The bottom line, breakups suck. They can be painful, messy, and can end in a heartbreak that hits you like a ton of bricks. While reaching for the ice cream and binge-watching romcoms is one way to heal, grabbing your notebook and pen might be even more therapeutic. Journaling to heal after a breakup can aid in your road to recovery and help you move on in a healthy, positive way.
What is Journaling?
Journaling is the act of writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly and to process your emotions. There really aren’t any rules when it comes to journaling. You can let your feelings guide you and write about whatever is on your mind.
For a deep dive into journaling and how to start your practice, click here.
What Are The Benefits of Journaling?
Writing your feelings down on paper breaks the vicious rumination cycle and helps you work through difficult emotions. It allows you to challenge your thoughts and figure out constructive ways to address anything troubling you. On top of that, it helps with managing anxiety and coping with stress. And it provides an opportunity for positive self-talk and a dedicated time for your self-love practice.
How To Use Journaling To Heal After a Breakup
Your brain probably feels like a plate of scrambled eggs after a breakup. It can be hard to think clearly and almost impossible to focus on anything other than the relationship. You might be left feeling overwhelmed, confused, and hurt. And you’re probably running through the breakup hundreds of times over in your head.
Instead of letting these “what if” questions and difficult emotions fester, putting them on paper can really help the healing process. Here’s how to begin. And P.S., a lockable journal might make you feel more comfortable putting your pen to paper.
Let it All Out
Anger, pain, betrayal, denial, guilt, regret. Let it all out, be real. And don’t hold anything back to appear put together or strong. Remember, no one will ever read your journal. And if it makes you feel better, you can rip up these pages and discard them how you see fit. But by getting these difficult emotions out, you can express yourself and not let them stay bottled up. Ultimately, the sooner you process these feelings, the sooner you can move on.
Write To Your Ex (But Don’t Send it)
When you’re going through a difficult breakup, you probably have a million questions and tons of things you want to say to this person. Instead of texting or calling them and spilling your heart out on voicemail, use your journal to “write to them” instead. Let out all the things you want them to know. Like how they made you feel or anything else you want to get off your chest. Since these emotions have somewhere to go, they won’t end up in a late-night Facebook message you might come to regret.
Remember The Bad Times Too
When you’re dealing with heartbreak, you tend to look back on the relationship with rose-tinted glasses. You recall all the good times and happy memories you shared with this person. Leading to questions like, will I ever find someone who will love me like that again? Will I ever love again?! While acknowledging the happy memories is fine, don’t forget what made you break up in the first place. Write down what parts of the relationship you didn’t like and what you know you won’t tolerate in your future relationships.
Be Consistent and Revisit Your Old Entries
Some days, the last thing you feel like doing is picking up your journal and writing about your feelings. But try to push yourself to write every day. Even when you’re feeling better, and especially when you’re feeling low. It doesn’t have to be a long entry. A one-sentence summary is perfectly enough. By making a habit of writing every day, you can go back and revisit your old entries to see how far you’ve come. You might not realize that you’re on a path to healing until you see the shift in your mindset in your journal entries. Your future self will thank you for your daily entities, so try to be consistent!
Write About Something You’re Grateful For
When you’re processing a breakup, it’s not all butterflies and rainbows. It’s likely the opposite. So to help you ignite a little positivity in an otherwise dark time, try to write about something you’re grateful for. It could be something from your last relationship. Or it could be as simple as being thankful for the chocolate bar you ate earlier. Whatever it is, try acknowledging one thing you’re grateful for each day.
10 Powerful Prompts To Start The Process
If you have your pen and journal at the ready but find you have no idea where to start, these prompts will help.
- Why did you break up?
- What do you miss about the relationship?
- If you could say anything to your ex, what would you say?
- What do you not miss about the relationship?
- In future relationships, what will you not tolerate?
- Is there anything you gained from the relationship?
- What did you gain from the breakup?
- What did you learn from the relationship?
- Did you learn anything about yourself?
- What qualities do you admire in a partner?
Journaling to Heal After a Breakup
There’s no better time than now to start journaling to heal after a breakup. And while journaling isn’t an overnight solution to heartbreak, it can be a tremendous help along the way.
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