Meditation For Breakups: Get Over Your Ex With Mindfulness

Falling out of love with someone is painful, but you can use meditation for breakups to stop the pain and sadness when you split up.

According to a study by Case Western Reserve University, more than 90 percent of college students have broken up with someone they love and 90 percent have dumped someone. Clearly, this is a very common occurrence. But it can definitely be a painful one. Whether it’s divorce, losing your first love, or ending a long-term relationship, it is normal to experience grief, sadness, anger, self-criticism, and other issues. Thankfully, you can use meditation for breakups.

Just as we can use meditation for dating, we can also use meditation for breakups.

Breaking up can have a serious effect on the brain, leading to pain, inability to focus, and emotions like sadness and grief. Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist and life coach practicing, says tells THE DAILY MEDITATION “Breakups can trigger withdrawal, just as you would feel after giving up a drug.”

Thankfully, we have the power to heal ourselves.

Of course, the quickest way to overcome the pain of breaking up with someone is to take a meditation lesson with me. I will help you heal your mind so you can be happy once again.

Try this meditation for breakups to make the experience a less painful, more positive one.

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Try This Meditation For Breakups

 

1: Sit or lie down

For our breakups meditation script, we are going to start by sitting or lying down with good posture.

To lie down, us the yoga asana Shavasana. To do this, lie down on your back. Place your feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Rotate your ankles outwards a little so your toes are pointing our at about 45 degree from your body. Make sure your spine is in alignment. Place your hands palm-up by your sides.

To sit down, sit comfortably. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart and grounded. Check your spinal alignment. Lightly tuck your chin down a little to elongate your neck.

Close your eyes and begin to breathe. Oh, and as a warning, if you cry during this meditation don’t worry, it is normal and healthy.

2: Put your hands in Hakini mudra, the best mudra for breakups

For this meditation we want to use Hakini mudra, the best mudra for breakups. To do this, simply rest the tips of each of your fingers against the tip of the opposite finger. Now hold your hands in front of you, like you’re doing prayer position but with the fingers spread a little. This is the best breakup mudra. It fosters positive emotions and feelings of wellbeing, which are essential for overcoming the pain of breaking up with someone you love.

 

3: Reconnect with the moment by breathing mindfully

Naturally, when we are talking about how to get over a breakup, we need to stop all those painful thoughts and feelings. What we want to do is focus on the moment, not on thoughts and memories.

To do this, start breathing mindfully. Here’s a guide to how to breathe in meditation.

Focus your mind on your breathing in a mindful, non-judgmental way. Simple observe your breath moving in and out of your body. Watch the breath like you’re watching a movie. This will begin to put you back in contact with the present moment.

Mindful breathing will help to reduce the affect of painful thoughts and memories, which is vital. Research by cognitive scientists at Columbia University shows using fMRI scans showed that people dwell on painful memories and thoughts after a breakup, and that thinking of your ex causes parts of the brain to light-up. Specifically, thinking of your ex after a breakup causes your insula and anterior cingulate cortex to light up. This is why breakups can feel like physical pain.

Thankfully, research shows that meditation helps us regulate both pain and emotion, partly because of the affect of meditation on the insula [Grant J.A.; Courtemanche J.; Duerden E.G.; Duncan G.H.; Rainville P. (2010). “Cortical thickness and pain sensitivity in Zen meditators”. Emotion. 10 (1): 43–53. doi:10.1037/a0018334. PMID 20141301.]  [1]

 

4: Get over your ex with a mantra

Next, what we want to do is to get over an ex by meditating on a mantra. To do this we will meditate on Om.

You might have noticed that you feel motivated to connect with your ex. Many people still send their ex text messages and call them, and even show up places uninvited [Dr. Helen, neuroscientist, Harvard Medical School].

The reason this happens is due to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Your brain has become accustomed to associating your ex with pleasure. Your brain always wants to be rewarded, and so even now, after you have broken up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, your brain is still seeking out your ex as a source of dopamine (a source of reward). We need to change this.

Thankfully, research shows that transcendental meditation techniques that use mantras can help to balance dopamine levels [Bujatti M, Biederer P. Serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine metabolites in transcendental meditation-technique. Journal of Neural Transmission. 1976;39:257–267]

5: To do this, meditate on a mantra.

Continuing from where we were with our breakup meditation, start reciting the mantra “Om”. Meditate on the sound of this mantra. Do not try to control the mantra but instead let it go where it will. If the sound changes let it happen. Simply continue to meditate on the sound.

While you are doing this, you are balancing your dopamine (the “reward” chemical), which will help reduce your need to connect with your ex husband or wife. This mantra meditation will also stimulate serotonin, another neurochemical, which will help you to feel happier. Finally, you will also be stimulating the production of Alpha brainwaves, which are brain waves associated with relaxation.

Dopamine is used in connection between the ventral tegmental (VTA) area, the ventral striatum, and the nucleus accumbens, which are reward / motivation systems. So by balancing these areas you will feel less compelled to constantly message your ex lover.

6: Now you’re deep breathing and reciting a mantra, it’s time to change your thoughts about your ex

This article has been quite deep so far. But essentially, all you should be doing right now is siting comfortably, breathing deeply, and meditating on the mantra “Om.”

While you are doing this, we are going to change your thoughts about your ex.

It is only natural that you will experience negative thoughts about your ex after a breakup. You might feel angry at them for breaking up with you or letting you down. You might be self-critical and thinking about what you did wrong. You might feel a deep sense of grief or loss. You might think “Can I get back with my ex or is it too late?” And so on. One of the best ways to deal with this is through loving kindness meditation.

Let’s work on it a little now, but do also read that link above.

What we want to do is to change those thoughts about our ex, while continuing to meditate. To do this, we will use a modified version of Vipassana meditation technique, which is an excellent method for changing negative thoughts.

7: Continue to breathe deep and meditate on the mantra “Om”. Now mindfully observe and label your thoughts 

ttNow, I want you to calmly observe any thoughts or feelings that come up. When you experience a thought or feeling, imagine taking a step back away from that thought / feeling. Now observe the thought of your ex in a calm and mindful way. Don’t engage with the thought. Just say to yourself, “This is just a thought”, and let it pass. In other words, calmly observe your thoughts and feelings without reacting to them.

This method (which is essentially the Buddhist meditation Vipassana) has been scientifically proven to reduce reactivity to thoughts [Meditation (Vipassana) and the P3a Event-Related Brain Potential,B. Rael Cahna and John Polichb, International Journal of Psychophysiology].

This means that, even though you will still experience painful thoughts of your ex, you will be less affected by them.

8: Try to continue for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, its time to finish our meditation for breakups.

In this meditation session, we have relaxed the mind, reconnected with the present moment, overcome our obsession with our ex, and removed painful thoughts of our ex.

If you would like to learn more about this and other meditations, contact me for an online meditation lesson.

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By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

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