How To Process Grief After A Breakup


Let me ask you this…

Have you taken the time to grieve after your breakup?


If the answer is no, you’ve skipped over an important step in the healing process.


Grief is a healing emotion and unless you take the time to feel it you won’t be able to move forward in your life.


You won’t be able to create the life you long for and dream of.


You need self-confidence to design the life you want. There won’t be space for the feeling of self-confidence if you have unprocessed grief.


That is why you need to make processing the grief you feel a priority. Your future depends on it.

It doesn’t matter if you are the one who ended the relationship or whatever other circumstances led you to breakup.


You need to take the time to grieve what you thought would be.

After all, nobody gets into a relationship thinking of the end. You had a vision for your life with this person. You envisioned a future.


It took me a while to figure this out. After my divorce, I tried to skip over the grief part.


It was unintentional. I went full steam ahead trying to create my future. While I was unintentionally avoiding the grief, it was building in my body.


Then it hit me all at once…


One minute I would be seemingly fine and the next I was in uncontrollable tears. A heaviness in my chest became a constant companion.


It was unprocessed grief.

I was like a shaken bottle of soda that exploded when the cap came off.


Once I realized it was unprocessed grief, I made it a priority to embrace it. I made room for it to be present and worked on releasing a little bit each day.


I encourage you to take processing your grief seriously. Your future depends on it.



How to Process Grief After a Breakup:

1. Become Aware


The first step to processing grief is to be aware that you’re feeling it. Noticing that you’re feeling grief is a huge step.


Most people aren’t aware of their feelings.


Check-in with yourself and see if there is unprocessed grief about your breakup.


It’s important that you don’t beat yourself up when you notice the grief.


There is nothing wrong with you. It’s totally normal to feel grief after a breakup.


Observe it with compassion and from a non-judgemental place.


Allow the grief to be there.


This means that you don’t resist, react, or avoid the emotion.


Let the grief be there as long it needs to be.


There is no timeframe on grief, but it will take much longer to be released if you don’t allow for it.


When you resist grief it’s as if you’re pushing down a beach ball. It will keep popping back up.


When you avoid grief, you might engage in behaviors that have a negative effect on your life. Overeating, overdrinking, and overworking are examples.


When you react to it you will negatively impact the relationship you have with yourself and others.


Initially, I would try to escape the emotion by numbing out. A couple of glasses of wine was my way of avoiding the feeling of grief.


I didn’t get drunk but a glass or two took the edge off. I was avoiding and reacting to the feeling of grief rather than opening myself up to it.


I added a layer of negative emotion on top of the grief because I then judged myself for drinking. I felt guilty, depressed, and out of control because of the thoughts I had about choosing to drink.


When allowing grief, it doesn’t mean you let it consume and debilitate you. Crawling in bed isn’t useful.


You can go about your day with the grief being there. This is a skill you can learn.


It is hands-down one of the most important skills I have ever learned.



2. Feel the Emotion


Grief can feel uncomfortable, but you can totally handle it.


The worse thing that can happen is emotion. That’s it. Feeling discomfort is part of the human experience.


Feelings are nothing more than a vibration in your body.


Open yourself up to the grief and allow the vibration to be there.


When you become aware that you’re feeling grief process it. This is done by paying attention to it in your body.


Describe it in detail and get really specific:


  • Where is it in your body
  • What does it feel like (pulsing, pressure, heavy, etc.)
  • What color is it?
  • Is it moving or stuck?
  • How do I know I’m feeling grief rather than another emotion?


For me, grief was in my chest and felt like a heavy lump that was stuck. Typically, it would start in my chest then move over to my heart, envelop it, and swirl around. I pictured it to look like black tar.


I observed with curiosity and compassion.


Was it uncomfortable? Yes. But it would pass. Sometimes it would take a couple of minutes. Other times longer.


Opening up to the grief and processing it increased my self-confidence that I could handle any emotion. It also strengthened my relationship with myself.


This is what processing grief will do for you too.



3. Change Your Thoughts


It’s important to not jump to this step. The grief you feel has to be processed first.


Thought swapping (changing your thinking to quickly feel better) is not helpful.


There will come a time when you’ve processed your grief and you can start creating thoughts that will generate the feeling of self-confidence.


Feelings are caused by your thoughts 100% of the time. To reinvent your life after a breakup you will need to start believing thoughts that make you feel self-confident.


It’s not about repeating affirmations. They don’t work. Most times. they are too far of a stretch from your current thoughts. Your brain knows they are BS.


To work your way up to thoughts that will generate self-confidence you can start with neutral thoughts.


What are neutral thoughts?


Neutral thoughts meet your brain where it’s at by offering a more believable thought that feels slightly better. They gently nudge your brain in the direction of more useful thoughts.


Think of it as a ladder, each rung is a more believable thought that feels slightly better and ultimately gets you to your ideal thought.


An example after a breakup might be:


  • This shouldn’t be happening.
  • Maybe it was always supposed to happen this way.
  • It’s possible this experience is happening for me.
  • Maybe this experience can help me evolve.
  • I’m grateful for the experience.


See how this works?



A Final Note!


I know you want to create a life you love. You won’t be able to move forward without processing the grief you feel.


Grief comes in waves. There will come a day when it’s not as intense and doesn’t stick around as long. That will be evidence of the work you’ve done to release it.


It wasn’t until I took the time to grieve that I was able to begin reinventing my life with self-confidence after my divorce. I still feel it at times but I know I can totally handle it.


You can too.


If you found this post helpful you might also like How to have an amazing relationship with your ex

Find out the 3 secrets to reinventing your life with self-confidence. Fill out the form below to get your free guide.