10 Ways to Let Go of Painful Relationships

04/06/2015 05:13 pm ET | Updated Jun 06, 2015
Anastasia_Aleksieieva via Getty Images

When we are in a place of recovering from a painful relationship, finding a way to let go can be challenging. Here are 10 ways to let go of painful relationships:

1. Reflect on what the relationship taught you.
Get out a pen and paper or journal and reflect on what you learned from this experience. What are some things you learned from this experience that you will now start doing in your future relationships because of this experience? What did you learn about yourself while in this relationship?

2. Write a letter to honor the relationship.
One of the best ways to process the ending of a relationship is to write a letter to the other person. Pour your heart out and write it all down on paper. But there's one trick here: Don't send the letter. Often, when a relationship has ended, we tend to be in this place of "Maybe if I say X, Y, Z, then I can fix it!" This is just our ego or fear-based mind putting us into a panic by making us think we may not find something better. Which leads me to my next point...

3. Recognize your own irrational fears.
As I just stated, when a relationship has recently ended, we may tend to get caught up in fears of "I won't find something better." This is just an irrational fear caused by our ego or fear-based mind. It is not real, rational or the truth in any way. So when you notice these fears come up, simply recognize them and let them be. Don't dwell on them. Simply recognize them for what they truly are: Just a fear, not truth.

4. Take care of you.
Make it a goal to be your own best friend. Buy yourself or cook yourself your favorite meal, spend a night curled up with a great book or watching your favorite movie and go out with supportive friends. Make you and your well-being your #1 priority.

5. Visualize yourself empowered and happy.
Take some time to envision yourself a few months down the road. You are feeling happy and empowered. When visualizing, ask yourself: What am I doing in my life? What am I doing differently that is causing me to feel so happy? How am I acting differently that is causing me to feel so empowered?

6. Accept where you are in the present moment.
So this means take down old pictures, delete phone numbers, hide old emails and maybe even hide someone from your Facebook feed. Also, if this is an ex, do not contact them for at least 60 days. Those first 60 days are the most crucial time for you to focus on yourself rather than them.

7. Give yourself gifts for making progress.
Did you delete the phone number? Then take yourself to the spa or sauna. Have you not contacted him for two weeks? Go out and get a nice dinner. Did you take down all the pictures? Get a manicure or pedicure.

8. Let yourself cry.
Whenever you find yourself upset or sad about what happened, just let yourself cry. Don't hold it in. Don't try to rationalize it. Just cry. If it emerges, just let it out. You'll feel better.

9. Meditate.
When we have recently let go of a painful relationship, it is likely that we may find our minds in a state of "overdrive." We may find ourselves constant thinking about the "what ifs" and feel guilty for X, Y and Z. Take about 5-10 minutes twice a day to stop and meditate. It doesn't have to be really complicated. Just a simple meditation where you focus on your breath, do a mantra or follow a guided meditation is sufficient. Doing so will help you not only quiet your overactive mind, but also help you calm down your entire being.

10. Find a creative outlet.
Finding a creative outlet to process your emotions can be very beneficial when we've just let go of a painful relationship. So start writing regularly either in the form of a journal or through poetry. Blogging could also be an option. Other options could be: painting, drawing, doing crafts, sewing and so on. Another creative outlet could be dance, which would involve both creativity and physical activity. Whatever it is, find a creative outlet that you enjoy and that you feel called to do during this time.

Ultimately, remember this: Be patient and compassionate with yourself and be willing to let go. That's the best thing you can do for yourself to heal.


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Jennifer is a self and relationship coach and teacher. She helps women worldwide create fulfilling relationships with both themselves and others so they can live happy and joyful lives. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.

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