Mindfulness Practices for a Breakup: 8 Ways To Get Through A Breakup Mindfully

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Do you think you’re better off alone?

Breakups are hard. They mark the end of an era and the start of a healing and growing process. Even in the most civil of breakups, many emotions come up.

When my last relationship ended, I turned to mindfulness and meditation for strength.

Mindfulness can help reduce the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression. These are all things I have felt during breakups. 

In this blog post, I will discuss my most recent breakup and some mindfulness practices for a breakup I found helpful. 

My Recent Breakup and How Mindfulness Helped

As of this post, I have been officially single for a few months now. However, my relationship didn’t end all at once. 

It was clear that my partner and I had been unhappy together for some time. Both external and internal forces contributed to our emotional distance and eventual breakup. 

I could feel my relationship ending, and I felt helpless to keep us together. My fear of abandonment took over, and I couldn’t see how necessary our separation was. 

I had a fear of commitment that I tried to fix by increasing my attachment. I lashed out, making my partner uncomfortable, even afraid. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t make myself understood. 

This pattern led to animosity and an overall loss of connection and intimacy. 

When the breakup eventually happened. I felt very empty. I felt that I had failed. I felt I had lost something that I could not get back.

It didn’t help that we had started to build a life together. Breaking up wasn’t as simple as parting ways. We lived together. We have mutual friends. My former partner was moving to a new city and needed time to prepare. 

I had to sit for a month, waiting for my heart to break. 

I turned to exercise and meditation. Since meditation, mindfulness practices, and exercise had helped me get through tough moments in the past, I figured, why not try them now? 

I started running. I found the exercise therapeutic. I stepped up my yoga game. I gave myself strength and mobility goals. I was able to notice a physical improvement in myself. It reassured me that I can also make emotional progress.

Exercise is an excellent mindfulness practice. It is easy to pay attention to your breathing when your lungs are burning.

I also began to meditate for longer with clear intentions. I knew I needed to go within to find my strength

I tried to view our relationship as an observer. I looked back on fights we had and aggressive or unhealthy behaviors that I had. I realized new things about myself. 

When I looked back, I didn’t excuse myself for the hurt I caused. I saw myself objectively, and I came to terms with the intense emotions I felt. I hated myself for how I behaved in those moments. I tried to use meditation to help acknowledge emotions I had ignored before. 

I saw a scared person who was hurting and didn’t know how to express those feelings. I’m not saying I know exactly how to express myself now, but I have a better idea.

I found the strength in myself that I was looking for in another person. I could move past the idea that I wasn’t happy because of my partner. I realized better that I wasn’t happy because I lost a positive perception of myself.

I wasn’t living for myself. I was living for something that didn’t exist and then getting frustrated when things didn’t work as planned in my head. My behavior wasn’t fair to my partner and wasn’t fair to me. 

Eventually, I realized I enjoyed being alone. I want to take more time to care for myself. I have a long way to go in loving myself before I can care for another person. 

It may sound sad, but it was a happy realization for me. I wouldn’t have reached that moment without mindfulness meditation. 

8. Mindfulness Practices for a Breakup

If you are feeling hopeless or having self-destructive thoughts, reach out to someone.

It is hard to heal a broken heart. There are many ways to deal with a breakup. This is the first time using mindfulness to get over a breakup. However, I found mindfulness allowed me to deal with the end of a relationship.

These are just some things I learned from mindfulness practice that helped me with my breakup.

1. Identify your Feelings

When my partner told me they wanted to leave, I had little to say other than initial support. I knew they weren’t happy, and I wasn’t going to fight them.

I identified feelings of hurt, worry, and fear. But I held on to those feelings and didn’t express them immediately. I tend to be decisive and reactionary, and I didn’t want to be that person at that moment. 

I found stillness in a moment of extreme emotion. I attribute that to my meditation practice. Labeling your emotions is the first step in the healing process. You have to know what you’re feeling to heal. 

2. Allow Yourself to Feel

It is ok to cry. I cried when I realized my relationship was over. I cried when I realized it was for the best. I cried when I realized I was going to be ok. 

