Breaking up the Healthy Way [From the Experts] Part 1: Feeling all the Feels

Breaking up the healthy way from the experts

Orlando Counseling Providing Relationship Therapy

As an anxiety and trauma therapist providing counseling in Orlando, my phone has been ringing a lot lately with new clients calling because they are going through a breakup. The calls sound a lot like this, “Ugh, I feel like crap! I don’t know if I can get through this.” Or “I know this relationship isn’t good for me, but I miss my ex so much!” First of all, going through a breakup is tough stuff, y’all. It’s common for someone going through a breakup to feel a wave of hurt, sadness, loneliness, anger, and despair all within a 3.5 seconds, followed by a tiny moment of clarity and empowerment.

So what is the best way to get through a breakup? Some might say, “Go have some martinis, ‘swipe right,’ and find a rebound.” Welp, that’s one way to do it. But what if you want to get through the breakup in a HEALTHY way? Whether the ending of your relationship is from a divorce or a breakup, this blog series has healing tips for getting you through it feeling good about yourself!

I reached out to 17 experts in the field of relationships to find out how they help their clients get through the dreaded breakup. The response I received was so abundant and helpful, I decided to create a four part series: 

Part 1: Feel the Feelings

Part 2: Channeling the Energy

Part 3: The Grieving Process

Part 4: A Time of Reflection

The goal is to get you through this break up feeling empowered and renewed (rather than feeling like you just got hit by a mack truck).

A common theme that came out of the interviews was, “You have to feel it heal it.” Yep, that means you need to allow yourself the time and space to feel those really big and super uncomfortable emotions, like hurt, sadness, doubt, and loneliness. Tremmia Smith, MS, NCC, LPC-S says part of the healing process is to feel all the feelings that go with breakup without pushing them away or avoiding them.

If you’re wondering, “How exactly do I feel these dreaded emotions without pushing them away or avoiding them?” Here is what the experts say…

Psychologist, Michele Hill recommends using Kristin Neff’s mindful practice of “Soften, Soothe, and Allow”  for the really big overwhelming feelings. She also suggests using Noami Goodlet's mindful practice of "Urge Surfing"  when you find yourself ruminating over your ex, have the urge to contact them or the urge to get back together with them. 

“Going through a breakup can feel like the rug got pulled out from under you. It can be disorienting when life asks you to find a new normal. Bring your awareness to your heart center and feel for your rhythm. Each time you notice anxiety or tension, gently guide your focus to your heart. Doing this repeatedly will help you cultivate a sense of calm so you can cut through the mental noise and think clearly again,” says Jaime Shearer Jimenez, Success Coach, helping women thrive through transitions in career, health, and relationships.

During the process of healing from a break up, it’s normal to feel lonely. Whether you initiated the break up or not, adjusting to life without the ex is challenging.  Sofia Mendoza, LCSW created the visual tool below, Tips for Managing Loneliness. This five step tool kit helps the newly single person understand and cope with loneliness and not be overtaken by it. 

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Healing from a breakup the healthy way isn’t for the faint hearted, y’all. As the experts say, have a plan for dealing with the difficult emotions that come in the wake of a breakup. Get your support people on board and hang on while you ride the wave. And remember this super awesome quote I found on Pinterest, “In the waves of change, we find our true direction.”

In Part 2, we will talk about the fun stuff of a break up, channeling your energy into creativity and self-expression. In the meantime, let’s keep this conversation going! Please leave a comment with some of your tried and true tips for getting through a breakup feeling empowered and renewed (rather than feeling like you just got hit by a mack truck).

(post edited April 6, 2018)


Lauran is an anxiety and trauma therapist providing counseling in Orlando, FL. She also specializes in helping people heal old broken relationship patterns that keep them from finding, creating, and keeping healthy relationships with partners, friends, and family. Lauran uses a down to earth approach infused with cutting-edge therapies that go beyond traditional talking to help clients feel calm in their body and mind and find peace within themselves.