Learning how to move on from a break up can be tough.
If it wasn’t your choice, or perhaps it happened in a painful way, it’s tempting to dwell on your ex and what they are doing. But this is damaging. It stops your emotional healing and prevents you from moving on.
Change can only happen if your make a conscious decision to focus on yourself. Take some practical steps towards changing your mindset.
First things first
Set your alarm ten minutes early, and give yourself a talking to before you get out of bed. Sally describes how she did these in the early stages of her divorce:
I knew if I chose to stay in bed even once, I would crumble completely. So each morning I spent a few minutes telling myself was strong and I could cope. This made all the difference to how I approached my day.”
Make a conscious decision that today you will focus on yourself, not on your ex.
Plan some treats
Focusing on yourself takes planning. By planning lovely things, you can focus on those when you find yourself starting to dwell on your ex. Sit down and plan daily, weekly, and monthly treats in advance, and perhaps even a big treat for next year.
Daily treats could be a scented bath or a cycle ride. Each week, arrange to meet friends e.g. enjoy a meal together or shoot some hoops (but remember, talking about your ex is off limits!). Monthly treats could be a theatre visit or a camping trip, or maybe book a holiday to somewhere you have always dreamed of visiting.
Channel your hero
Think of someone strong and self-confident – this could be a real person, or a fictional character or movie hero. Now imagine you are that person for a day. Whatever happens that day, tackle it as that person. Act strong and confident, and in time you will feel strong and confident.
Consider your posture; walking tall and purposefully will give you a boost. Smile often, even if you don’t feel like it. Smiling releases endorphins, lowers blood pressure and boosts your immune system. Become the person you want to be.
Focus on the new you
Becoming newly independent is a fantastic opportunity to reinvent yourself. What have you always wanted to do but never been able to, perhaps because your ex held you back? Find a more creative job?
Maybe you wanted to take a study course but you knew it would take too much time away from your ex? Now is your chance, so grasp it with both hands. There will never be a better time.
Practise mind control
It takes effort to refocus your mind. The old adage says if you try NOT to think about a green monkey, all you will think about is a green monkey. So practise mind control.
Imagine each thought about your ex is like a fish – every time one swims into your mind, scoop it back in the sea. Deliberately think about one of your treats or new goals instead. If your mind wanders, don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself a shake and start again.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, but little by little you will find you are moving ahead and leaving your ex behind. If you get stuck, you know where we are.