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5 Super Effective Ways to Survive a Broken Heart

I remember so well my first broken heart. It was 9th grade and Bobby Fortunato, the guy of my dreams, had just broken up with me. We had been going out for two whole weeks. My mom took pity on me and let me stay home in bed and eat jello. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Truly, there might be nothing worse than a broken heart. The pain, both in your heart and in your head, is almost unbearable. The end of a relationship is like a death… you grieve for your loss and you feel a huge emptiness, one that you are sure you will never again be able to fill.

I am here to tell you there are ways to get through your grief not only intact but even better than you were before.

Here are my 5 Super Effective Ways to Survive a Broken Heart.

#1 – Shut down the pain.

Most likely your body is in physical pain, the result of psychological suffering. And the most likely center point of that pain is your stomach. The pain is sharp and relentless and makes you feel like you are going to die.

That pain is from anxiety. Anxiety that you are less than, that you will never love again, that you will be alone, that you are unlovable. That pain comes directly from your brain, from your thoughts. Not so helpful, right?

There are two ways to deal with that pain.

The first: talk back to that brain of yours.

Tell it that it is being ridiculous. That you are amazing, that this loss will only create new opportunities, that you aren’t now, nor ever will you be, alone. It’s not easy but you can do it.

Say those words OUT LOUD. Speaking words out loud, instead of keeping them in our head, releases the words into the world energetically which makes them more powerful. Try it. It’s true.

The second: remember to breathe.

Big deep breaths that go down to your belly. Breathe in for 3 seconds and out for 4. This kind of breathing will actually calm the stress response in your body, ease your stomach pain and help clear your head. Repeat as necessary.

#2 – Manage your media.

This is a key element in grief management. You have music, you have video, you have social media. USE THEM FOR GOOD. They will get you out of your head and inspire you to be powerful.

I make a playlist when I am going through hard times. The songs are about empowerment, about survival, about living life fully. They go on my I-phone and then get played in my car as I go about my day. And yes, I sing along. Loudly.

Movies work the same way. There are so many movies out there about overcoming the odds, getting through hard times and emerging better than before. Find them. Watch them. Be inspired by them. Even cry with them (yes, crying is okay. even good. sometimes great. but don’t wallow).

Be careful with social media. Yes, it is a great tool for feeling connected and distracted but if you have a tendency to stalk, and it causes you pain, then tread lightly. YouTube might be better than Facebook…or so my teenage daughter tells me.

#3 – Do Good.

Nothing feels better than helping out someone in need. Helping out someone else while you are at your lowest feels even better, believe it or not.

When you are grieving it is really easy to turn inside yourself, to feel like you are in the worst place a person could be. And while where you are does suck, there are others out there who are as just as bad off or worse. And by helping them you are also helping yourself.

There are plenty of ways to help out. You can help an elderly neighbor mow their lawn, you can volunteer at a library and help children learn to read. Hospitals are always in need of people to help in a variety of capacities. I worked in palliative care for a while. Boy, did that give me some perspective and appreciation of the life I was living.

Pick one. Do it. See how good it makes you feel and make someone else feel better in the process.

Want to talk more about fixing your broken heart? Let’s do it!

#4 – Get hot.

Yes, you read that right. Get hot.

Exercise is one of the best ways to manage grief. During exercise your body produces endorphins and endorphins actually make you feel better. And, as a side benefit, exercise also gets you in shape.

Imagine having the body that you have always wanted – you know what body I am talking about. Now is the time to get it. Start exercising to help manage your grief and use it to get in great shape and to feel better about yourself.

And, while it’s not about revenge, let your ex eat his heart out when next he sees you!

#5 – Don’t stop believing in love.

Yes, right now your heart is broken. You just can’t imagine being able to get through this day or the next. You know that you will never love or be loved again. Sigh.

No! You have to believe. You have to believe that your great love is out there. That you are more than a little loveable and that what you are going through is only temporary. Think about what you want and work on truly believing that you will get it. And then take the steps to do so. You can do it!

And, if you are feeling hot and full of self confidence from all that exercise and surviving your grief, imagine what that special someone will think when they first lay eyes on you. WOW!

Now that’s a great place for your pesky brain to go, don’t you think?

So there you go… my 5 Super Effective Ways to Survive a Broken Heart.

Your world seems like it is over but it’s not. Use my coping techniques and not only will you get through today and tomorrow in one piece but you will build the strength of body and character that will ultimately help you achieve your dreams and find the love of your life.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Questions to Ask Yourself If You are Unhappy

Being unhappy is horrible. It can take over your life and suck all that is good and joyful out of it. None of us want to be unhappy but many of us are.

One thing many of us don’t ask ourselves is why we are unhappy. We have a vague understanding that our lives are not what we hoped they would be but we don’t know specifically why.

In an effort to help you identify what specifically is making you unhappy I have five questions for you. Answer them in terms of your own life and you will get the answers you are looking for.

Here is my latest: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself If You are Unhappy.

#1 – Are you proud of the choices you are making?

All of us having internal guiding principles that are important to us, things like the importance of trust or honesty or loyalty. These guiding principles light our path to living our best life but unfortunately they can get lost as life happens.

Do you know what your guiding principles are and are your living them?

I have a client who was having an affair with a married man. He made her deliriously happy, or so she told herself. But still she didn’t feel good about her life and she didn’t know why.

I asked her what her guiding principles were – what was most important to her in a relationship?

After some thought and discussion she realized that the truth was of paramount importance to her. And that nothing about her relationship with the married man was based on truth.

“Are you able to live with that?” I asked. “And be happy?”

The answer was no and she soon moved on. On into a relationship that was based on truth and trust and she is happy.

#2 – Is your relationship making your heart sing?

Our romantic relationships are very important, more important than many of us recognize.

In this modern world we are told that we should be able to take care of ourselves and that to rely on another to bring us some happiness is a sign of weakness.

But this just simply is not true.

Happy committed relationships provide much that is essential to human survival: commitment, communication, touch, sharing, sex, support, laughter, joy, sex. When we have those things our lives are fuller, we are satisfied, we are loved. Other things can bring us down but the foundation of a good relationship helps us when we founder.

Being in a relationship isn’t necessary for happiness but being in a relationship that is toxic puts you on the surest path to being unhappy.

I have a client whose husband was always one of two things: absent or drunk. She wasn’t sure which was worse – his not being in the house or being drunk when he was. What she did know was that it was making her miserable. She was always hoping that things would change but they never did. She was alone in her marriage.

And the rest of her life? It foundered. Her parenting suffered, she stopped eating well and exercising and gained 20 pounds, her work was neglected and her crabbiness made her friends stay away.

What did she do? After much deliberation and overcoming lots of fear, she asked him to stay absent and she is fighting her way back to herself, on the path to living the life of her dreams.

#3 – Do you make a difference in the world?

I know you are going to say that you just don’t have time to volunteer. How could I possibly ask you to do that?

I am not going to ask you to do that. Although if it appeals you should try it. Volunteering makes the world go round.

What I mean by making a difference is asking you how you interact with others in the world. Did you smile at the checkout person at the grocery store? Do you hold doors for other people? Do you refrain from giving the man who cut you off in his BMW the finger? Do you pick up trash that you see in the street?

All of these things contribute to the world in a small way and doing them will make your life a better place as well. The act of smiling at someone will actually make you and the person you smiled at happier. Holding doors for people makes them feel noticed and you made it happen. Not giving someone the finger will allow you not to feel the pain of remorse in the middle of the night. And picking up that trash will literally make the world a more beautiful place.

So make a difference in the world every day. It will make you happier. I promise.

Want some help being happy? Let me help!

#4 – Do you feel healthy and strong?

You know when you go out on a long dock and it’s old and creaky and with each step you wonder if you are going to end up in the water? If you aren’t healthy and strong, like a good dock, you could find yourself drowning before you know it.

Taking care of yourself is the key to a foundation from which happiness can grow. Eat well, but don’t deprive yourself. Exercise, but only so it makes you feel good. Do one thing that makes you happy every day, like a massage or lunch with a friend. Find a life coach, to get the support that you need.

If you feel healthy and strong you will be able to take on whatever life throws at you.

Wouldn’t that feel great?

#5 – Do you challenge yourself?

I know that I have my routines. I get up, walk my dog, do some yoga, work all day, walk my dog again, do errands, have dinner, take a bath and go to bed. Pretty much every day.

As a life coach I know that while routines are good for keeping us on track it is essential to challenge ourselves. Challenging yourself will keep your brain going strong, keep you physically confident and get that adrenaline rushing.

What do I mean by being challenged? It can be anything.

When I got divorced I promised myself that I would start doing all of the things that scared me. I learned how to ride a jet ski (which was awesome), I conquered my fear of driving in the snow (which was convenient), I took up crossword puzzles (which has made me way smarter) and I can now use power tools. Except for a drill.

It’s so hard to imagine now not being able to do those things. Doing them has given me so much more confidence in myself – not only that I can do them but that I challenged myself to overcome my fears and prevailed.

And did I mention that I was way smarter? That makes me happy.

So there you go. 5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You Are Unhappy.

Unhappiness to so many of us is the status quo. We assume that this is the way life is and we must push through it. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Happiness IS possible.

Are you making choices that are feeling good? Are you feeling loved and supported in your relationship? Did you make someone smile today? Is your foundation strong? Did you do something recently that got your adrenaline pumping?

If not, choose one and make it happen.

Happiness is yours for the taking. Today.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways The Most Emotionally Strong People Become That Way

You know that woman you know? You know, the one who seems completely put together? She knows what she wants and who she is and she won’t let anyone or anything get her down?

Yes, her. Wouldn’t you like to be her?

You can be!

A woman like that most likely wasn’t always like that but had to work to become that way. And you can do it too!

Here is my latest – 5 Ways The Most Emotionally Strong People Become That Way.

#1 – Take care of yourself.

At the most basic level, no one can be emotionally strong if they aren’t physically strong.

I am not saying you have to join Crossfit and do the Whole 30 and go to therapy every day. I do mean to take care of your body. Eat well, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, be kind to others, do what makes you smile.

Feeling healthy and strong will give you good strong roots at the base of your emotionally healthy tree. Roots that will make it so that you won’t blow over in a storm.

So do it. Take care of yourself. Create a healthy base on which to cultivate your emotional strength.

#2 – Challenge your thoughts.

You know those pesky thoughts that incessantly course through your head? You know the ones. The ones that tell you aren’t pretty enough, not smart enough, not successful enough.

Yes, those thoughts. The thoughts that are holding you back. They are keeping you emotionally weak.

It’s time to change those thoughts. It won’t be easy but with a little determination you can bring about big change.

One of my clients had spent a lifetime telling herself that she just wasn’t worthy of love. Her life experience had led her to believe this to be true and because her thoughts consistently reinforced this idea she just wasn’t emotionally capable to finding and keeping love.

I challenged her to challenge those thoughts. To talk back to the negative thoughts and provide evidence that they just weren’t true. I encouraged her to make a list of those who had loved her. Her various boyfriends, her parents, her friends, her kids, the barista guy who had flirted with her for years. Those people who liked and loved her.

She kept this list easily accessible and when those dreaded thoughts reared their ugly head she referred to the list. Gradually those thoughts, being starved of reasons why it was true, became much quieter.

And then, because she no longer felt emotionally weakened by her thoughts, she flirted back with that barista and it looks like she just might live happily ever after.

#3 – Don’t take things personally.

Taking things personally can be the death of emotional strength.

When something happens to us the only way that we can process it is through our own internal system. And that internal system only truly understands OUR experience. As a result we often times personalize things that have NOTHING to do with us.

I have a client who was in a dispute with her landlord about damage done to her apartment and she was very upset. She couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t enjoy her everyday life. She took the dispute personally.

She felt that the landlord was questioning who she was as a person in his pursuit of keeping the damage deposit. She felt less than because of this.

I suggested to her that a more likely explanation for his actions was that he wanted more money from her NOT that he didn’t like her as a person.

In that moment my client let go of everything that she had been holding on to. Of course it was about the money, not about how she was as a tenant or a person. It’s always about money.

In that moment she learned about the importance of not taking things personally and grew her emotional strength.

#4 – Give of yourself to others.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can help build emotional strength more than doing something for someone else. Truly, nothing.

When I was going through my divorce my emotional strength was at it’s lowest.  I started volunteering weekly at the local food bank. Four hours a week of helping other people get food to eat, for themselves and their families, made me feel so good. And not because I felt lucky that I wasn’t in their position but because I knew that I had made a substantial, positive difference in their lives. It made my heart sing.

Many of us don’t have time to volunteer but we can make a difference in other ways. Hold the door open for someone, buy that homeless person sitting outside the grocery store a sandwich, reach out to a friend you know is going through a hard time, give up your seat on the subway.

There is nothing like being on the receiving end of a smile of gratitude to build up your emotional strength. So try it. Reach out and make a difference in someone’s life today

#5 – Do that thing you think you can not do.

There comes a time in one’s life when one is presented with an obstacle that seem insurmountable. For me that obstacle was rebuilding my life after my divorce.

