Finding Peace After a Break-up

We’ve all been there. Your world has been turned upside down. You’re not sure you’ll ever feel better again. 

In the moments after a break-up, it can feel impossible to find even ground. The roller coaster of emotions is relentless and peace feels miles away. And while all of this is normal, there are things you can do to find peace in the midst of it all. 

When we undergo a significant shift in our relationships – like a breakup – it can set off alarm bells that we are at risk of being abandoned. These alarm bells can go off even if we were the one to call an end to it. This fear of abandonment goes all the way back to when we were young kiddos dependent on our caregivers and abandonment could mean death. So if you find yourself feeling on the verge of panic or in extreme emotions, it’s possible that a young part of you has been activated. When these young parts become activated they can flood our system and make it difficult to maintain perspective, regulate our emotions and access our inner wisdom. 

How to tell if a young part is activated:

This can look differently for everyone but here are some general patterns you might see… 

  • Extreme thinking
  • Feeling flooded with memories 
  • Difficulty accessing or implementing coping skills
  • Brain fog 
  • Sudden shifts in physical sensations. 

What you can do if a young part is activated:

  • See if you can track where in your body this young part is located. Put a comforting hand on it and breathe with it. You can offer some simple language – I see you, I love you, I’m here. Remind it that you are not going anywhere.
  • See if you can validate its emotions. Try saying- Of course you feel that way.
  • Ask it to not overwhelm you – this can create separation so that you can become a witness to the young part and not merged with it.
  • Find something comforting for you and your young part. Did you love ice cream or stuffed animals as a kid? Go find some. 

If you find it hard to access this when you are feeling overwhelmed with emotion but suspect that young parts are involved, you can try accessing them when you are in a more grounded space. See if you can practice connecting with them on a regular basis. This builds trust. As you build trust with young parts, they are more likely to let the wise adult you stay in the inner driver’s seat.

This is not about removing or suppressing the parts of us that are in pain; rather, this is about learning how to relate to them so they don’t flood our system in ways that are damaging or destructive. 

When we’re going through a time of loss like a break-up, we may hear people tell us to love ourselves. And while that nonspecific advice is well meant, it can be unclear how to get there. Learning how to listen to these young parts is one road to loving yourself better. 

If you want more personalized tools on finding peace after a break-up or supporting young parts of yourself, schedule a free Discovery Session with me, Colleen Jamieson, here.