Posts tagged Heart break
The Power of Mantras and Positive Affirmations

I recently had a mom’s night out and my gal pals and I went to a chalk art class. We thought it would be fun to get out together, drink some wine, and be a little artsy. What I didn’t know when I signed up for said class was that the focus was on mantras.

What is a mantra?

It’s a little saying that you tell yourself, something that you live by, and many times in meditation and yoga practices people repeat a mantra to themselves over and over. It reminds you of something that’s important and repeating it during meditation seals it in your mind as something that you can always go back to.

I’ve worked hard to incorporate a meditation practice in my life, committing to 10 minutes a day and I’ve seen vast improvements in my anxiety levels and ability to stay Zen through life’s little frustrations.

I’ve done a mantra practice where I repeat one word, and usually I just use the word, Love. Saying it over and over for 10 minutes puts me in a place where I am more loving, and where I seek throughout my day to spread love to others even in moments of pure frustration.

In my chalk-art class, I was tasked with finding a mantra that really resonated with me and I chose this one:

Choosing a mantra and practicing positive affirmations is incredibly beneficial.

We all have automatic thoughts that pop up in our minds, it’s like an inner-monologue and we tell ourselves things about ourselves all the time.

If you listen, you might start to notice that the things you tell yourself may not be overly positive or even nice.

Identifying your automatic thoughts is half the battle. Struggling in your romantic relationship can bring up a whole slew of negativity in yourself. But creating a mantra can help you cope with anger and frustration. 

Those times you feel sad, depressed, and like you just don’t want to push forward, take a moment to listen to what you’re telling yourself. Are you saying things like, “Of course you deserve what’s happening in this relationship.” Or, “This is never going to work, we are just too different.” Or maybe even, “Life sucks, this relationship sucks, and I’m going to be alone forever.”

Take a moment and listen.

The mind is an incredibly powerful thing, and once you recognize those thoughts, you can start to replace them with a positive affirmation.

A positive affirmation is much like a mantra. It’s something you tell yourself and repeat when times get tough. It can be something simple like, “I am bright, I am beautiful, and I am brilliant.” I suggest that you try something that may be a stretch at the moment, something that you don’t fully believe, because repeating it will help make it reality.

Saying things like, “I deserve positivity in my life and in my relationship.”  Or, “I am worthy of love.” “I have a wonderful relationship, full of love and respect.”

Creating a mantra or positive affirmation that is said in the present tense makes it into something you are claiming right here, and right now. It’s the same reason why goal-setting is so powerful, and why those who set goals are shown to have more success. It creates visualization in our minds of what those words mean, and we can then close the gap and become the words.

If this sounds a little woo-woo to you, I get it, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t something to it.

Take some time today to recognize what you’re saying to yourself. Flip those negative thoughts on their head and create a mantra or positive affirmation and replace those negative thoughts with it and then reap the benefits of an improved mood and feelings towards yourself. 

If this seems like a really big push for you because you are healing after a heartbreak, or going through a particularly tough time in your relationship, I'd love for you to get on my interest list for my upcoming e-course that will focus on helping women learn the 4 phases to healing and becoming the best version of themselves. Just click the image to get on the interest list. 

I've also got an awesome cheat sheet to help you fid your strengths, create some gratitude, and improve your attitude, and the best part is it's totally free, just click the link below, sign up, and it will be sent right to your inbox! 

3 Ways to Feel Empowered after a Break-Up

The emotion can be overwhelming when you experience the loss of a relationship, it can be difficult to sleep, difficult to eat, and the grief over the loss can send you into a downward spiral that might be difficult to get up from. There's fear and anxiety abut where to go and what to do next. Losing a love that you always thought you'd have is devastating. But just like anything, there’s always a silver lining.

It can be difficult to just put one foot in front of the other, and a challenge to get through the day without shedding a tear or two, but it gets better and there are some actions that you can take, to push you towards the healing phase. It might feel like you're just going through the motions at first, but once you find your stride, these actions can take you to a whole new you, and you can come out on the other end as the best version of yourself. 

I'm pretty optimistic when it comes to the healing process, and I get that in the beginning it might seem like a climb up Mt. Everest, but the view from the top is breathtaking! 