I never wanted a divorce but it was forced upon me and I had to deal. I had to deal with no longer being a wife, greatly reduced financial stability and the prospect of being alone forever.

I DID NOT WANT TO DEAL.

But I had to. I had to pick myself and move forward. And I chose to pick myself and move forward in the strongest possible way. I wasn’t going to let this situation ruin my life so I didn’t.

How? I got into therapy. I surrounded myself with people who loved and supported me. I educated myself about the divorce process so that I could get what I needed to take care of myself and my children. I didn’t back down in the face of his anger and derision. I stopped taking his actions personally and realized they were his issues not mine.

In short, I came out on the other side of my divorce a different woman. I went into it a woman who was scared of her own shadow, as I had been at the end of my marriage. I emerged someone who knew that she could take care of herself and her children, who was no longer a wife but a woman and who didn’t give a damn about being alone because I was very happy with my own company.

The BEST way to ensure your emotional strength is to DO THAT THING YOU THINK YOU CAN NOT DO. By doing so you will truly see your own strength. Nothing and no one will be able to convince you otherwise.

So there you go – my 5 Ways The Most Emotionally Strong People Become That Way.

We are born into this world emotionally strong people. Life experience can drain that strength until we are left a shell of who we formerly were.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Take care of yourself, don’t take things personally, challenge your thoughts, give unto others and face challenges head on. Regaining your emotional strength is not only possible but probable with a little intention and effort.

You can do it. I did. And, let me tell you, it feels amazing!

Looking for more ways to get emotionally stronger? Contact me and I can help.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Things to Ask Yourself if You Aren’t Happy- Even If You Don’t See the Point

Being unhappy is horrible. It can take over your life and suck all that is good and joyful out of it. None of us want to be unhappy but many of us are.

One thing many of us don’t ask ourselves is why we are unhappy. We have a vague understanding that our lives are not what we hoped they would be but we don’t know specifically why.

In an effort to help you identify what specifically is making you unhappy I have five questions for you. Answer them in terms of your own life and you will get the answers you are looking for.

Here is my latest: 5 Things to Ask Yourself if You Aren’t Happy- Even If You Don’t See the Point.

#1 – Are you living in integrity?

All of us having internal guiding principles that are important to us, things like the importance of trust or honesty or loyalty. These guiding principles light our path to living our best life but unfortunately they can get lost as life happens.

Do you know what your guiding principles are and are your living them?

I have a client who was having an affair with a married man. He made her deliriously happy, or so she told herself. But still she didn’t feel good about her life and she didn’t know why.

I asked her what her guiding principles were – what was most important to her in a relationship?

After some thought and discussion she realized that the truth was of paramount importance to her. And that nothing about her relationship with the married man was based on truth.

“Are you able to live with that?” I asked. “And be happy?”

The answer was no and she soon moved on. On into a relationship that was based on truth and trust and she is happy.

#2 – Is your relationship making your heart sing?

Our romantic relationships are very important, more important than many of us recognize.

In this modern world we are told that we should be able to take care of ourselves and that to rely on another to bring us some happiness is a sign of weakness.

But this just simply is not true.

Happy committed relationships provide much that is essential to human survival: commitment, communication, touch, sharing, sex, support, laughter, joy, sex. When we have those things our lives are fuller, we are satisfied, we are loved. Other things can bring us down but the foundation of a good relationship help us when we founder.

Being in a relationship isn’t necessary for happiness but being in a relationship that is toxic puts you on the surest path to being unhappy.

I have a client whose husband was always one of two things: absent or drunk. She wasn’t sure which was worse – his not being in the house or being drunk when he was. What she did know was that it was making her miserable. She was always hoping that things would change but they never did. She was alone in her marriage.

And the rest of her life? It foundered. Her parenting suffered, she stopped eating well and exercising and gained 20 pounds, her work was neglected and her crabbiness made her friends stay away.

What did she do? After much deliberation and overcoming lots of fear, she asked him to stay absent and she is fighting her way back to herself, on the path to living the life of her dreams.

#3 – Do you make a difference in the world?

I know you are going to say that you just don’t have time to volunteer. How could I possibly ask you to do that?

I am not going to ask you to do that. Although if it appeals you should try it. Volunteering makes the world go round.

What I mean by making a difference is asking you how you interact with others in the world. Did you smile at the checkout person at the grocery store? Do you hold doors for other people? Do you refrain from giving the man who cut you off in his BMW the finger? Do you pick up trash that you see in the street?

