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19 Ways to Heal from Brokenheartedness

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Many of us have been there – the ache in your chest that just doesn’t seem to fade, the struggle to get out of bed in the morning, fighting back tears at the grocery store, struggling to breathe in a crowd. Many of us have experienced the overwhelming feeling of a heartbreak that leaves your chest physically aching and your cheeks stained with tears. Whether it is born of trauma, betrayal, or adversity, most people have had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a broken heart. It can be incredibly isolating and often leave you licking wounds alone and afraid that you’ll never mend. At its height, it can feel hopeless. It is important to remember you are never alone. Not only have millions of other people gone through this life experience, our faith teaches us that God never leaves us. We are nursing this broken heart with the Great Physician, who heals all wounds. It’s only a matter of when. And the question becomes, what can you do along the way to help facilitate your healing?  

To be clear, this article isn’t a fix all. It’s not a quick-step guide to feeling better overnight. In fact, not one of these steps, standing on its own, will probably do much good. However, you will be able to get some ideas for healthy coping skills, and comprehensively, these steps will take you on your healing journey, as God holds your hand through the process. Wipe your tears, friend, and read on. We have nineteen steps to begin healing a broken heart waiting just for you!  

  • Learn to sit with the pain. Ugh, we’re starting out of the gate with no fun. Don’t rush through the recovery process too quickly (or attempt to), or you’ll likely find yourself back at square one. It takes time to heal, and a half-healed wound will always reopen. It is easy to find yourself rushing through the recovery process, focused on the next “task” to be completed; especially because healing is uncomfortable. Discomfort often breeds revelation, so sit in the discomfort of the pain for a little while. Take the time necessary to evaluate the pain, understand what happened, and how the pain could be avoided in the future, or what can be learned as a result of it. It’s especially important to recognize that all pain can be given purpose. Maybe this pain was necessary for a life lesson for your next season, or maybe this pain was necessary so that in the future, you can help someone going through a similar experience.    

  • Avoid significant decisions. Too often the weight of a broken heart leaves us looking for a change.  We must “fix” it immediately. Although it is important to evaluate the next steps and how to better your situation and grow, it is very important to be steady and patient. Pursuing a major move, jumping into a new relationship, making a major purchase, or changing jobs may be a false substitute that only provides temporary comfort. Avoid making these large decisions hastily, when you aren’t thinking clearly, or you may find yourself with more heart break.   

  • Think about what you’re thinking about. When we are experiencing a heart break, it’s easy for our thoughts to get away from us. I’m a bad person. I’m never going to find the one. No one will ever want to be with me. I don’t deserve happiness. Philippians 4:8 says “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  What are you spending time thinking about?  Is it true? Is it praise-worthy? Is it honorable? In order to move on and heal from heart break, you must begin to fix your thoughts on what is true, not what you are feeling. Feelings lie and fleet. Truth remains. 

  • Relinquish the guilt. Let’s face it. Sometimes broken hearts are a direct result of a decision we made. Perhaps we did something unethical and lost the dream job. Maybe we lost our marriage due to an affair. Perhaps we lost our business due to a poor financial decision. There are many instances where a broken heart is a direct result of our actions. (Obviously, there are many instances when this isn’t the case, as well). If this is the case, ask for forgiveness when needed. Repent if needed and move on. Allowing guilt to permeate our futures only hinders the healing process.  

  • Embrace anger for a season. It sounds crazy to “embrace” anger, but acknowledging the anger you feel is a necessary step in healing a broken heart. Maybe your broken heart is because cancer stole a loved one’s life. Your broken heart could be due to a betrayal or dishonesty. It’s okay to be angry. It’s a natural response to pain. But don’t camp out there too long. Anger, when held onto for too long, can turn into bitterness. Bitterness will always lead to more wounds and heart break. Acknowledge your anger, embrace it for a brief season, and then work through it.    

  • Ask for help. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it most, and when you are going through a heart break… help is necessary! Seek guidance from a pastor, counselor, Bible study teacher, or trusted friend. Seek the wise counsel of a loved one.  Don’t pretend it’s okay. Don’t drown when a life raft is available.  Too often we get caught up in the need to appear “perfect” and want to hide our broken pieces from others.  But it’s important to grieve loss. It’s important to allow others in, to show them our broken pieces, to walk through it with a friend, and to seek a professional’s help, when needed.  

