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It goes without me realy having to say a thing. Breakups are hard. For both people invovled.
Emotions are flying uncontrolably, memories come flooding back in and overthinking becomes a new habit.
Its an experience that we all wish could be avoided. Yet most people inevitably encounter this during their lives.
A common reaction after a breakup is to simply shut down. To give up all hope for the future and pig out watching Netflix with a tub of melted ice cream nearby for support.
But I am telling you this will be the first day of your next chapter!
Wipe those tears away and use these effective strategies to get back onto your own two feet.
- Realise it will take time to feel better.
Shortly after a breakup time seems to come to a standstill. Whereas you might hope that it speeds up, skipping the healing part to feel better again.
Doubt begins to play a huge part of our thought process during the first few days. "Will I be able to get over him/her?" Yes.. But it will take time.
Knowing that this is not an overnight process can take an unnecessary weight off from your shoulders.
Gradually you will begin to feel better, day by day. This depends on the severity of the situation and the persons involved.
There is no fixed amount of time that it will take so put your marker and calender away. So for now it may feel like theres no hope in sight but remember the saying, 'time heals all wounds'. Eventually forgetting the painful emotions you have experienced.
2. Focus on yourself. What makes you happy?
Give yourself permission to feel your feelings, don't run away from the storm of emotions, soon enough it will catch up to you and shower you with what you were afraid to face.
Longterm relationships almost creates a third, overlapping psychological entity that comprises both you and them. When being in a relationship with a partner we often neglect our own personal wants and needs.
Putting all of our attention on them or as a partnership. In essence you both emerged into another entity, comprised of both your positives and negatives. When the relationship ends, a gut wrenching emotion occurs knowing this third body no longer exists.
But thats okay.
Looking on the brightside of the fallout, you will have more time on your hands for yourself.
There may have been things that you put off whilst in a relationship that you were unable to do. Begin to do those activities, this will give you a sense of joy and take you out of that breakup mindset.
Caring for yourself will help tremendously. Whether that being eating healthily, exercising or watching your favourite movie.
Rather than dating another person, it may sound corny, but begin to date yourself.
Treat yourself how YOU want to be treated.
3. Surround yourself with close friends and family.
Often our own mind can play tricks on us. Going on endless thought loops that cause us more harm.
To counteract this issue we can surround ourselves with our close friends and family.
Often times these people are neglected during a relationship. Spending more time with your partner.
Not only will this help you take your mind off from the breakup, its also incredibly beneficial to socialise. We may beat ourselves up after a broken relationship, saying to ourselves that we're not good enough.
Being with other people can help boost our self esteem, laughing with others is a natural medicine.
4. Write a list about your ex.
Memories come flooding back in after a breakup of all the good times that you spent together.
Our minds really can be our worst enemies at times. Bringing back all of the mushy moments that you both spent together.
With a little closer of an analysis you will begin to see some holes that may have not been as obvious. Taking a step back and assessing your relationship with an outside point of view may give you a new perspective.
Spend 10–20 minutes writing a list of positives and negatives about your ex. Be as detailed as possible.
Chances are the negative list will heavily outweigh the positives, unless they're a nun.
This new found way of thinking will help calm down your mind after only thinking of all the lovey dovey moments.
5. Don't chase someone that doesn't want you
The urge to reach out and message them will be aching at times. Just one message to see how they are and thats that. Right?
It is best to keep your distance after a breakup instead. Shocking!
Keeping in contact will only inflate your hopes that it could be resolved. Ask yourself, would you want to get back with someone that rejected you?
The majority of relationships that get back together after a breakup that are succesful are slim and far between. So rip that bandaid off as early as possible.
Chances are you'll message something you'll regret later down the line. Play it cool.
Checking their social media seems very tempting too, doesn't it?
Do not do it. I repeat do not do it. Its similar to shooting yourself in the foot and asking someone why someone else pulled the trigger!
For the time being, hide their feed/posts, mute their social media. After you've healed is when you can unhide their posts.
Sadly, its a part of life to have your heart broken at least once.
Some of the greatest pieces of art, music and novels arrived from breakups.
It doesn't have to be a constant doom and gloom occurance, we can make this a positive change, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
Begin to focus on parts of yourself that you neglected during the relationship.