It takes one step at time to get there, and here are 3 actions that you can take today to help you off the emotional roller coaster, and into a new phase of confidence and self-love: 

1. Recognize that the way you are feeling now isn’t the way it will always feel.

It’s easy to let the overwhelming feelings of grief and sadness take over and govern all aspects of your life, but there will come a time where the edges of your sadness are not so sharp. In fact, one day you’ll have moved on and be in a place that makes you so happy that you’ll feel like it was all a bad dream.

You know that feeling, right? You wake up and know that you were feeling scared or upset, but you can’t remember why or much of the detail and as the day passes, you forget about it completely.

I’m not saying you’ll completely forget about your ex, or the trouble in your relationship but there will come a time that it won’t be consuming, and you won’t have to hold back tears when you recall things about your relationship or come into contact with things that remind you of them.

The best way to start the process is with gratitude. It’s easy to get stuck and caught up in focusing on what you don’t have (your relationship), so much so that you miss all of the amazing things that are going on around you. The more that you add in positivity and focus on it, the less time you have to allow the negativity to consume you.

Something that you can start daily is a gratitude practice.

Every morning when you wake up, let the first thought be, “thank you.” If you’re religious you can thank God that you woke up and that you have another day on this earth. If you want to skip the religious part, just say thank you to your body for working, for breathing, and to the universe for allowing you another day.

Then make a mental or written list of 5-10 things that you are grateful for before your feet even hit the floor. In that moment where you aren’t yet ready to open your eyes and take a stretch, and are typically thinking about how badly you need more sleep, think of the things you have to be grateful for – a place to live, running water, a warm bed, your health, your family. These things can be big or small, but they deserve to be acknowledged, and those acknowledgements will change your attitude and help combat that sadness you feel.

Practice this exercise for at least one full week and notice how it makes you feel. If you’re feeling like overachieving, when you get into bed at night, think of 5-10 different things that happened throughout your day that you are grateful for and let those good vibes you’ve created lull you to sleep rather than the sadness you feel over sleeping alone.

2. Awaken your inner badass and unlock the power of positive affirmations.

Just as with gratitude, positive affirmations have the power to change the way you feel inside. In fact, there’s a great study that says the smile on your face can change the way you feel inside, meaning it actually changes the chemistry in your brain and in your body. So even if you aren’t feeling happy, put a smile on your face and see if it doesn’t help improve your mood, even slightly.

That’s kind of how this whole positive affirmation thing works. It’s normal for a breakup to make you feel off your game and unlike yourself. Having someone you trusted and loved tell you that they no longer wish to be in a relationship with you is one of the ultimate bubble bursts in terms of self-esteem.

But you do have plenty to offer. Those amazing qualities do exist and practicing positive affirmations helps to keep them in the forefront of your mind. Spending more time on positivity leaves less room for negativity.

In order for this to work you have to take action and practice, practice, practice. Start by making a list of 10 positive things about yourself and then put that into a sort of mantra that’s easy to repeat. Your affirmations can be things that you’re totally not feeling at this moment, but deep down you know are true.

Something like, “I am bright, I am beautiful, and I deserve to be loved.” Or, “I have much to offer the world, and to others. I am kind.” Or maybe just, “I am enough.”

Then do whatever it takes to repeat a couple of your favorites throughout your day and especially in times that you feel down. Use post-it notes and put those suckers all over your mirror, your car, or your cubicle. If you want to be a little more discreet, set reminders on your phone for them to pop up at random times throughout the day to remind you just how awesome you really are.

3. Reconnect with your strengths.

Many times in relationships there are parts of us that become lost, or overshadowed, but those parts are important, and they make us who we are. They contributed to who we were before we entered into the relationship, and yet those parts often get neglected.

In order to reconnect with those strengths, reflection and introspection have to be involved. Were you once an athlete, or involved in some sport that you no longer do? Is there a creative side to you that you don’t feed because you’ve become too busy? Are you great with money? Are you a great parent? Are you a great friend?

I want you to look at those strengths and get back to them so you can start to feel like yourself again, but also more importantly so that you can begin to realize that although this relationship is lost – while it’s extremely important, it isn’t all that makes up your life.

Sometimes women can place far too much emphasis on their romantic relationship and allow it to govern all other aspects of their life rather than having a full life and allowing a relationship to fit in the picture as well.

Find your strengths; accentuate them, or build new strengths.

Do you know what your strengths are? If not, take some time to reflect on them. Ask your close friends and family what they see as your strengths, or even what they saw that used to be your strengths, because maybe they’ve noticed you’ve lost them along the way as well. It can be difficult to put yourself out there in such a way, but a close confidant will likely be truthful if you approach them in the right way.