  • Rejoice in God’s comfort. Sure, a broken heart is horrible and no fun, to say the least, but our Father is waiting to heal every wound. God is near the broken-hearted. This is an opportunity for you to experience His comforting presence, and to rejoice in His unfailing love and faithfulness. He wants to comfort you.  You only have to let Him in and embrace His presence. Having the unconditional love of the Father is something to rejoice in, no matter how we feel in that moment. There is an intimacy with the Lord that comes in the depths of a broken heart. 

  • Take care of your physical body. The pain of a broken heart can move us into not eating, eating too much, becoming bed-ridden with depression, or failing to exercise, among many others. It is easy to avoid taking care of yourself when you’re hurting so much that you can barely function. Make the conscious effort to take care of yourself. If your schedule is really demanding, commit one night a week to taking a hot bath and relaxing. Make yourself walk for 15 minutes a day. Listen to your favorite music on full volume. Schedule time to eat and meal-prep to ensure it’s nutrient-rich. Sometimes, we have to force ourselves to practice self-care. That’s okay. Just make sure you are committed to actively taking care of yourself, even when you don’t feel like it. You will be surprised at how much better you feel after a night of self-care.  

  • Leave the house. Dealing with a broken heart often leaves us with the desire to stay locked away in the solace of our homes. We don’t want to leave the comfort of our bed, but staying cooped up inside day in and day out is a recipe for disaster. Force yourself to get out of the house, even on the days when it feels impossible. Maybe getting out of the house looks like taking a brief walk outdoors, or something as simple as sitting outside in the sun. Instead of ordering your groceries for pick up, go to the grocery store yourself and peruse the aisles. Or maybe take a trip to the park with your kiddos and watch the joy on their faces as they play on the playground. Go out and grab your favorite ice cream and enjoy it outdoors. Whatever it looks like to you—be sure you are getting out of the house.  

  • Exercise. Exercise is an important part of living a balanced and healthy life. When we are suffering from a heartbreak, getting into the gym is usually the last thing on our minds. In fact, it can even seem dreadful to break a sweat when you are struggling to simply keep your head above water. Exercise comes with a plethora of benefits both physically and mentally. Exercise doesn’t have to be a two-hour ordeal complete with weightlifting and heavy cardio. Simply taking a walk around the neighborhood is a great way to get your exercise in for the day. You will be shocked how much better you feel after working out, and it’s a great way to get your mind off of your current situation.  

  • Spend time with loved ones. Isolation is a common side effect of dealing with a broken heart. If you are going to move from heartbroken to healed, it is going to require some effort on your part. Instead of giving in to the temptation to isolate and ignore the texts from your loved ones, force yourself to respond. Go even further and schedule a time to hang out with those closest to you. Have your friends come over for a movie night or go out to grab lunch or coffee. Maybe you visit a family member you haven’t seen in a while or reconnect with an old friend. When appropriate, you can even share your current struggles with them and allow them to help you through it. Whatever it looks like for you, commit to spending more time with loved ones when you are struggling with a broken heart. Good company can be healing.  

  • Journal. When struggling with a broken heart, our feelings can often become jumbled, and our judgement can be cloudy. It seems cliché but writing down your feelings can be incredibly therapeutic and a good way to “unjumble” your thoughts. Find a notebook in your house and commit to writing down your emotions for at least five to ten minutes each day. If you have a difficult time sitting with your feelings, set a timer to ensure you stick with it. Journaling doesn’t have to be formal. No one else is going to read your writing, so allow it to flow from the heart. There are tons of journal prompts for those of you that struggle knowing where to start, here is an example of good journal prompts for dealing with heartache. After you have spent a few minutes writing down your feelings, close the journal and put it away. If you do this each day, you will eventually create a habit of journaling. It is also incredibly rewarding to look back at your journal entries and see the progress you’ve made in your healing. Think of it as a book, documenting your entire journey.  

