How to Let Go of Your Ex and Heal Your Broken Heart

Almost all of us have felt the pain of a broken heart. The questions we always seem to ask right after a break-up never change. Why did she leave? Why did he want to see other people? What did I do wrong? Will he come back? I thought she loved me. 

Wouldn’t it be great if, when the love of our life decided to move on without us, we smiled and said, “Great” and went on with our life? No sorrow, no pain, no broken heart. A simple wave and off we go. Of course, the only way we can avoid a painful emotion is to feel no emotion at all. If that were the case, we would not have the experience of love either.

Everyone heals differently and in their own time, but there are some things to help you re-adjust from “we” back to “I”. They aren’t quick 1,2,3 steps and voila your better, but rather steady actions you can take every day to ease the ache.

Let the Tears Flow

Ok, so when your heart is broken crying is probably the thing you want to do the most, but you are determined it’s the one thing you won’t do. Crying gets a bad rap but we have the ability to cry for a reason. Crying releases endorphins into the blood stream. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain reliever so, by not crying, you may actually be causing yourself unnecessary pain.

On the other hand, there are those that just cannot cry regardless of the size of the ache in their heart. For those folks, a long session with a punching bag can release some of those precious pain relieving endorphins. Really, any vigorous exercise will do the trick. Yes. It is hard to exercise when you want to bury yourself in a gallon of ice-cream and sit in front of the TV, but push yourself to exercise. It will be a much better fix for your broken heart than the chocolate chocolate chip ice cream in your freezer.

Love Thyself First

There is one relationship in life that is more important than all others. It is the relationship you have with yourself. Loving who you are is a key piece to mending heartbreak. Maybe you did something that ended the relationship or maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Either way, letting go of any guilt you may feel and learning to love yourself allows you to build a strong, resilient heart.

Love yourself through the pain and treat yourself well. Make your happiness and well-being a priority. Embrace the experience of the break-up rather than avoid it. Jumping into a relationship, working all hours, and/or turning to drugs/alcohol will only delay the healing process. Go about your daily routine even if you are just going through the motions. You don’t want to feel better only to have fallen behind in the other areas of your life. You may have a broken heart, but life keeps going and it is important to go with it.

Learning that the only person that can truly make you happy is yourself, is a gift. It is a gift of freedom and independence.

Revel in Your Independence

Making decisions for yourself without having to consider another person allows you the opportunity to grow as an individual. It is during this time that you will get to know yourself the best. As you rebuild your sense of self, learn who you are by trying new things, meeting new people, and being adventurous. These types of activities will help define you as a person and during this process, you will suddenly find your broken heart does not feel so broken anymore. 

For most, there is a small window of time in your life that you can be truly independent. The experience of relying solely on yourself and making your own decisions is invaluable. It gives you a chance to know yourself in a way that only true independence allows, and that is when your broken heart begins to heal.

Relishing in the freedom of relying on yourself will help you rediscover the parts of you that may have been forgotten during the relationship. Your psychological well-being and adjustment during the painful part of break up will become stronger and so will you.

Find a Hobby

Maybe you already have a hobby or a passion that you can immerse yourself in while you heal. Painting, singing, dancing, writing, knitting, whatever it is, practice it. Writing in a journal is a great hobby to pick up if you’re looking for something new. It gives you a place to put all the thoughts and feelings swirling around inside you. In a sense, putting them on paper releases them from your mind and allows you to let them go. 

 Let Time do its Thing

It is cliché but it’s true, time heals all things. Time passes regardless of how we spend our days. It doesn’t care if we are unhappy. It will not wait for us to pull ourselves together and live a life of meaning.  It would be a shame to look back and see your life was lived in a shadow of sadness because you chose not to heal. If you allow time for grieving followed by time for recovering, you will have allowed it to teach you some valuable lessons about life and love

Saying good-bye is seldom easy regardless of the reason. If it was something you did, learn from it. If it was the other person’s fault, forgive them. Remember the good and recognize the bad. Use that recognition as a starting point for future relationships. If his priority was video game playing over date night, then check out your new dates habits and priorities. Knowing what you don’t like and won’t tolerate is just as important as knowing what you do like.

Broken hearts are part of the human experience and having had a broken heart is a good thing. It means you have loved. You will love again. With a little help from you, your broken heart will mend and the strength you found from the experience will carry you through future hardships.




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Written by Lyn Geist

I am a wife, mother, social worker, freelance writer, and U.S. Army veteran. Each title has brought joy, satisfaction and a whole lot of experience into my life.

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Social Work. I am a certified Licensed Clinical Social Worker assistant and volunteer leading children's therapy groups. I am fascinated by the many facets of human behavior and how we use those behaviors to function in the world. I also study abnormal psychology.

I live in California and when I'm not writing I take my dog for long walks along our many park trails. I enjoy a hot cup of coffee on rainy afternoons and watching musicals. When none of those apply to my day you'll find me fiddling around on my phone and laptop. There is a little tech geek in me somewhere. :)

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How to Let Go of Your Ex and Heal Your Broken Heart