Build your confidence back up and take your mind off from thinking about it by spending time with others that care about you.
Realise that maybe they weren't that special and they had flaws like everyone does by writing a list of positive and negative.
And keep your eyes focussed away from their posts on social media by hiding their activity, it is tempting but you'll kick yourself for looking!
With an abundance of information available to us daily, being able to see what people are doing around the world at the click of a button
has surely affected most peoples mental health. I'll throw myself onto that pile as well.
Comparing, judging and thinking negatively about ourselves can have severe reprocusions on our lives. By telling ourselves things such as "I'm not as good as them", "I can't achieve that" or "This is impossible" may seem as though it won't affect you.
However, our thoughts largely shape our reality.
In a way it gives us a backdoor to run away from our hopes and dreams.
By telling ourselves these phrases we give ourselves a safety net, 'knowing' we were never going to succeed.
But, what if you changed your thoughts? Instead telling yourself "I can achieve anything I put my mind to."
This already feels much better. These are positive affirmations and they might change your life!
What Are Affirmations?
For some this is a new concept. Put simply they are phrases or statements used to challenge negative self beliefs.
Pick some positive phrases and repeat them to yourself. Really beleieve what you are saying, feel it deep down inside you that this is your reality.
If you find yourself subconsciously affirming negative beliefs about yourself, you can rewire this pattern.
Replace them with a narrative that better suits your life.
There are a variety of different affirmtions you can choose from:
Quit bad habbits
Boost self confidence
The Science Behind It
Its not fact until its proven in the eyes of scientists, despite countless accounts of it being beneficial.
AN MRI test suggests that certain neural pathways increase when people use postive self affirmations (Cascio et al., 2016).
For the neuro scientists out there, the ventromedial prefontal coretex became more active during the tests.
For those that have no idea what that is, is it even English? Its the part of the brain that involves positive valuation and self related information.
" We're better able to view otherwise-threatening information as more self-relevant and valuable." Mentioned by Falk, the leading Scientist.
In short, it is related to how we process information about ourselves. As we move on we can see several benefits may arrise fom this practise.
"I am amazing"
"I can achieve great things"
"My life has great value"
These statements may come across as a bizarre thing to tell yourself.
Well ask yourself this, is telling yourself the oppoisite going to improve your life?
Telling yourself positive affirmations will improve how you feel about yourself. By decreasing health-deteriorating stress and lifting your spirit, giving you that self belief and confidence.
"I am calm"
"I am in control"
"I have nothing to worry about"
It can help you reprogram how you observe stressful situations.
By telling yourself that everthing will work out and to look on the brighter side, you will be less inclined to believe the negative doubts.
This is natural however, everyone and their mum has self doubt. It is what we do with those beliefs that shape our lives. We can listen to them and believe them or we can tell ourselves more uplifting messages.
"I enjoy being around people"
"I am a social person"
"I can talk to anyone"
This one may be the most difficult for some.
Picturing yourself talking to strangers or failing a task may increase anxiety without being in the situation physically. With that alone, we can see how powerful the mind is.
Despite being tucked up in bed, one thought about saying the wrong thing to someone can have our minds spiral out of control.
Imagine instead, a scenario where you do and say the right things. How much better your life would be!
Next time you feel that panic setting in over a negative self belief,
tell yourself "I have nothing to worry about" or any other affirmations that resonate with you.
"My life is exciting"
"I can achieve so much"
"I See the positives in everything"
Life is hard enough without telling yourself negative things everyday.
By looking on the brightside and expecting the best from every situation, you are doubling your chance of having a better day.
When negative self talk arrises, it may feel as though nothing is possible. Repeating mantras and positive affirmations will reprogram the mind to believe that anything is possible.
You can see for yourself, it only takes a small amount of practise, commitment and dedication!
Most importantly you dont have to pay a thing!
The only thing you have to pay is your time and effort. You are the one that has to put it into practise! Nobody can change the way you think apart from yourself.
Start today with a list of positive affirmations, make it a daily routine and see your life change for the best!
The unfortunate case for today is that most peoples mental habbits are unfortunately self destructive and have been mouded this way through, social media, news and personal beliefs.
However, we are in control of our own thougts and behaviours. After all you are stuck with your own thoughts for your entire lives, unless you're a mind reader…
Why not make it a better place to live? Similar to when you clean our rooms when it gets messy, you can also clean your mind and thoughts.
By making a mental change and building a daily routine to improve yourself through positive affirmations, a huge shift will begin to take place.
No more self doubt. No more negative outlooks on life. A new you can emerge from the ashes, all through the power of your own mind!
A militant monk, cloaked in an orange robe, purched crossed legged on a mountain, may cross your mind when first hearing about the idea of meditation.
But this is a method that anyone can practise. Just like yourself I was unsure how to begin and what exactly to do.
There’s a lot of information out there that has overcomplicated such a simple practise and it may appear slightly overwhelming to begin with.
Luckily, we don’t need anything to start practicing. Just bring along an open mind and we can begin!
Find a place where you will not be disturbed
Meditation can be successful wherever and whenever. Whilst walking, eating your dinner or brushing your teeth. By being fully aware of the present moment you are practising meditation.
When beginning your practise it is advised to find a quiet area. Somewhere in which you won’t be distracted. If you are unable to do so, you can drown out the background noise by listening to some hz music.
Being in a quiet location is beneficial as you will be able to stay focussed on the task at hand, meditation. You will find it is easier to connect with your own thoughts. Rather than being distracted by dogs barking in the distance, traffic going by or your noisy next door neighbour.
There is no time limit
With a sturn face, no emotions, sitting upright, unphased by life passing by. The monk sits without a timer, fully immersed in his inner world.
But they had to begin somewhere aswell. Practise makes perfect. You do not have to sit hours on end battling your inner thoughts. As with anything in life, it takes time to master new skills.
So with meditation you should take the same principle. Begin with a few minutes each day. Gradually increasing the time as you feel yourself improving. At first you will only be able to focus for a short period of time. The mind is like a muscle and will get stronger the more repetitions you put in.
Focus on physical sensations
When you sit down to begin the mind will soon begin racing. Thinking about what you need to do later or what went wrong earlier.
This is inevitable…
A practise to sooth these experiences is to simply focus on your physical sensations.
To alleviate the problem of an overactive mind you need to give your mind something else to focus on. Moving your awareness towards your physical sensations allows your busy mind to detox and calm down.
Start by feeling the area in which you are sitting or lying on. Then begin to notice parts of your body. This is called a bodyscan. Beginning at the top of your head, move your awareness down your body, reaching your toes.
After just a short period of time you will notice your thoughts begin to slow down. Due to your awareness being present on physical sensations rather than worrying about what your internal dialougue is spewing out.
Watch your thoughts! Don’t try and stop them
Sitting alone by yourself can be unusual to begin with. We’re so often distracted by other activities we normally don’t pay attention to our own mind.
Thoughts will begin to arrise.
Your initial response may be to try and stop or fight them off. This is normal so dont panic! However, resistance towards them will only create more thoughts. What you resist, persits.
Our job is to simply be aware of the thoughts. Watch them, as if you’re watching clouds floating in the sky. A cloud may appear and slowly drift away, being replaced by another cloud, so on and so on. But the sky, or mind, never changes.
You can’t stop your thoughts, but you can become aware that they are just thoughts and that they cannot harm you.
In and out. Return back to your breath
There will come a time when an idea or thought has caught your attention and you may become attatched to it. You may even completely forget that you are practising meditation.
This is a good thing. You have become aware that you are thinking.
What should you do after that?
Let the thought go. Remind yourself that it is but a thought and the chances are another one will come after this one. A tool to help you return back to the present moment is your breath.
Breath in meditation is the anchor to the present moment. As silly as it may sound, you cannot breath a past breath nore can you breath a future breath. The ever present now is expressed through your present inhale and exhale.
Feel the cold air rush through your nostrils, down into your lungs. Feel your stomach and ribcage expand. On the exhale notice the falling sensation as you breath out the air. Inhaling peace and relaxation, exhaling the stress and worry.
This may sound tedious. You can try to break this up by counting the inhales and exhales or choosing a personal affirmation.
“I breath in peace. I exhale stress”.
Practise makes perfect. With anything new it will take time to see progress. After repetition, dedication and commitment to the process you will begin to see improvements. It all starts now!
Find yourself a quiet place to begin the practise. Away from any distractions you cannot physically change.
Quiet the mind by focussing on physical sensations. When a thought arrises, realise it is just a thought. Return to the present moment with your breath and let the pestering thoughts pass by like a flowing river.
The change in your life starts from within. Mastering the internal mind will benefit your external world in a multitude of different ways!
Anxiety is fear of the future. What do we know about the future? Well… nothing.
We can predict and guess until the cows come home, but until we actually experience the situation that has been playing out in our head, we have no idea what is going to happen.
That butterfly feeling in the pit of your stomach causes an endless loop of scenarios that you percieve to be reality. Elevating your heart rate without doing anything. It goes to show just how powerful your mind can be!
This is a shared emotion, everyone of us has experienced the emotion of anxiety. It can arrise for many different reasons, social, school, work or relationships.The way in which people handle this emotion is what sets people apart.
To begin, lets have a look at what not to do.
What to Avoid
A want to control situations — Anxiety arrises due to the unknown of an event. Being unprepared we think of many scenraios that may play out.
This in turn will increase anxiety by obsessing over something that you have no control over. Let go!
Anxious habbits — This may include, over eating, drinking, smoking, even drinking a lot of caffiene. These habbits will increase your heart rate. Making it much harder to manage your emotions, leaving you dependent on pleasures outside of you.
Situations that cause anxiety — Removing yourself from the cause of your anxiety will give you a bresh of fresh air. Sometimes it is not possible due to work or school. Instead, try to limit the people and places that arrise the feelings.
Social media — Although it can be enjoyable in short doses, it has been shown how damaging social media can be for your mental health.
If going cold turkey isn’t an option, try limiting the time spent on the various sites.
Negative self beliefs — A thought loop may be the root cause of your anxiety. Having a negative inner dialouge is rather damaging. Try affirming that you are okay and calm. This will begin to reprogram your subconscious mind to be more positive!
Okay, so what about ways in which we can manage our anxious minds?
- Mindfullness and Meditation
look for the internal problem rather than the external.
We as humans so often look for outer gratification and validation. Asking help from others without doing the work ourselves. Nobody can change the way you think apart from yourself.
Afterall the mind is not a physical object that can be moulded and shaped.
It is purely mental, in YOUR head, so you are in control of how you feel.
Practise sitting by yourself, maybe listening to a guided meditation and be comfortable in the present moment.
In the ever present now thoughts will arrise about things from the future or mistakes of the past. This is normal, suprisingly. Do not attacth yourself to these thoughts. Notice them and let them drift away as if they were clouds in the sky.
You will surely begin to witness many improvements in yourself after a bit of practise along with a daily commitment.
- Get Active
When our minds are still and not focussed on something, istypically when it begins to play tricks on us.
“Remember that time before when you failed?” Your mind will begin to cause anxiety over simply nothing.
Get up or get active! By focussing yourself on activities other than thinking will give your mind a rest it needs.
Focussing on the physical body allows your subconscious to detox. Whether thats through physical exercise such as going to the gym, cycling or boxing.
Or mental tasks, maybe you enjoy puzzles, reading books or listening to music.
Don’t think of it as a distraction, instead a way of training the “monkey mind” to sit still for a while!
- Write your Thoughts in a Journal
Is it hard for you to talk to others about how you feel? Sometimes its easier to write your thoughts down.
I get it, you may not feel comfortable talking about your thoughts and feelings with others. Thats okay, guess who will listen to you all day… YOU!
Journaling is a great way to express your own thoughts and feelings without the fear of judgement from others.
Don’t worry too much about grammar or spelling, write freely about whatever comes to mind. Not only the negatives, try to find some positive thoughts too!
After a while you can begin to look through your journal and see how far you have progressed.
- Improve yourself!
In a spiral of anxious thoughts, it is so easy to forget about taking care of yourself.
We begin to feel lazy, eat unhealthily and some essentially give up caring about themselves all together. It goes without saying that this is not the best solution.
Start with little things, cooking healthy dishes, exercising, relaxing or learning new skills.
Building your self esteem and confidence will boost your inner belief that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. This will fill your mind with positive thoughts by smashing each day and becoming a better version of yourself!
Over the last few decades anxiety has increased dramatically. People have begun to fixate their worlds on outer realities rather than focusing on themselves. Wanting to prove to others just how great they are and not validating their own lives.