I’m a huge proponent of journaling; I recommend it to almost all of my clients who are struggling through life’s challenges. While you’re trying to heal you can start journaling and thinking about the parts of yourself that you’ve neglected that once brought you a sense of happiness and strength.

If you still aren’t sure what your strengths are, need some help with those affirmations, and gratitude practice, don’t worry I’ve got you covered! Click on the link below to download my Attitude, Gratitude and Strength Finding Cheat Sheet and start the healing process today.  

The Revenge Body: Is it healthy?
Revenge Body

The “Revenge Body” is apparently a thing now that Khloe Kardashian has coined it and turned it into a new reality show. It’s quickly becoming a hot topic among those healing after heartbreak, but is it really that healthy?

Exercise in and of itself is great, we all know that we should be getting at least 30 minutes every day, and that we should accompany it with a healthy diet and good sleep. If you’re suffering after a break up though, those things can be difficult to come by. You might find yourself lacking in the sleep department, eating as a means of comfort, and lacking the motivation to get you out of bed and into the gym.

Once you do pick yourself up and begin to heal a bit, hitting the gym and getting your sweat on can make you feel amazing. It creates those wonderful endorphins that send the “happy” signals to our brains, and the strength gained over time can be wonderfully empowering, but just like anything, it has to be done in moderation.

If you’re hitting the treadmill to blow off steam, create a sense of empowerment, and channel anger over the loss of a relationship, it can be easy to become addicted. The concept of the revenge body goes a little deeper than this though – with technology it isn’t just about improving confidence and weight loss, it’s more about flaunting bods in front of exes in hopes of feeling revenge – and that’s where it becomes a problem.

Over-obsession about body image and the premise that this revenge body is being created with the intention of brandishing it for an ex to ooogle over can set you up for some major disappointment.

If exercise has become an outlet for you, so be it. I’ve seen many clients run their first half-marathons, lose a healthy amount of weight, and reinvent themselves after a break-up, but when it borders on obsession and becomes over-consuming it’s no longer healthy.

Pushing yourself hard in the weight room and fantasizing over your ex’s reaction to your scantily clad Instagram post might fuel your workout, but that mentality quickly fizzles. Unless you are working hard for your own intrinsic motivation, it’s not likely to last, and you won’t necessarily keep it up over the long term.

Uncovering the need for revenge can be even more beneficial in the long run. I always tell my clients, “You can leave your relationship, but you have to take yourself with you.” Many times people think that they can move on with someone else and not have the same issues that caused their last relationship to crumble, but that’s not typically the case.

You can only control yourself, and learning more about who you are, what you want out of life and your relationships, and your contribution to the end of your relationship will give you far more rewards as you move forward than any revenge bod picture ever will.

Hit the gym, take a yoga class, go on a hike, whatever you do, do it because it feels good to you, and nothing else.

If you’re struggling to heal after heartbreak, and would like to learn more about healing in the most positive way, be sure to get on my interest list for The Starting over Series, an e-course I’m developing to help women everywhere heal from heartbreak and become the best version of themselves, so click to sign up below.

The #1 way to find healing after Heartbreak
#1 way to find healing after heartbreak

Let’s just be frank, the healing process after the loss of a relationship really sucks. Even if you haven’t lost your relationship, and are just in the midst of a rocky road with your partner, there is one thing that you can do to help yourself heal, and it can’t be found in the arms of another, or at the bottom of a beer bottle. Although those things might sound appealing while you’re hurting, they tend to cause more harm than good.

The best thing that women can do for themselves in order to heal is to reconnect with their strengths. What I mean by that is, many times in relationships there are parts of us that become lost, or overshadowed, but those parts are important, and they make us who we are. They contributed to who we were before we entered into the relationship, and yet those parts often get neglected.

In order to reconnect with those strengths, reflection and introspection have to be involved. I’m a huge proponent of journaling, I recommend it to almost all of my clients who are struggling through life’s challenges. So women who are trying to heal can start journaling and thinking about the parts of themselves that they’ve neglected that once brought them a sense of happiness and strength.

Were you once an athlete, or involved in some sport that you no longer do? Is there a creative side to you that you don’t feed because you’ve become too busy? Are you great with money? Are you a great parent? Are you a great friend?

I help my clients look at those strengths and get back to them so they can start to feel like themselves again, but also more importantly so that they can begin to realize that although this relationship that they’ve lost or that is in a very rocky state – while it’s extremely important to them, it isn’t all that makes up their life.

