Buddhism has always been my irreplaceable healer.
Especially during breakups, Buddhist philosophy has assisted me with moving on. The Buddha didn’t directly speak of breakups, but the methods he suggested are applicable in the area of love and relationships.
What I have found intriguing about these methods is the ability to use them at any time, wherever we are. We don’t have to attend a special course or travel to a particular country to mend our broken heart. It’s only a matter of commitment to the notion of moving on.
I’m convinced that moving on requires readiness. The truth is that when I claim I can’t move on, I’m just not ready to let go of my past relationship. However, when I take moving on to heart, any methods I apply—whether Buddhist-based or not—generate successful results.
Here are some methods to try if you’re going through a breakup and are serious about mending your broken heart:
Be in the now. I have noticed that my main problem during breakups is not the breakup itself—it’s my mind. My mind wanders away and visits the past to see if there was something that could have been done differently. I recall the memories, wonder about the future, and raise a hundred questions in my head. To put it differently, my mind was the main source of my suffering. And the truth is that not a single issue was solved through my overthinking it.
The solution is not to stop thinking—the solution is to be in the now. When we are truly immersed in our present moment, our minds focus on what we’re doing. Consequently, the destructive thinking pattern ceases.
How to do it: Everything that you do, do it fully, using your five senses. You can practice living in the now from the moment you wake up, until the moment you go to sleep. When you wash your face, feel the water on your skin, listen to the water running, see the transparency of the water. When you read a book, feel the cover between your hands, smell the pages, and read the letters carefully. Whenever your mind wanders away, bring it back by engaging it in the activity you’re doing.
Watch the thoughts. There are two kinds of thinking: destructive and healthy. Destructive thinking is the kind that can consume us and overtake us. Healthy thinking is the kind that allows us to simply observe, rather than judging or analyzing. Thoughts might still pop up during the day, but we choose whether we get affected by them or not.
How to do it: I consider thoughts a natural element of the brain. Just like veins comprise blood, the brain comprises thoughts. Thoughts are the voice that keeps running in our heads without our consent. The only way I have befriended that voice is through accepting that it’s there. And just like I would watch a movie, I have learned to watch my thoughts.
For instance, if you start thinking that you miss your partner, take note of that thought, then let it dissipate by itself. Don’t analyze why you miss them or why you’re not with them. By doing this, you transform a destructive thinking pattern to a healthy one.
Stop the resistance. There’s a beautiful quote that says, “What you resist persists.” I’m a firm believer in this concept. Through my own experiences, I’ve come to notice that there’s so much resistance during a breakup. We either resist the breakup itself, or we resist our own emotional response toward it.
Acceptance of the situation and how we feel about it is essential. It’s only through acceptance that we can truly move on. As long as we’re resisting, we will remain stuck. Events and situations need space in order to flow and come to fruition. Consequently, when we resist them, we stop their flow by pouring our abundant negative energy around them.
How to do it: If you’re angry, wistful, or wretched—feel it. Don’t resist the emotions you generate. Let them be, and let them come. Consider them as a part of one experience—don’t section the feelings into good or bad. With time, you’ll notice that the intensity of the emotions lessens.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina