time to write down everything you’re feeling. Are you frustrated or fulfilled in your career? Could your work-life balance be better? Have you got that one big dream you never got around to looking at more seriously? It’s time to leave the past behind – now is the perfect time to start reassessing what you want out of life, and who you want to be.
Give it time
Chances are, you didn’t fall in love overnight. Moving on after a break-up is, in many ways, like a grieving process: there’s no right or wrong way to do it, no set timeline, and, most likely, it’s not going to be a linear process. You’re going to have some days that feel awful. But you’re also going to have days where you feel amazing, and what’s-their-name doesn’t even cross your mind.
Be kind to yourself, and try not to get frustrated at whatever pace you are healing. You are making progress – you just might not see it yet.
To find out more about hypnotherapy for self-confidence and getting over your ex, visit hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk