Heartbreak…is there anything more painful…? Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the last time that I was completely and utterly heartbroken…It hasn’t happened to me much in my life, but there are a few occasions where I have felt that familiar and universal searing in my chest, that feeling that someone has just sucker punched you right in the gut. …so much fun…!
So many ‘Life Gurus’ say you shouldn’t revisit the bad things you have experienced in life, because your body can’t tell the difference between what your imagining in your mind, and what is actually happening in reality.
That’s why, when recollecting sad times, your breath will become shallow, your palms become clammy and your eyes sting with tears, like your sitting in that same seat you were in all those years ago.
But …the weird thing is, so much good comes from heartbreak…so much growth and power. I literally had to pick myself up piece by piece, and you know what, before that, I didn’t know I was capable of healing myself…but I was. I now have a tool box of self-help techniques that can push me through anything.
So, I’m writing this, in case the future me needs to read it, and in case anyone needs reminding that there is life after what is perceived as ‘Love’. You may have changed, but you’re like the 2.0 version of yourself, with minor improvements. Own it and find the things that make you come to life.
My Heartbreak Toolbox
If you’re a religious or spiritual person, you now that nothing quite compares to the feeling of speaking your hearts truth directly to God. I found immeasurable amounts of solace in the morning prayer, Fajr. So much so, that if I had missed it and slept in, I knew I would struggle that day.
The morning hours are truly a blessed time, and catching that morning prayer made me feel like I was enveloped in an aura of protection, from the world, from sadness and even myself.
Also, reading religious passages were like a balm for my heart. Shedding tears whilst reading The Quran was the most cathartic thing for me. My pain drew me close to God, it was so transformative.
If you don’t subscribe to a religion, try using mantras and meditation. Meditation is such a cleansing exercise, it replicates that same feeling of catharsis.
I also ways talk about journaling (like a bit too much… I know!) but the amount of good that I have derived from this reflective practice is just unfathomable. When your stuck in heartbreak and you don’t understand why someone you love soooo much, would hurt you so deeply, journaling is a great tool to rationalise your thoughts and unload everything from your head.
I found it too difficult to talk to anyone about what I was going through, so my journal became my closest confidante. It never told me to pull myself together, or to get over it…it was there for me when I needed to download.
Journaling for me, helped me to process whatever I was going through and helped to ease the anxiety I would wake up with every morning.
I cannot tell you how much yoga saved me in my time of need. When I was in the thick of it, I would wake up after a terrible night’s sleep and automatically be submerged in this anxious energy.
All the thoughts would come back to me, the trauma, and the sensation that everything was different to what I had known…I would experience palpitations, shortness of breath and even nausea…it was horrible. But, there was one thing that would get rid of this terrible energy, and that was yoga.
I would roll out of bed onto my yoga mat and follow an insanely relaxing yoga video on Youtube. (My preference was Boho Beautiful’s Yoga for beginners.) The calm of the yogis voice and the soft splash of the waves would calm me down from any emotional precipice I found myself on.
The measured intake and exhalation of breath, takes you right out of your head and brings you right into the present moment, helping to anchor yourself. It’s the one thing I would suggest if you’re experiencing post-traumatic anxiety like I was.
4. Pursue Your Passions
I know, this sounds crazy.
At a time where getting out of bed is an achievement, how is it even conceivable to create any momentum with your passion? Just hear me out.
During my lowest point, I received an email that changed my life. The BBC were offering me a 2-week placement at the BBC Asian Network Headquarters in London….like what?!
I was gobsmacked! Earlier in the year, I had applied for a coveted position on the BBC ‘s Journalism Trainee Scheme and missed out at the last hurdle, so this was unexpected and a courtesy 2nd prize, but I was ready to take it.
This took me from wallowing, to a state of action almost instantly. I threw myself into planning my 2-week stay in London and mentally preparing myself for the challenge. I was so excited to be in a different place and being in such a stimulating environment, it honestly was one of the best things that ever happened to me. My sister joined me out there and we galivanted around London for 2 whole weeks…amazing! Shopping, Theatre and that London buzz helped me come back to life.
I think, you have to throw yourself into something, plan a holiday, start a new venture. Do something different that has no connections to the person you’re deviating from. Make new memories, you’ll thank yourself later.
Time heals all wounds…
They say time heals…isn’t that so cliché? I don’t think the passage of time heals, but it does familiarise you with this new version of yourself. Everyday you wake up, and the foreign entity that has nestled into your chest that wasn’t there before, becomes more and more known to you day by day.
Although I’ve healed now, there will always be scar tissue to remind me of what my heart has endured. Something I tell myself regularly is…” What is ahead is surely better than what has gone by…” I hold on to this truth.
These steps might not help everyone, but they surely helped me, and still do when I feel that all too familiar feeling erupting within me…before you know it, the difficult times will ease and you will be a new, improved version of yourself.
I have learned and grown so much from every heartbreak experience I have had, as I’m sure we all have… Find your toolbox for feeling good and stick to it.