Today I’m going to give you some ideas on how to cope with anxiety, stress and overwhelm after a breakup.
I have four real-life tips to share with you that we have recommended to our clients, which have worked for them.
These aren’t generic or abstract concepts – I’m talking about tips that we have actually seen positive results with.
But, as always, if you’re in a situation where you’re sitting there and wondering if you should even be trying to get your ex back, I’ve got great news for you.
I’ve put together a special quiz here that’s designed to answer this exact question.
We ask you questions about what you, about your ex, and what your relationship was like. Using that data we are able to give you an approximate idea of your chance of getting your ex back, so you can decide if it’s the right move or not. The quiz is free, so give it a go.
Okay, so when we talk about anxiety after a breakup, what exactly are we pinpointing?
Anxiety has many different manifestations.
- Some people might overly obsess about the breakup.
- Others may go through the five stages of grief – denial anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance (not necessarily in that order).
- Others might find themselves depressed and not wanting to do anything; it might be a challenge to get out of bed.
- Some might be unable to eat a thing; others might binge-eat to comfort themselves.
- Some people might find themselves in tears every second; others might be numb and feel disconnected from the world.
These are all the results of the seed of anxiety.
And remember that everyone is different and experiences a breakup (or anxiety) differently.
No matter the goal – whether you want to get back with your ex or get over them – it’s going to be hard to do if you haven’t mastered your own anxiety.
What often annoys me about people who are writing articles or making videos about this kind of topic is that they don’t give you specifics. They’re telling you age-old advice without showing you if it actually works.
I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to give you four of the best tips we’ve recommended our own clients and have got positive feedback from.
All of this comes from our research with clients, feedback on the materials we produce and data from the Facebook group which contains over 3,000 people discussing every aspect of our process, and supporting each other through it.
Tip Number 1: Action Versus Inaction
Have you ever woken up one day and just not felt like going to work? But you know you have to, so you roll out of bed, take your shower, get your clothes on and get ready to go to work (or school).
Next thing you know, as you’re engaging in activities throughout your work or school day, you start to get into it, and you start thinking back to the moment when you woke up and you didn’t want to do anything.
You wonder why you didn’t want to do it in the first place.
You start to feel some satisfaction in your achievements of the day.
What we have here is a situation where you have created momentum for yourself because you initiated action.
You actually did something – even though you didn’t want to do it, you did it, and now you are in a better mood.
Now, let’s tweak this general scenario for one in which you’ve just gone through one of the worst breakups of your life. It has hurt you deeply – you’re depressed, you’re obsessing, and you definitely don’t want to get out of bed.
What we’ve found is that clients who give in to their immediate needs first – as opposed to what’s best for them in the long run – have a difficult time getting over the anxiety that they’re experiencing.
I’m a big believer in taking action. Sometimes I’ll even tell clients, it’s better to take action and get something wrong than it is to do nothing at all. If you’re taking action, you feel like you have some control over the situation.
You have agency in what otherwise might be an uncontrollable situation.
But when it comes to a breakup, oftentimes when I’m talking about action I’m not talking about doing anything directly related to your ex (social media stalking, sending him a letter, drafting the perfect text message and so on…)
I’m talking quite literally about movement.
Go for a run, work out, walk the dog – do something physical.
It has been proved not only by science but by our own internal research that people who are consistently exercising have a better time coping with any anxiety that they are feeling.
The endorphins released will help you balance those anxious, negative feelings.
And when you’re so tired you can hardly move, you can’t obsess so much about your ex!
So choose something that you like to do – be it a simple walk outside in nature or a kick-ass weights session – and plan it into your schedule.
Make it a priority and you will begin to feel better.
Tip Number 2: Journaling – The Right Way
Most people who recommend journaling – taking a diary and writing your feelings out – are recommending the wrong thing to do.
There is a right way and a wrong way to journal.
Say you sit down after the breakup and begin journaling, but in your writing you are only listing out how bad you feel and the anxiety that you feel.
This only reinforces the negative emotions that you are feeling.
Instead of writing out all the negative thoughts, write all the positive things that you are feeling, and all of the positive goals that you want to set for yourself.
You can create some mantras to help you through the day – I’m going to get over this breakup, I’m going to get him back, I’m going to succeed, I’m going to make him wish he’d never broken up with me.
Believe it or not, this is the right way to journal. You want to reinforce positive thoughts instead of negative ones.
It has been proven by psychologists that if you journal and only talk about the bad things, it can actually make you feel worse.
Tip Number 3: Re-Wire Your Thought Pattern
Above is a picture of my favorite shirt. It says, ‘Change the paradigm’, but it’s written upside down, reinforcing the message that you need to look at life in a different way.
If you’re an avid reader of these articles or you watch my awesome YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6ZX2XlkiJStCGrDRl8x0jw you may have heard me talking about the fact that most exes when they break up with you enter into a victim mentality.
What I sometimes fail to reinforce is that you yourself can fall into this victim mentality.
Bruce Lee famously said, “If you find yourself locked in a room surrounded by your enemies, you should tell yourself, ‘I am not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me!'”
This is the kind of approach you need to have. Get rid of that victim mentality.
Every day I get hundreds of messages asking me for help to get exes back or get over them.
When I have a chance, I respond to some of these questions. And what I can’t help but notice is how often I see the words, “I can’t”.
