It’s no secret that breakups aren’t fun and that they’re rarely easy. Many people feel as though they need to process matters related to breakups and relationships independently, when in reality, we all need support from time to time. Even in the case that a breakup wasn’t particularly nasty, it has the potential to bring up a lot of emotions and thoughts for a person. So, how can you benefit from paying attention to your mental health after a breakup, and how might therapy be able to help?
Breakups are Stressful
Even outside of heartbreak, breakups are stressful. At the very least, breakups frequently indicate a shift in life. Something is changing. Regardless of how you feel about it, the ends and outs of your life will be different, especially considering that if you were in a relationship with someone, you likely spent a lot of time either with them or talking to them. You may have made big plans for the future with them, or you may share children or a home, depending on the nature of the breakup and relationship.
Either way, the way you see your life moving forward will often change after a break up if the relationship was serious. Stress can be hard on the body and mind, so it’s crucial to pay attention to your mental health and how you can best care for your psychological, emotional, social, and physical well-being at this time. Therapy can help you cope with stress, process what’s going on in a supportive environment, and move forward healthily.
Acknowledging Your Emotions is Healthy
It can be easy to want to push feelings to the side, specifically if they’re painful. However, research shows that holding in emotions only makes them stronger, and it can hurt you over time. It doesn’t mean that you must fixate on the emotion, but it is healthy simply to notice your feelings and get in touch with the way you feel. For example, if you’re feeling down, you might say to yourself,
“I notice that I’m feeling down today. This discomfort won’t last forever. What’s something that I can do to make today the most comfortable it can be?”
This might mean using self-care, going for a walk, finding something small to look forward to or implement into your day to make it better, or giving yourself a day to simply feel sad if you need it. A therapist may be able to support you in learning about radical acceptance and finding coping skills to use if you’re struggling with acknowledging, navigating, or accepting emotions.
There’s a silver lining to the pain of a breakup. Paying attention to not just your mental health but everything that’s going on internally after a breakup can help you inform your future relationships and what you need in those relationships in some cases. If you pay attention, breakups and past relationships can be an excellent learning experience.
When you’re ready, you can think about your needs in relationships moving forward. What are your non-negotiables? It could be that you want someone who aligns with your values, who is on the same page about wanting to start a family, or something entirely different. It can also help you reflect on what you may need to work on yourself.
How Therapy Helps
While this is by no means an extensive list, here’s a rundown of some of the common ways therapy can help post-breakup:
- Coming to terms with the end of the relationship.
- Giving you a supportive environment to talk about what you want out of future relationships. This might mean what your non-negotiables are when it comes to future partners or something else.
- Providing a supportive environment to talk about what you want to do with your life moving forward in general, whether it’s related to relationships, career, location, or something else.
- Working to improve your self-esteem or confidence.
- Getting back into the dating pool or working through any roadblocks you have when it comes to having healthy, happy, supportive relationships.
- Navigating feelings of anxiety, depression, or other mental health implications that came with the break up or that are going on outside of the break up.
- Coping with emotions or thoughts that came up as a result of the breakup and learning from those thoughts and feelings.
If there’s anything you want to talk about or process with regard to the breakup or outside of it, therapy can help. Therapy is an excellent place to work on self-discovery, empower yourself post-breakup, and support yourself in living the happiest, healthiest life possible. There’s no wrong reason to see a therapist, and it’s something that anyone can benefit from.
Read next: 5 Top Trendy Living Room Colors
Find A Therapist
There are a number of routes to take if you’re seeking a therapist. You can search the web or use an online directory, contact your insurance company to see who they cover, ask your doctor for a referral, or sign up for a reputable online therapy platform with licensed providers such as MyTherapist. Using MyTherapist, you can change providers or cancel services at any point in time, and it’s often more affordable than traditional in-person counseling or therapy is in the absence of insurance. Whether you see someone online or face to face, you deserve to get the support that you need, so don’t hesitate to reach out.