Being in a relationship can be an incredible joyful experience, but it can also be pretty painful if the person that you are so in love with ends things with you out of the blue. This loss can leave you feeling shocked, sad, angry and even resentful.

Person from the back in a hooded sweatshirt walking on a beach alone

Despite all of the overwhelming feelings of loss and grief, you have to be able to function in the world. You have to be able to go to work, take care of yourself, and do your best to move on, but this can be difficult when these painful feelings pop up at the most inopportune moments, like in the middle of business meeting when someone mentions the TV show you used to watch with your ex, or as you are driving down the street and you think you see their car, or when you are out with your friends and you tear up in the middle of the cafe because you feel so much grief and pain.

So what is someone to do if they are still struggling with deep feelings of loss and pain after a breakup?

The healthiest thing you can do to heal after a breakup is to accept what you are feeling. If you are feeling sad, be sad. If you are angry, be angry. If you are feeling depressed, it’s ok to stay home one day and watch a whole Netflix series and eat ice cream. Sometimes we need to just be with what we are feeling. But you definitely don’t want to get stuck in these negative feelings.

By allowing yourself the space to feel what you are feeling, and by accepting that about yourself, the feelings will pass though you. But if you avoid your feelings by staying busy, overworking, overeating, over-drinking, watching too much TV, etc., those negative feelings will just stay tucked away inside of you until you allow yourself to feel them.

Some people never allow themselves to actually feel what they are feeling and they squish these uncomfortable feelings deep down into themselves. That is why you find people who had a breakup five years ago, ten years ago, and even twenty years ago, still single because they never dealt with their feelings from their past relationship. They either have convinced themselves that they are happy being single, that all potential new partners will suck so why bother, or they date but nothing sticks because they have a big wall up.

Most people don’t realize that time does not heal all wounds. Let me say that again, when it comes to matters of the heart, TIME DOES NOT HEAL ALL WOUNDS. You actually need to do the work to release the pain from a past relationship. And the first step is to not run away from the painful feelings, but to face them head on. We can be so scared to feel what we may feel, but it is not as difficult or painful as you may think. We are scared of what will happen if we allow ourselves to feel the sadness or feel the anger. But the process of feeling your feelings is a lot easier that you think.

Here is a gentle way that you can relieve the pain and feel your feelings:

At night when you are in bed and about to go to sleep close your eyes and check in with yourself. Notice what you are feeling. From a purely objective perspective notice if you are feeling sad, angry, rejected, depressed, etc. Label your feelings. Be present to that feeling and where it is in your body. Cry if you need to cry. Scream into a pillow if you are angry. Punch some pillows if you need to. Breathe into the feeling and accept it unconditionally like a guest in your house. This guest will not be here forever, but it is temporarily staying with you. So accept, honor and care for this guest. Sometimes just breathing into the feeling and accepting it, will release it on the spot. However, some feelings stick around for longer. The more you resist this guest, the more it will lurk around your house and not leave! Keep present and love this deep and tender part of yourself, just like you would love a crying child. This is a chance for you to deeply love and care for yourself.

Feeling your feelings is just the first step in healing from past relationship pain, that is why I created the Jumpstart Your Heart Process, a powerful 5 week seminar to help people not only feel the feelings that they absolutely feel in order to move on from their past relationship/s, but to find freedom from the resentment and regret that can naturally take hold of your heart after a traumatic breakup.

If you are tired of struggling though the pain of your past relationships all by yourself, click here to learn more about and register for the Jumpstart Your Heart Process. In just five weeks, you can find the peace that you are craving in your heart.