1. Go do something totally unrelated that requires 100% of your energy. Even if it’s tasting every singe ingredient in your dinner. Put your entire being into every bite.
2. Call a the most empathetic non-judgemental friend you have, and calmly tell them what happened. No drama is necessary, just the facts about what happened and how it made you feel.
3. If your current heartache or disappointment has to do with another person (as it usually does) try your best to avoid contact with that person until you can figure out what you want to happen moving forward. If you live with this person it can be tough. Honesty is the best policy here, although tact is also at a premium. Instead of screaming at the top of your lungs that you want them to get out of your face, respectfully let them know you are hurt and that you are going to need some space before you can think about the situation in a non-destructive way. You’ll feel like a grown up when you phrase it in a way that lays a respectful foundation for discussion later – BONUS – Due to all the movies about cold calculated revenge out there – it can really scare the bejesus out of the other person when they see that you can remain calm and rational.
4. Watch a complicated ‘tearjerker’ movie that makes you cry for reasons unrelated to you’re own current heartbreak. This is a healthy empathetic way to release all that pent up energy, and help you focus your attention elsewhere. Comedies never seem to work for me when I am feeling powerless, I just don’t connect.
5. Don’t try to rationalize yourself out of your emotions. You have every right to feel bad for as long as you want. Give yourself full permission to feel whatever it is that you are feeling until you want to feel better.
6. Once you want to feel better, do something that symbolically removes the heartache or disappointment. Taking a shower and washing it all down the drain works well for me.
The object here is to find some relief from the heaviness you felt, so even if thinking about revenge feels better to you, give over to that feeling and let yourself stay there for as long as you want to.
7. When you realize you feel even a tiny bit better, think about what you want to happen NOW. Being that none of us can change the past, there isn’t much reason to dwell in it. How would you like things to work out from this moment on. Try to be as straightforward and positive as possible. Saying to yourself “I don’t want to feel bad anymore” is not very specific about what you DO want.
8. Think about why you want it. – This could take a while, I often have no cognisant idea about why I want anything until I really take some time to break it all down. If you are like me, making a list of reasons why you want what you want and then ranking them in priority can be very productive.
9. Try to feel how you will feel when you get what you want. This may be the single most important step of the whole thing. Without emotion behind your wants and desires, they’re just empty statements. I thought for the longest time that this was just a hokey idea, but I found that if I really wanted to change something, I not only had to understand it intellectually, I had to believe in it with all my heart.
10. Be prepared to forgive the offender for being human even if that offender is You. Once you feel that you have some clarity about how to move forward and feel good about it – DO it. If this means having a rational mutually respectful conversation with the offending party, do so.
Whatever you’ve decided you would like to happen NOW, as long as it feels better to you take responsibility for it and do it.