Turning the attention inwards on ourselves and learning to be present with our own thoughts and emotions will decrease an anxious mind.
You don’t have to just sit still either, get active and focus your attention on other activites, giving rest to your thought riddled mind. Talking to people about our feelings can be a little challenging at times, journaling to yourself can take a huge weight off your shoulders. Having a mentality of not giving up and consistently improving will boost your confidence and self belief!
Everyone has a short fuse and can experience anger. Unless you’re a militant shaolin monk, meditating 24/7 in a sacred temple on top of a mountain, you’ve probably experienced the emotion of anger.
That rush of uncontrollable emotion, waiting to burst out at a moments notice. Only later regretting after you have calmed back down.
It may feel as though this cannot be tamed but using some key methods, we can reduce these sudden agressive outbursts!
- Will getting angry solve your problem?
To put it simply, no… No it won’t.
Anger can be used in a positive way when focusing towards a goal that you want to achieve. Whether thats physcially by going to the gym and lifting weights or using it in a way to motivate yourself to work harder on your personal projects. But the majoirty of time, anger is wasted energy.
Think to yourself the next time you feel angry towards someone or in a certain situation, will this help the problem?
Taking a step back and assessing it, you will begin to quickly notice that reacting in this way will only escalate the issue. Our goal here being, is to not go off the rail.
Instead we want to de-escalate and solve the situation as calmly as possible.
If thinking before is out of the question, then perhaps imagine yourself after the hot rush of anger has cooled down.
During the raging moments of shouting, we might say something that we will later regret. Something that was completely unnecessary and hurtful towards somebody else or even ourselves.
To remove this feeling of shame and guilt, take a step back and realise that anger is not the solution.
- Practise relaxation methods
Count back from 10. We’ve all heard it before. But how many of us have had the chance to put this into practise.
During the heat of the moment, this simple tip may slip from our minds or perhaps we need to think quickly on the spot and don’t have the time to take 10.
There are other ways in which we can relax our minds.
Call them preventatives. Realising that anger is just an emotion and emotions don’t last forever. It will pass and you will experience another feeling soon after.
This goes with feelings of happiness, excitement, jealousy and hatred.
Being aware of your emotions and not letting them control you is a key step to reducing your anger.
This can be done by practising meditation for as little as 10 minutes a day, even less if this is too much! Thoughts and feelings will arrise, it would be weird if they didn’t. Its our job to realise what they are and not get attatched to them.
Then the next time you are in a situation where anger shows its face you will be less inclined to act upon that emotion.
- Exercise the anger out of you
For the ones that simply cannot sit still, this might be for you.
Holding onto emotions generally isn’t a good idea. Its far better to forgive and forget.
Exercsing is the anomaly when talking about anger and how to deal with it.
Famous athletes have come out and expressed how they channel their anger and use it to their advantage. Using surge of adrenaline to focus more or gain the feeling to of being more determined to succeed.
This is if you are able to bottle up your anger. Use it in the gym, the next time you feel like quitting, dig deep and search for that feeling, I’m sure you’ll find an extra rep or two.
- See it from their perspective.
We’ve all had bad days. If not, what are your secrets?
For some it is easier than others to handle their emotions. But sometimes someone is able to push your buttons and push you close to the edge of exploding.
Being in their shoes may help resolve the issue at hand.
Try seeing the situation from their side. Understand what emotions they are feeling. Perhaps they are having a bad day and refelcting their emotions it onto you.
Practising empathy and compassion for others can easily put out the flames before they begin to spread.
The saying, treat others how you want to be treated may seem irrelevant during a heated argument. But it takes the bigger person to hear from both sides during an aurgument, rather than sticking to what you want to be true.
Anger comes in a variety of different shapes and forms. We can be angry towards ourselves, others or different situations.
Realising that anger doesn’t help the situation and in fact worsens it can help bite your tongue before saying something you might regret.
Instead we can look to focus on our own minds, understanding that this emotion will pass and that it can’t control us.
We can also use this for our own good, by digging deep and hitting that extra rep at the gym or use it as self motivation to work harder at your work or for studying.
Its a shared emotion, inevitble to occur during your day to day life. But how we deal with it, without hurting others or ourselves is the greatest lesson to learn.