  • Take care of your surroundings. This sounds like a no brainer, but anyone who has truly suffered from a broken heart knows how difficult it can be to do even the most basic of tasks. Often the laundry and dishes pile up, the beds go unmade, and clutter creeps in and turns into a full-blown mess. Believe it or not, we are affected by our surroundings and that includes our home environment. Too often our environment is a reflection of the turmoil going on inside of our hearts and minds. Commit to cleaning up and taking care of your surroundings every day. If it feels like too big of a task in the beginning, set a twenty-minute timer each day and clean for the entire twenty minutes. You will be shocked to see how much you can get accomplished in under twenty-minutes. Cleaning each day will not only make the task itself more manageable, but it will leave you with a better environment.  

  • Remember this is not permanent. It can be easy to slip into the mindset that you will never feel better when you are healing from a broken heart. Especially because it is something that takes time. Remind yourself that this is only temporary, and these feelings will eventually subside. Think back to another time in your life when you thought things would never get better and reflect on how you overcame it and the feelings eventually lifted. Hold on to the hope that this is merely a season that will pass. Reflect on the scripture, Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under the heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time do build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance…” Remember: to everything there is a season.  

  •  Enjoy your family. When we are in the midst of dealing with a broken heart, it is hard to enjoy anything. But remember, God gave you the precious gift of family. If you are in a season of parenting, we can’t let being a parent fall to the wayside because we are struggling with heart break. In fact, you can learn a lot from your children in this season. Take a moment to appreciate your familiy’s love and wonder, it is truly awe inspiring. Plan a fun family game night or order some pizza in for a fun dinner. Laugh with your family. Dance and sing with them. You will find that you almost forget all about your pain when you are enjoying sweet moments with sweet people.  

  • Create a gratitude list. Sure, you may not feel grateful in the midst of a heart break… who does? But that doesn’t mean you have nothing to be grateful for. Make a list of all of the blessings in your life and reflect on all the miracles God has already done for you. This will shift your perspective from an attitude of lack to an attitude of gratitude. It will also remind you that God is in the miracle making business, and he will rescue you again just as He has in the past.  

  • Get off social media. Everyone loves connecting with old friends or making new friends through social media. And who doesn’t love a good meme? However, the mindless scrolling through hours of media, senselessly comparing our lives to that of complete strangers has to stop. The absorption of 24-hour news coverage and the bombardment of everything that is wrong with the world does not give us life more abundantly. Social media can be draining, and when healing from a heart break we don’t need anything to drain us. Get off of social media for a season until you begin to feel some of the weight lift. Even then, be careful when going back to social media as it opens the door for comparison.  

  • Pray. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and He wipes every tear. When you feel like you have lost all hope, and your heartbreak is too heavy to bear… pray! Cry out to the Lord and He will be there for you. Too often we fall out of the habit of praying when we are struggling with something, and that is when we need it most! Commit to praying several times each day, especially when you are feeling the pain of a broken heart. Not only will it shift your focus, but it will draw you closer to the Lord. Remember: He is our strength! 

  • Join a small group or class. When you are heartbroken and feeling alone, there is something powerful about gathering with a group of people who have been through something similar. Small groups are a great way to get connected and find hope in the hardship. Be careful not to treat small group like a therapy session, and instead treat it as an opportunity to spend time with a group of peers who have had similar experiences. Find a small group in your area here. As well as, there are online websites allowing you to take self-enrichment courses consisting of managing finaces, health and wellness, parenting, etc.

  • Friends, we know how difficult it is for those of you in the middle of broken heartedness. But we also know there is an “other” side. We know what it is like to spend hours on the bathroom floor, unable to physically get up because of the emotional pain you feel. We also know that our God is a miracle worker and promise keeper. He is a healer and a deliverer. Healing is possible. It is important to know before you embark on your healing journey—healing is not easy. It requires hard work and a level of discomfort. Healing from a broken heart can be a long and difficult process, but the reward of healing is immeasurable. It is important to remember that healing will not be linear, and it is not something that can be rushed. What is even more important to know is that full and complete healing cannot take place on its own, and you need to allow God to mend your heart in order to experience complete freedom. These tips are simply a way to get you started on your healing journey.  

    Jennifer Maggio is a mom to three, wife to Jeff, and founder of the national nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is author to four books, including The Church and the Single Mom. She was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in America by Dr. John Maxwell in 2017 and 2015 and has appeared in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Family Talk Radio with Dr. James Dobson, Joni and Friends, and many others. 





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