Sometimes women can place far too much emphasis on their romantic relationship and allow it to govern all other aspects of their life rather than having a full life and allowing a relationship to fit in the picture as well.

A lot of the work that I do with the women in my therapy practice is helping them to find their strengths, and accentuating them, or building new strengths.

Another important piece in the healing process is making peace with what’s occurred by taking some responsibility for the contribution to the relationship issues, the infidelity, and the end of the relationship; owning up to your own shortcomings as a partner. It doesn’t always mean forgiveness, but it means coming to an understanding about what transpired, and moving forward after accepting that.

Do you know what your strengths are? If not, it might be time to reflect on them. Ask your close friends and family what they see as your strengths, or even what they saw that used to be your strengths, because maybe they’ve noticed you’ve lost them along the way as well. It can be difficult put yourself out there in such a way, but a close confidant will likely be truthful if you approach them in the right way.

Find your strengths, reconnect with the old ones, feed them, and you will find healing. If you could use some help finding the person you may have lost while caught in a tumultuous relationship, I’d love to help. You can contact me at (909) 226-6124 and I’ll be happy to discuss ways we can work together to help you reconnect with your amazing strengths. 

Why do people cheat?
Why do people cheat?

I just wrapped up a podcast interview, and I was asked by the host a question that I get asked a lot – why do people cheat? In my practice I work with 3 groups of clients:

The first group are the men and women who have cheated, and they are looking to understand why they did what they did, and they’re also trying to understand the loss of their relationship and start over.

The second group are the couples where one partner has cheated, but they’ve resolved to stick together for the time being and see if they can repair their relationship.

The third group are the men or women who have been injured by their partner’s cheating, and for whatever reason their partner isn’t willing to come to therapy with them, and they are trying to make sense of what’s happened and make the best decisions about how to move forward whether that be with or without their partner.

No matter which group the client falls into, they inevitably ask me why? Why would my partner do this to me? Why would my partner risk what we have for a temporary fling, or a long-term relationship with someone else without first just breaking up our marriage?

I’ll start with the caveat that I’m not a researcher, but of course I have my own observations from what I see in my practice, and I read the research. People cheat for all sorts of different reasons, and it happens in all demographics – men cheat, women cheat, people in their 50’s cheat, and so do people in their 20’s and 30’s.

When I break it down to the smallest common denominator, and really get to the bottom of the reasoning I’d say they do it because it makes them feel alive in some way. It’s exciting. It brings out parts of them that have become dormant during the course of their marriage, although it doesn’t always appear that way looking at it on the outside.

When you look at it in a more broad sense, a man can be cheating on his wife because he’s not satisfied with their relationship – and it doesn’t always have to be the sexual relationship. It could be that he’s not happy because things have become stagnant, they aren’t talking about what’s important and they aren't connecting in a way that breeds intimacy. 

This man may be doing things just to appease his wife because he doesn’t want to deal with her controlling nature, or her nagging him and so he’s become quiet in some way, he’s become inauthentic and no longer true to himself and he meets this other woman at just the right time, and this other women makes those parts of him come alive.

Cheating can also come from a sense of loss. A woman may cheat after she’s lost something or someone – she may have lost a parent, or her sense of freedom as she’s become a parent herself. Through this experience of loss there are parts of her that she’s also lost and so she is looking to feel alive, and an affair creates a sense of life within her.

Cheating is also much easier than a long-term marriage. It can be all the fun parts of the beginning of a relationship that bring about that rush of emotions and euphoria that comes along with newness, and there’s no dealing with juggling the kid’s carpool or sports schedules. There is a freedom that comes along with an isolated relationship that exists only in those few hours in which both parties can sneak away.

While every couple and every situation is different and it may look very different on the outside, inside people are trying to feel more alive in some way. I am in no way condoning cheating as a mechanism of coping, however in order to do this work, I have to “get it,” and find understanding without judgment.

If you are struggling to make sense of an infidelity, I’d love to help. You can contact me for a free phone consultation at (909) 226-6124 and I’d be happy to help you begin the healing process.

If you have recently discovered your partner has been unfaithful, and are wondering what you should do next, click here to get my free guide, "My husband cheated: Communicating with your partner in the wake of Infidelity," it will help you take the right steps after such a life-altering discovery and learn what to do in order to have effective communication.