Without a sense of purpose in life we can feel lost at sea. With the boat being uncontrolled, pulled by the waves of life as we drift into the unknown.
Searching for something you are passionate about will help you regain control of lifes steering wheel.
Thats where the phylosophy of Ikigai (eek-i-guy) comes in.
A Japanese concept that helps us achieve our true purpose in life.
Originating in Okinawa, a place where people generally have a high life expenectancy, thought to be the cause of having a fulfilled lifestyle that brings joy.
‘Iki’ meaning life and ‘gai’ describes value or worth. Put together ‘reason for being’.
Why is this a good idea? Good question.
The occupation or career that you choose to do will have an impact not only on yourself but others.
Enjoying what you do will help you live a more fullfilled life, with less stress involved.
Thus creating a healthy work-life balance while pursing a job that you actually enjoy doing.
There are four interlapping questions that will help you succeed in finding your own personal Ikigai.
Step 1. What do you love doing?
Lets be sensible here. We all love eating, drinking and sleeping.
Unfortunatly there are not too many career paths that will pay for you to sleep…
So, instead write a list of your interests, things that you are passionate about. What can you focus on without that feeling of boredom setting in?
Begin to write a list of your own ideas down. Be as descriptive as possible.
Note — you don’t have to be an expert in the chosen field. That can come later with practise. For now think about your passions!
Step 2. What are you good at?
Nows your time to boast about yourself and big yourself up.
Be as detailed as possible with this sphere. Perhaps you are physically talented at something. Maybe you prefer more hands on hobbies or you’re a master in the kitchen.
This can also overlap in mental aspects. If you’re a thoughtful, empathetic person or able to think clearly under pressure, be sure to add that to the list too.
This will help to puzzle together your chosen career when we put them all together.
Step 3. What does the world need?
Now that is a broad statement. The world…
This can be interpreated into smaller communities, groups online, close friends and well, the world if you believe so.
Think about your skills and knowledge and how you can help others. What expertise can you provide others with to better their lives?
This step focusses on other people, returning the favour to society beyond your own needs.
Can you imagine yourself succesfully doing this and helping others in the next 10 years? Do your skills participate in helping others?
These are the questions you will need to ponder about for this phase.
Step 4. What can you be paid for?
Its all well and good that you are able to write down your skills and interests, further analysing them, can you see yourself getting paid doing them?
This is where the hard part comes in. Maybe you’ll need to do your own market research. Seek out for jobs that are similar to your interests.
Check out potential competion and their wages. Are they succesful at what they’re doing and is there a need for that particular job?
Keep in mind, money isn’t the primary goal here. Happiness, freedom and less stress is what we’re aiming for.
If you are doing something you are passionate about, money will eventually flow to you in abundance!
Brainstorm to find your ikigai
With these steps put into place, thoughts will begin to start flowing through you about what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs and if you can get paid for it.
Begin to jot down your ideas in a brainstorm fashion.
Whether you think its a good idea or a harendiously unachievable goal, PUT IT DOWN.
Looking at all of the different branches of ideas that you come up with will enable you to succesfully pick and choose the right career path for you!
Self doubt may begin to arrise. Life is so much easier getting a 9–5. Easier, yes. Fullfilling, um no, sorry.
Worry may set in that this is a rediciolous idea, one that is unatainable. This sort of thing only happens in the movies. Wrong!
Your thoughts will shift and shape your reality. Having that burning desire for change and self belief will send you into the right direction.
Events will begin to align, have belief in yourself and your own abilites. If you are truly following what you are passionate about, the sky really is the limit!
Ikigai is a wonderful concept introduced to us from the Japanese culture.
Allowing a more balanced life, one filled with passion and excitement.
Going through each of the four steps, begin to write down the thoughts, ideas and goals that you want to put into action.
No matter how unbelievalbe they may appear to be at first. Get it on that paper, every little helps!
This won’t be an over night success sadly and looking too far into the future may be off putting to start with.
So instead, once you figure out a few possible careers, begin to create a plan. Set goals, long term and short term. Having goals in the near furture will allow you to stay foccused and motivated on your journey.
And most importantly, its easy to think about it. You have to put it into action. You are the one steering your ship. Grab on tightly as this is the beginning of your next adventure!
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