We often judge ourselves for our emotions. If we feel anger, we may feel like the reason is unfounded. Or we may feel embarrassed, scared, or abandoned. 

Allow your emotions to exist. You are allowed to feel however you need to. Feelings are natural. Mindfulness practices help us healthily deal with those emotions. 

3. Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Day

Establishing mindfulness practices in your daily life is great for healing. These practices allow you to tap into meditation and stillness whenever you need it.

Start small if you want to use mindfulness meditation practices to help with any period of emotional stress. Mindfulness is a set of practices that take time to develop.

Start small.

If you don’t have any experience, trying to meditate in silence for an hour may not do anything to help your anxiety. 

Instead, try: 

  • Mindful eating for one meal or part of one meal. 
  • Take an extra minute while washing your dishes to explore sensations. 
  • Go for a walk without your headphones and focus on all of the sounds and sensations around you.

These small mindfulness practices are little meditations you can do throughout the day. Eventually you will develop a sense of presence or stillness that will help you through intense emotions.

4. Journaling

I am a large champion of writing shit down to feel better. It helps me to get out what I’m feeling or thinking without saying the wrong thing to the wrong person. 

If you don’t like writing, try recording yourself. 

You never have to revisit what you said or wrote. I find letting it all out cathartic, leaving room for other emotions. 

5. Engage in Contemplation

Engage in contemplation, or “sitting with,” the feelings and thoughts that arise from a breakup. Set aside time to take on the role of the “observer.” Witness your emotions and return to the breath.

When you feel overwhelmed by an emotion, take a moment to think about it. Remember that your breath, heartbeat, or other central functions are always there for us. Engage in mindful self-awareness and refocus your thoughts. 

6. Treat Yourself with Compassion

When you contemplate your emotions, treat yourself with love and kindness.

Even when you are learning from a mistake, you are deserving of love and compassion–and you are your main source

7. Greave the Loss

Allow yourself time to greave. A breakup is a loss. You need to come to terms with what that means for you. I have been guilty of seeking validation from others before I was ready. Before I allowed myself to greave and recover. 

This time around, with this breakup, I took steps to reconnect with myself and move on. I went on a trip alone. I went to a secluded part of Laos and chilled by myself. Entire days went by when I talked to no one.

I allowed myself to be fully alone and dependant on only myself. I came to terms with the shape my life was now taking. I wasn’t fully healed after this trip. I just came away knowing that I was growing as a person.

8. Focus on Gratitude

Ultimately, I am thankful for what happened. I am thankful for the opportunity to reevaluate my life and to put myself first. I am grateful that I had a person in my life who, for a while, made me very happy. 

I will keep those happy memories with me. I will mourn the mistakes I made and thank myself for recognizing them.

As I continue on my journey, I treat every fault, mistake, or trial as an opportunity to grow. Every day I wake up with the ability to learn is a day I express my gratitude. 

Final Thoughts: Mindfulness for a Breakup

Mindfulness is a type of mediation practice that can help you reconnect with the present moment, reduce stress and anxiety, and be more present during periods of emotional strain, like a breakup.

Mindfulness is not a cure for a broken heart. However, you can find peace in moments through meditation and daily mindfulness practice.

The end of my last relationship was hard. I could have fallen off and descended into a deep depression. Instead, I continued on. I have found inspiration in conflict.

During a mediation, I thought, “I am my own strength.” At that moment, I smiled, the kind of genuine simile that had graced my face in a long time. I hold on to that moment, and it eases the pain.

Time can actually deepen wounds. If you spend all of your time placing blame and being angry, past events continue to hurt you. If you reflect mindfully, you make room for growth.

FAQ

Does mindfulness help with a breakup?

Mindfulness practices can ease anxiety and help you deal with the emotional stress of a breakup.

How do you break up with someone mindfully?

Be aware of your actions and emotions. Express empathy for the other person. Speak and listen with intention.

How do you handle a healthy breakup?

Make sure you properly grieve and process the breakup with healthy coping mechanisms.

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Author
Jillian has been on a journey to find peace in the chaos since 2016. Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga have helped them keep present. They have been writing as a passion since an early age and writing professionally since 2018.

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