Friendships. Relationships. People.
Sometimes, despite all the things you have done to keep these bonds or a person close to you, there are times when it all just falls apart. The worst part is the feeling of loss and perhaps even guilt that overwhelms your being, making it hard to even complete a normal day’s routine at times. It is at that moment when you are at your lowest that it becomes the perfect chance to practice mindfulness and help put the broken pieces back together.
Below are three of the most important things to do when dealing with something as painful as a broken heart. They help one stay engaged with their daily lives even when the world feels utterly bleak.
Awareness: Pain and coping strategies
The core of mindfulness is to be aware of the present. In this case, it is to acknowledge the pain you are feeling. Yes, it is natural to find ourselves burying the pain or running away from it, but that is an unsustainable and very short term solution which more often than not, leads to heavier repercussions in the future.
Instead, it is pivotal to stay present to the times when you feel the uncomfortable sensations or when you feel like crawling back into your bed and cry. Notice how you take in this psychological ‘pain’. Do you cry it out or not? Do your thoughts become disrupted? Do you lash out at others or keep it hidden to yourself? Also catch the coping mechanisms you do, like picking at your nails, sleeping more or overworking. Being aware of what you do is very important in the coming steps of mending the heart.
Win: Day by day
In today’s society, we expect quick fixes to every problem we have. A broken shoe? Do not worry, here is some super glue. Headache? Here is some Aspirin to fix that. We become so accustomed to ‘immediate remedies’ that upon meeting with something so grave as a broken heart, we become lost.
However, Rome was not built in a day. Similarly, it is virtually impossible to repair a heart in such a short time. So instead of fretting about the future, stay present in the now. Win the battle one day at a time. Perhaps you were not able to get out of bed yesterday but hey, you got yourself out of the bed today and even washed up. It might seem like an insignificant win at first, but these small ripples will end up creating a big wave, enough to wash the pain away. The main point here is not to think so far ahead into the unforeseeable future because that only creates greater psychological stress, and take credit for the small wins today.
Gratitude: To yourself and to others
While this is a simple thought, it is probably one of the hardest things to do and the majority of us will require some conscientious reminder of sorts to do it habitually. Now you might wonder, how could I possibly think of gratitude when everything around me is so solemn and glum?
To be honest, you are not wrong, it is extremely hard to think of thanking anyone or be thankful for anything in such a situation, and that is exactly why the first two steps in this journey are so vital. Making yourself aware helps to shed light on the little things you might have missed before while taking the day one by one keeps you in the present and sees the glass half full.
The combination of both will keep you grounded and help you realise somethings you might have taken for granted before or new things to be grateful for. A good way to start is to pen down things you are grateful for yourself and slowly build it up to telling others a ‘thank you for…’
Staying mindful can help expedite the healing process while giving you a new perception of things that could change your outlook of life in general. Though it might seem very hard right now, just remember that in time, you will heal.