There are better ways to deal with your relationship—none of them are very complicated or profound but there is always one thing you should keep in mind—distraction!
Anyone who’s been broken up with, divorced, or heartbroken can tell you that sometimes no matter how secure you’re feeling or how great of a day you’ve had, thoughts of the ex can come creeping in. They disrupt your daily activities; make you stop short or even fall short of breath just because of one silly, insignificant thought. Or maybe a stranger on the street was wearing the ex’s cologne or perfume. Maybe you just couldn’t avoid walking down the block where the two of you celebrated an anniversary. Maybe out of the 4,000 songs on your iPod, the one you actively avoid keeps shuffling up first and without even knowing it stirs up that awful pit-in-the-stomach nausea you thought you were finally free from. Well, reminders are inevitable after any sort of ending, happy or sad. But who are they to control what streets, smells and sounds you enjoy? That’s why distraction is key to healing!
Take an active approach to finding an appropriate distraction for yourself. Make a mental list of everything you have going for you. Any little thing in your life that makes you happy—“cat, baseball, family”—and keep this list on hand so that when unwanted thoughts come knocking they don’t catch you off guard and start to snowball, causing the subsequent mental slump. You know the feeling, when you’re both frustrated you let your brain go there in the first place and then exhausted from draining your emotions on all the dwelling …
Yes, it’s important to reflect of what went wrong and contemplate thoughts that are unpleasant so that you can begin to make sense of what happened, but after a certain point in time, the time when you’re ready to stop obsessing but just can’t, you MUST give yourself ample distractions. IT will help you learn to control your thoughts and emotions about your ended relationship. Help yourself by minimizing the dwelling and distracting your thoughts. Throw yourself full force and head first into new activities. Maybe you can’t afford to start taking a yoga class or you don’t have the resources to pick up that painting hobby you used to enjoy, but you can always afford home improvements on your very own mental space.
So, the key to bouncing back that’s so simple it sometimes gets overlooked? Distractions, distractions. Be patient with yourself, you have the strength for this! After some time, you’ll forget what you were having to try so hard to distract yourself from in the first place—and that is a liberating realization.
By Caitlin Goldberg for BounceBack