Coping After Breaking Up  –  What Can I Do?

One of the most difficult things to do when a relationship ends is to let go of the strong emotional ties that we may have for our ex-partners. It is hard not to think about what they are doing or thinking, how they are feeling, or whether they are okay or as miserable as we are. We have spent so much time making decisions that revolved around them adjusting that framework afterward takes time as well as intentional effort.

When is it time to stop investing our emotion into a dead relationship? Intentional effort is needed to identify when our thoughts hopelessly gravitate toward our ex-partners overshadowing the fact that most of the evidence points to ‘its over’. Easier said than done so how can we begin to heal and adjust?

Some strategies may include:

  • Allow yourself the right and time to grieve the loss as this is a normal process that is as essential to being human as breathing.
  • Creating and repeating uplifting / affirming statements about ourselves when we catch ourselves emotionally over-investing in.
  • Identify an emotional over-investment in our ‘dead’ relationship and do three push ups, sit ups, squats etc. (consider how fit we might become 🙂 .
  • Take three to five deep breaths (20 seconds each -> 5 inhale, 7 hold & 8 exhale) thinking of a positive during inhaling and a negative when exhaling (e.g. inhale calm… exhale upset)
  • Plan schedules heavily with activities to refrain from having “free-time” for a few weeks or even months
  • Increase self care activities (biking, bathing, reading, music etc.) catering to your personal likes and interests can be helpful distractions.

The biggest steps involve finding ways to intentionally redirect our emotional investments away from our ex-partners toward ourselves and others. Being loving to ourselves is so important even though this is difficult after a break-up. Positive  and caring thoughts and actions can prevent us from slipping into self-loathing, ‘stinkin thinkin’ and hyper-criticism which rapidly increases feelings of despair and hopelessness. Also, finding ways to do loving things for others (also called altruism), volunteering time to family, friends and even strangers is a great way to redirect emotional investment and soften the impact of grief and loss.

Making an investment in counseling is another form of self care. You can discover additional strategies for coping as well as new intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to help build healthy, exciting and enduring relationships. If you want to find out more contact one of our counsellors today!

 

Photo credit 1: clarita from morguefile.com
Photo credit 2: pippalou from morguefile.com

Changing The Way We Think About “Diet”

Everywhere we turn, we are hearing about a new diet craze. Whether it be endorsed by a favourite celebrity or health professional, or it seems to produce fast results. However, we quickly come to realize that after trying about a dozen of these fad diets, the results don’t last. So on to the next one, right?

We tend to dread hearing health professionals and personal trainers use the term “life-long change” when it comes to losing weight and looking great. Why? Well, perhaps because of the word “LONG!” It seems like a lot of work. When we consider other aspects of our lives that take up so much of our time (e.g., education, working, or raising our children), we often desire something that will be quick and come easy to us.

So are you ready to “just do” this new diet view? I hear that its success rate is 99.9%. Most people who have done it report that it wasn’t easy, but it changed their lives for the better.

Consider this interpretation of the word DIET:

D        – Distinguishing between

I          – Intentional

E         – Effort and

T         – Trying

We try the latest fad diets. We try to be better people. We try to maintain healthy relationships. We try to raise our children the best we can. We try to perform well at our jobs. We try to be the best partner in our romantic relationships. We try, we try and we try.

Do we try to pee? lol… Think about it… do we? Do we try to pay bills or our mortgage? When our furnace breaks, do we try to fix it? When we fall, do we try to get up or do we just get up?

Most of the time we do not try any of these — we just do it! The results indicate that when we just do things (i.e., when we set an intention to take action), it will work. So what is holding us back from doing (with intentional effort) rather than attempting or trying?

Intentional effort involves actively changing our thinking (catching and replacing negative thoughts) in order to improve our feelings and behaviours or habits. When we learn how to do this well, we can change our lives, our relationships and our health.

Effectively shifting our behaviours from attempts into action allows us to take control of our lives. It allows us to think and plan accordingly and execute a new way of behaving. It inhibits us from giving up. When we are driven to positive action, our thoughts and feelings are also more positive and solution-focused. An intentional approach to change significantly improves our emotional state, providing more balanced emotional sense and expression.

So are you ready to take action and apply this new attitude about the term “DIET”to your life? We can provide you with the support and guidance you need to be a part of that 99.9% success rate. Call us today!

 

The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) identifies specific signs and symptoms required to be diagnosed with a major depressive disorder. However, there are many faces to depression, and one should not wait to meet all the criteria from the DSM to get help.

Helpless and hopeless thoughts can consume us. They can take over all other thoughts. Thoughts that may help us complete daily tasks, engage in positive relationships and/or participate in physical activity. Our negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves will inhibit positive self development and growth.

How do we get out of these depressive thoughts? How is it possible to start believing in ourselves again? We may assume that no one will understand; that no one has the same thoughts. We may even think we are being very hard on ourselves or that we shouldn’t be feeling depressed because other people have it so much “worse” than we do.

Depressive thoughts and self-doubt have or will run through ALL of our minds. We question whether we will be successful; whether we will be good parents; or whether we will be good partners.  Sometimes these questions lead us to not believing in ourselves and what we are capable of.

With intentional cognitive effort, we have the ability to change our thoughts, which will thus change our feelings, and eventually will allow us to complete daily tasks, engage in positive relationships, and/or participate in physical activity again.

Intentional cognitive effort first requires us to take a look at the negative thoughts that we succumb to. Then we discover the underlying explanations to these thoughts (i.e., when did these thoughts first appear to us?). With an understanding of where our thoughts come from, we can successfully change them into encouraging, motivating and positive patterns of thinking.

To kiss your negative thoughts goodbye, call us today!