The biggest struggle when getting over a breakup or a divorce is the ongoing, non-stop, obsessive thinking loops that keep us worried and feeling miserable about the state of our lives. Of course, you do your best to stop the nonstop inner noise. But the self-criticism, the anger, and the nonstop, internal fighting with your ex are almost impossible to turn off. Are you sick of feeling miserable about your divorce? Here’s how to stop thinking about your breakup for a while. All of it… the good, the bad, the ugly.
What is all this thinking about anyway?
Obsessive thinking loops are just that – thoughts that go round and round your head filling you with miserable feelings. We all obsess about getting over a breakup or a divorce. You work super hard to figure out how to move on after your divorce even when you’re the one who wanted it. Of course, you’re doing your best to deal with your breakup no matter how much it hurts. No one blames you for trying. It’s just much harder to stop thinking about it than we realize.
While your body is in fear… the limbic system… that part of us that relates to all things reptile (yes, think crocs and lizards) has its own wiring. It’s a deep, internal part of our neurology. It also reacts when our lives are in danger. Getting over a breakup or a divorce brings with it enormous change. Change is life-threatening to our limbic systems. So, it makes sense from this point of view that you’re having a tough time turning off the nonstop obsessive thinking loops. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to do so without some outside help and self-awareness.
How to stop being sick of feeling miserable.
Help doesn’t have to come in the form of medication, drugs or even a good cry. Help comes with perspective and new, better coping skills. And then, over time, an acceptance that life is changing and you’re going to have to change too. It’s almost as if you have to let go in the midst of the fear and trust that you’ll be okay. (You will be okay even when you don’t believe it.)
Without the willingness to feel all the feelings and be open to change, you’ll, unfortunately, remain obsessed and unable to cope with your break up. If you’re sick of feeling miserable about your divorce, here are some ways to stop thinking about it for a while.
Think about something else instead of being sick of feeling miserable.
Soooooo much easier said than done! (Haven’t you been trying to do this all along?)
Well, consider this: if your child was ill and needed your immediate attention or your parents needed you at the hospital, I bet you’d forget all about yourself and your breakup almost immediately. You’d put your attention on someone, something else wouldn’t you? You would take action to help those you love immediately.
In fact, if your parents or your children need your help, you would forget about yourself. Instead, you would focus on them and the things you can control. You’d do your best to help. You’d show up ready and able to lend a hand. When others need us, we show up.
Feeling miserable about your divorce, choose to take action.
The best cure for feeling miserable is taking action. Walk outside. Go to the gym. Chop wood. Clean your house. Get into motion and think about taking care of yourself instead of allowing your thoughts to go round and round.
When we’re miserable or obsessed with certain thoughts, it’s tough to shift gears and focus on new things. Getting into activity helps. It may also help you become healthier (and who doesn’t want to become a little healthier or fitter after leaving a relationship?) Activity helps feelings move through our bodies. We are feeling animals and those feelings need to be expressed not repressed and shoved down.
When you move, you help emotions move through you instead of being pushed down and made stagnant. You’ll begin to feel better simply by getting into motion. Then the motion begins to feed upon itself and before you know it, you’ll be running marathons, dancing the tango and getting into the best shape of your life!
Sick of feeling miserable about your divorce? Surround yourself with other people.
Running marathons and learning to tango may not be for you but both have something in common. Both experiences force you to surround yourself with new people. People who are counting on you, who can help you learn a new skill or help you get into better shape.
Surround yourself with new people who never knew you as a couple. That is perhaps, the best thing you can do for yourself.
Not feeling up to meeting new people? Of course, you don’t!
That lizard part of our brains wants us to hide when we’re not feeling good about ourselves. But here’s the thing, when you hide and avoid making new friends or taking action or caring for someone else, your mind plays tricks on you. It’ll say some horrible things about you while you sit there trying to become comfortable with your loneliness or boredom. And, the worst part? You’ll believe it!
Then six months will go by then a year, two years. Before you know it, you’ll look back and several years will have gone by and you’ll still be sitting there feeling miserable about your divorce or breakup!
We all do it.
Everyone getting over a breakup pulls in and wants to hide. We all feel miserable when we start comparing our lives to other people’s lives. (Or when we compare our lives to the ones we used to have. Ouch!)
So, do me a favor. Well, actually, do yourself a big favor… go do something that scares you. A little (no burning buildings please.) Head outside and say hello to a neighbor, head over to the local YMCA and join a team. Take a new class. Begin getting outside and exercising your body. Even when you don’t want to and you won’t want to! Expect not to want to. Be prepared to feel really awkward and embarrassed. Perhaps even afraid.
You are okay.
You are even safe.
It’s not easy to get your body moving or to focus on something else but it is doable. (Yoga anyone?!) The idea is to get out of your own way and out of your own head. To focus on the things you can control and excel at! Choose to have small wins and to take easy steps. In general, surround yourself with other people also working toward a happier future. And know, the more you take these actions, the easier they’ll become!