Living through heartbreak and grief can unite humanity.
After all, nearly everyone loses love. Many people go through multiple breakups and discover that each loss feels different. Despite the commonality of grieving heartbreak, everyone grieves differently.
If that’s true, how can you hope to find help with getting over a breakup and choosing to love again?
Easily — if you remember that dealing with grief isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience.
In fact, The Atlantic reports that there are three different ways people grieve. About 10% of people who lose a loved one experience chronic grief. Between 30% and 40% plunge into grief and gradually recover. That leaves over 50% percent who appear to be “fine” even when their loss feels heavy.
Your experience with heartbreak will never fully be like anyone else’s, but here are some common ways to heal your heart after a breakup:
1. Remember that laughter can be the best medicine.
For many people, shifting from sadness to happiness is as simple as remembering to laugh. It may feel difficult to laugh when you’re grieving, but as time goes on, you may find yourself laughing more and more often. If you want to smile and laugh but don’t know where to start, look up some jokes or funny quotes and see if they help change your mood.
2. Find creative ways to seek out closure during grief.
If your style of grieving involves breaking the mold, try finding closure in a way that makes sense to you. Throw yourself a party to celebrate the beginning of a new phase of your life. Hold a “marriage” to yourself to acknowledge that you’re perfectly happy with being on your own. Take a divorce or breakup selfie and announce to the world (or at least to all of your friends on Facebook and Instagram) that you’re happily single again. You can even do something small for yourself that brings you a sense of comfort — whatever will ultimately help you survive this difficult time.
3. View your breakup as a chance to be resilient.
Your breakup may actually be exactly the opportunity you’ve been looking for to learn how to stop wallowing in pain. This could be your chance to really understand what it means to be resilient in the face of heartbreak. As you grieve, you’ll grow stronger in your ability to recognize that you can survive anything. The next time you face a setback, tell yourself that you can reach the other side because you already coped with this difficult journey.
4. Talk about your loss until you don’t need to talk about it anymore.
When you first lose an important relationship, you may choose to confide in your family and friends, and they’ll probably be willing to listen. Talking about your feelings can help you process the loss and trauma you just went through. If you still struggle with the grieving process months or years after your breakup, consider talking with a professional as well. Seeking professional help will allow you to “talk it out” until sharing about the loss no longer feels like a necessity.
5. Live your life to the fullest.
You may feel like your life just stopped, but your life will continue. Every second, you have a choice to either stay in your private pain or participate in the larger world.
Regardless of how you process grief, you’ll eventually set out into the world again. Why not allow yourself at least a little bit of your past life every day? It may be as simple as reminding yourself to take a few deep breaths each day.
Allowing yourself to try these tips will give you tremendous insight into how you process grief. Once you know what works best for you, you’ll know that you can survive your breakup and come out the other side stronger than ever before.