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Just hours ago, a fiery hailstorm of missiles rained down on multiple fronts across Ukraine, submerging the country in fire, fear, and uncertainty. 137 civilians and military personnel lost their lives, and 316 were wounded. Chaos ensued. Families were shattered. Hearts were broken. And the barbaric assault was likely only the beginning of something much, much darker. Oh, and there’s this bitch called Covid that’s still looming over us all. (1)
And then there’s you trying to figure out how to feel better after a breakup.
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’re not defending a city from a rich, narcissistic, and opportunistic megalomaniac with one of the largest armies in the world and access to nuclear power. Be grateful for this. Be grateful a breakup is the only thing you’re dealing with. (2)
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to downplay your breakup here, I’m well aware it sucks. I only want to make you understand that many worse things could happen to you, and you should be grateful that they haven’t.
Take the holocaust, for example. Or The 9/11 attacks. The 2020/2019 Australian wildfires. The Great Depression. The Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The fact that that 85% of the world lives in subpar conditions, and almost 26.4% of people are starving. (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)
Be grateful you’re not involved in any of these things. (Because if you’re reading this article, you probably aren’t).
On the flip side however, and despite what the media has been feeding you with, be grateful that today the world is a safer place than it ever was at any time in history.
Violent crime is at an all-time low. Racism, discrimination, and sexism are at an all-time low. International wars are at an all-time low. We have more rights than ever in recorded history. More than half of the planet has access to the Internet. There have been precipitous drops in domestic violence and a steady decline in drunk driving-related deaths, and deaths from infectious diseases. We even reached a record low child mortality rate. (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18)
Oh yeah, and our society has probably the most exhaustive list of opportunities for self-improvement you can take advantage of in history. Whether you’re struggling with being overweight, having strained relationships, or are dealing with loneliness, depression, or anxiety, you have immediate access to all the knowledge, resources, and helpers needed to improve yourself and your lifestyle and get out of your rut.
These are all things you should be grateful for.
Being grateful in general carries a horde of benefits. It makes you happier, more appreciative, charismatic, and attractive. It increases accountability which leads to higher self-esteem. It helps you remain in the present moment, which leads to less stress. It abates obsessive thoughts and rumination. It betters your mental health. It takes your focus away from negative feelings. And although not conclusive, it may even make you less depressed. (19) (20)
Now, practicing gratitude doesn’t need to be complicated. Here’s how I’d go about it.
First decide whether you’ll use a phone or a notebook. I prefer a phone. In your Notes App, create a note called “Gratitude” and set a daily reminder in your Reminder’s App to practice gratitude at the most convenient time of day.
Whenever your reminder goes off, open your “Gratitude” note, and jot down at least one sentence about what you’re grateful for. Be sure it’s as specific as possible (although you don’t always have to make it so). For example:
“I’m grateful to have friends who are able and willing to listen to me whine and cry about my ex.”
“I’m grateful that I love my job and can use it as a reminder that despite my ex leaving me, I still have something to look forward to.”
“I’m grateful that I at least got a chance to experience what having a relationship feels like.”
“I’m grateful to live in a world with vast resources and training material on how to get over a breakup.”
“I’m grateful Russia hasn’t torn apart my home and killed my family+dog yet, and that all I’m dealing with is a breakup.”
Remember: you’re not writing an essay here. Simply taking 20 seconds to write one sentence is enough. And you don’t even need to write. You can do this entire exercise by talking to yourself if you prefer. The important thing is to keep doing the exercise for at least 21 to 30 days. By that point, engaging in gratitude should become a habit, and it’s when it becomes a habit that you reap all its benefits and enrich your life and mind in the process.
If you need more help healing from your breakup, check out my Radical Recovery Course. It includes hours of video and hundreds of pages of writing, and a community with exclusive weekly Q&A calls, private chat, and 1-on-1 coaching.
Take the confusion out of recovery. With over 40 actionable tips, this free cheat sheet will help you stop being an ex-obsessing emotional trainwreck. Apply its advice, and I'm sure you'll quickly find closure and feel like yourself again.
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