How to Use Mindfulness to Get Through a Breakup

Alexis Novak is a yoga instructor, NASM-CPT, and mobility enthusiast. As a contributor for THE/THIRTY, Alexis will be sharing her knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, and meditation to help you find your balance between strength and serenity. Her approach to wellness is to simplify and keep a sense of humor. This month, she's sharing how to negotiate the end of a relationship with that kind of philosophy.

So it happened: The relationship you invested time, energy, and love into has come to an end. Now your only choice is to mend your heart and put yourself back together. When you are in the thick of a breakup, it feels impossible to do some of the most basic tasks, but I promise it won't feel like that forever. Time heals most, and you are stronger than you know.

It helps to keep your sense of humor close. Healing is an individual endeavor; it's unique for everyone. What has worked for me might not work for you, and what works for you may not work for others. Regardless of how you approach the process of returning to yourself, you are your first priority. You are lovable. You are desirable. You'll never believe what great expansiveness your heart will feel at the other side of this discomfort.

In my previous post, I spoke to how to embrace the "push away" emotions (jealousy, anger, resentment, etc.) and release that which no longer serves us. This is an extension of that.

If we peel back all the layers of emotion, decoration, and ego, we are at our core: love. Feeding this is what guides our life. We seek out things we like, and we push away things we don't. This is our attempt at "happiness." During breakups, this creates a glitch in the system. Not only are we trying to push away the feelings that we don't like (unfulfillment, rejection, longing, heartbreak, sadness, or disconnection), but we're also pelted with pangs of wanting to move toward the thing that we do like: the person who we were bonded to in that relationship.

If you approach mindfully, there's a way to use this difficult time with these complex emotions to deepen your own mindfulness practice. You can heal yourself gently from a breakup. These are a few starter steps and mantras that have helped me heal from a breakup using mindfulness practice. A more detailed outline can be found in the amazing book Training in Compassion ($12) by Norman Fischer.