Have you recently gone through a relationship break-up? Here is how to overcome the loss you are feeling.
What are grief and loss?
We can feel grief any time that we experience any type of loss, including the end of a relationship. Grief and loss are emotions, just like anger and fear are emotions. Grieving is a natural human process and it is important that we allow ourselves to feel grief after a loss.
Often with a relationship break-up, we are grieving for more than the end of that relationship. We can also grieve the loss of our identity as we go from being in a relationship to being single, the loss of friends as they may take sides after a break up, the loss of a friendship with the partner, the loss of anything the relationship represented to you e.g. security, comfort, love, belonging, etc.
The Grieving Process
Grieving is very much an individual process. The degree of grieving can vary depending on the situation and the person. The grieving process can be as short or as long as you need it to be.
Generally, the grieving process is shorter if you are complete with your ex-partner and how the break up happened. So if you had the opportunity to say or express what is on your mind, how you feel and there is nothing left unsaid, you will be complete with the break-up.
If you feel overwhelming grief or loss and it is affecting your other relationships, work performance, health and life, it is a sign that these emotions are unresolved and need to be addressed. Addressing these emotions will assist you to more comfortably complete the grieving process.
Are you allowing yourself to grieve?
If we do not allow ourselves sufficient time to grieve and instead suppress our emotions and soldier on as if all is well, this can create other challenges, including lack of sleep, stress, frustration, feeling overly responsible, guilt and can even result in ill health.
Our beliefs can also impact on the degree to which we grieve. For example, if we have a belief that it is not OK to express our emotions or if we were brought up not to grieve, these beliefs can prevent us from giving ourselves permission to grieve. Addressing any limiting beliefs around grieving will greatly assist in the grieving process.
Completion is an important part of the grieving process. Therefore, it is important that you allow yourself the time and space to fully deal with the loss of the relationship. Remember you need to do what feels right for you and no one else. Keep the following in mind as you go through the grieving process:
- respect your own pace Be there to support yourself in whichever way is best for you and avoid rushing through the grieving process. Allow yourself to set the pace and duration of your grieving process.
- seek space and time Some people need to be on their own and have the space to grieve in a way that is appropriate for them, whether it be time off work, time alone during the day, journal writing, meditating, new hobbies, etc. Other people grieve through celebration e.g. a break up party or holiday.
- seek help and support Some people are not used to asking for help and need time to take this step; others like to work through their own issues themselves first and then only ask for help if necessary. Well-meaning family and friends may ask you how you are doing or feeling. Let your family and friends know what you need so that they know how to respect your needs
While challenging, dealing with loss after a break-up can be a more comfortable journey when we allow ourselves the time and space to complete the grieving process, and when we surround ourselves with supportive people. Then we are much better placed to move on.
Dr. Vesna Grubacevic is an author, speaker, media commentator, the founder and Performance Transformation Expert® with award-winning company, Qt. She is the creator of breakthrough behavioural change techniques, holds a PhD, a BEc and has over 35 years’ business experience. She is passionate about helping people to improve their relationships and confidence. Her Amazon best-selling book, Stop Sabotaging Your Confidence, has also been gifted to Hollywood and Australian award winners, nominees, hosts and celebrities. For more free resources on improving your relationships, please visit www.qttransformation.com.
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