Breaking up is hard to do; losing a loved one is even harder. But having the right tools to cope can transform your ability to handle all kinds of loss, say Louise Hay and David Kessler—whether you’re sweating out anger at an ex on a SoulCycle bike or wallowing in grief under the covers.
Hay is a self-empowerment pioneer and founder of inspirational book publisher Hay House, and Kessler is known for his books on grieving published with famed (stages-of-grief) psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.
And in their new book, You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After A Breakup, Divorce, or Death, the pair lay out a clear plan full of techniques to help you suffer less, process and release feelings in healthy ways, and change thinking patterns that can keep you from moving on after a big loss.
“Remember, a broken heart is an open heart,” the authors say, which is a pretty good start when it comes to making inner-life progress. Here are three techniques from the book to help you get a handle on healing. (And no, binging on Ben & Jerry’s and Orange is the New Black is not one of them.)
1. Work on your relationship with yourself
While you may not feel whole after a relationship ends, being alone offers the opportunity for you to get to know yourself in a more profound way, the authors say. And cultivating self-worth will prep you for being ready to receive love again, when you’re ready.
2. Ditch the idea that endings equal failure
While it may sound radical, Hay and Kessler say you don’t have to consider relationships that end a failure—even marriages that end in divorce. “The reality is that marriages are successful regardless of how long they last, as long as they achieved what they were supposed to. When they’re no longer needed, they are complete and successful,” they write. So maybe consider letting yourself off the hook.
3. Use affirmations to change your thinking
“In our thinking, we are always affirming something,” the authors write. So don’t let that something be the fact that everything sucks. Instead, focus on choosing more positive, loving thoughts—not to avoid grief, but to move through it, away from guilt or blame. A few you can try on your subway ride? “I love and accept myself. I am worth it.” “I attract a good life that creates wonderful experiences.” “I will grow from this experience.” —Jennifer Kass
For more information, check out You Can Heal Your Heart