“I can’t do this.”
“I can’t stand this.”
“I can’t wait.”
“I can’t deal with this.”
“I can’t compete.”
You don’t often see the words “I can”. And I think this is important – most people have already defeated themselves in their minds.
You’ll notice if you are going through a time when you are really sad or anxious, you’re going to have all these internal thoughts: “I’m not sure I’ll get him back,” “I’m not sure if things will ever be the same,” “I don’t think it’s possible.”
If you repeat these negative thoughts often enough, you’re going to start believing them.
What I’m suggesting is that you find a way to re-frame or re-phrase those internal thoughts.
Instead of talking about the fact that you won’t ever be able to get your ex back, maybe instead say to yourself, “You know what, it’s going to be hard but I’m going to give it everything I have, and if I don’t succeed, at least I know I put it all out there.”
Take each negative thought as you notice it arrive. You can even write it down if you like – sometimes this helps because you can see that it’s faintly ridiculous or rather dramatic, and that makes it easier to reframe and refute.
Now write or think up a more positive version of that thought. “I can’t cope with this,” might become, “I am strong and have dealt with bad things before.”
This is an important thing to do, because you will defeat yourself if you believe that you can’t succeed.
But if you rephrase the way you approach things, and acknowledge the fact that it won’t be easy but success is possible, you put yourself in a strength mindset.
Tip Number 4: Utilize the Holy Trinity
Life is too big to put into just three categories, but here at Ex Boyfriend Recovery we use these three broad categories to help you understand how to pick yourself up after a breakup and get your life back on track, with or without your ex.
These are the three ultimate categories:
I have coined these three ultimate areas The Holy Trinity.
This concept will help you to become – or rediscover – your best self and re-attract your ex, if that’s what you want to do.
(My clients often find that when they have worked on their Holy Trinity for some time, they decide they are far too good for their ex and move on. This might sound crazy to anyone in the earlier stages of grief over a breakup, but trust me, it happens a lot.)
Health includes mental as well as physical health – exercising, sleep, eating well, and staying hydrated are all important, but so is meditating, journaling, practising gratitude and keeping up any spiritual practices.
Wealth includes, obviously, how much money you’re making and your material assets like your car or home. But it also includes investing in yourself – so taking a course or clearing out your clutter would also be positive things for the wealth aspect of the Holy Trinity.
Relationships doesn’t mean romantic relationships, it means all of them. Friends, family, co-workers, peers, pets, social media contacts, charity or community work – it all counts.
Put together, these three are the cornerstones of your life, and neglecting any of them will have an effect on everything else.
It is essential to understand that these three categories have an interesting and vital synergy between them.
If your health goes up, your wealth can also go up as a result. If your wealth goes up, your relationships can go up. If your wealth goes up, your health can go up. If your health goes down, wealth can go down.
If your relationships go down, wealth and health can be pulled down.
Chances are that if you’re reading this article and you’ve got to this point, you’re going through a breakup. And you’re having a hard time with how anxious you are feeling.
That means the relationship aspect of your life has probably taken a few hits – including relationships outside the one with your ex. Others might not understand your anxiety and upset; you may lose friends you knew through your ex, you might not be on par at work and colleagues may notice.
I would be willing to bet that your health and wealth have also taken a hit – if you’re anxious and can’t sleep, your health is affected, and your work performance might be affected.
A breakup can impact on all areas of your life and create a downward spiral, a domino effect where you just can’t seem to get anything right.
What you need is to put the brakes on and turn things around, creating an upward spiral instead.
It doesn’t matter if this spiral is a loose, slow meander upwards. What matters is that you put in as much effort as you can to halt the decline and get some positive vibes back into your life.
If you can work on the aspects of the Trinity that you can control, you will be positively impacting on all the aspects, taking that essential synergy idea into account.
As an example, we’ll look at the thing you have most control over – your health. How you’re eating, if you’re working out, how you take care of any medical issues, what you’re doing to make sure that your mind is healthy.
You’ll find that improving the health area has an interesting impact on the wealth aspect.
You’re a lot more motivated to go into work or school, or to find work, or take on extra responsibility or a new project.
This makes you feel better. It’s not all about your ex any more.
You’ll notice that your relationships improve. You’ll start meeting new people, and these new people give you more confidence and next thing you know, you have this incredible aura.
Your ex takes notice.
This is the proper way in which you should handle the Holy Trinity after a breakup.
It is an idea designed to keep you from getting on that downward spiral and hitting the bottom.
Many people in our Facebook group share their weekly Holy Trinity goals and gains. They keep a daily record of what they’ve done for each aspect, and list goals to aim for next.
This is a great idea, as seeing it in black and white keeps you accountable, and seeing the gains you have made buoys you up for more.
The Holy Trinity is a great tool to fight your anxiety with, and the improvements you make to yourself will appeal to your ex, as well as any other men or women you might become interested in!
Thank you so much for making it to the end of this article. Hopefully you learned a lot about making it through some of the anxious feelings that you’re experiencing after a breakup.
I know that there are a lot of other things that you can do to deal with anxiety that I haven’t even begun to discuss.
Share your favorites in the comments below; we love getting feedback and will try to answer any questions where possible.
Not only will it help make this article more successful but you’ll help make others reading the article more successful.