All of these things contribute to the world in a small way and doing them will make your life a better place as well. The act of smiling at someone will actually make you and the person you smiled at happier. Holding doors for people makes them feel noticed and you made it happen. Not giving someone the finger will allow you not to feel the pain of remorse in the middle of the night. And picking up that trash will literally make the world a more beautiful place.

So make a difference in the world every day. It will make you happier. I promise.

Want to be happy? Let me help!

#4 – Do you feel healthy and strong?

You know when you go out on a long dock and it’s old and creaky and with each step you wonder if you are going to end up in the water? If you aren’t healthy and strong, like a good dock, you could find yourself drowning before you know it.

Taking care of yourself is the key to a foundation from which happiness can grow. Eat well, but don’t deprive yourself. Exercise, but only so it makes you feel good. Do one thing that makes you happy every day, like a massage or lunch with a friend. Find a life coach, to get the support that you need.

If you feel healthy and strong you will be able to take on whatever life throws at you.

Wouldn’t that feel great?

#5 – Do you challenge yourself?

I know that I have my routines. I get up, walk my dog, do some yoga, work all day, walk my dog again, do errands, have dinner, take a bath and go to bed. Pretty much every day.

As a life coach I know that while routines are good for keeping us on track it is essential to challenge ourselves. Challenging yourself will keep your brain going strong, keep you physically confident and get that adrenaline rushing.

What do I mean by being challenged? It can be anything.

When I got divorced I promised myself that I would start doing all of the things that scared me. I learned how to ride a jet ski (which was awesome), I conquered my fear of driving in the snow (which was convenient), I took up crossword puzzles (which has made me way smarter) and I can now use power tools. Even a drill.

It’s so hard to imagine now not being able to do those things. Doing them has given me so much more confidence in myself – not only that I can do them but that I challenged myself to overcome my fears and prevailed.

And did I mention that I was way smarter? That makes me happy.

So there you go. 5 Things to Ask Yourself if You Aren’t Happy.

Unhappiness to so many of us is just the status quo. We assume that this is the way life is and we just push through it. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Happiness IS possible.

Are you making choices that are feeling good? Are you feeling loved and supported in your relationship? Did you make someone smile today? Is your foundation strong? Did you do something recently that got your adrenaline pumping?

If not, choose one and make it happen.

Happiness is yours for the taking. Today.


Need more questions to help you find happiness?

Contact me here and I can help!


 

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Pathways to Saying NO – And Not Even Feel Guilty Doing So

So your life is chaotic, jam packed and crazy. You wake up each morning wondering how you are going to get through the day because you have so much to do.

When you drop the kids at school another parent approaches you about organizing a bake sale/ wrapping paper drive/capital campaign (pick one). What do you say? “Yes. Sure. Of course.”

What have you done? You have added one more thing to your already jam packed life.

Saying NO is a very important part of living the life of your dreams. We all want to be involved in the things that we want to be involved in but many of us are involved in things we don’t want to be involved in.

Why? Guilt, usually, but also the inclination to be helpful, to carry our share of the load and to set a good example for our kids.

These are all great things. But really, if you want to be the best person that you can be, to set a great example for your kids, you have to learn to say NO.

Here are 5 Pathways to Saying NO – and Not Even Feel Guilty Doing So.

#1 – Believe in yourself and your reasoning for saying NO. When you are asked to do something take a moment, or an hour or a day, to really consider why you would add this thing to your pile.

Would it satisfy you? Do you have the time? Do you have the interest? Is it the best use of your already limited time?

Giving careful consideration to something before committing to it will allow you to say NO with conviction. You have solid reasoning as to why you shouldn’t do it. If you believe in your reasoning then it will be way easier to stand up and say NO.

#2 – Keep your NO explanation, respectful, short and sweet. When preparing to say NO always begin delivering the message in a respectful way. Say that you are happy to have been asked and thank them for their confidence in you. This will soften them up for the next sentence…in which you say NO.

When saying NO it is important that you don’t go on and on as to why you can’t do something. You have your reasons and you want to stick to them and rattling on about why you are saying NO will only open up opportunities for the asker to convince you to say yes.

#3 – Don’t take a no to your NO. Many askers are professionals. They know how to make another person do what they need them to do. When you have decided not to do something stick to it. You will feel much better about yourself if you do. This can be a learning experience for both you and your kids: how to make a choice and stick to it, even in the face of push back.

#4 – Use email. I know this seems like a bit of a cop-out but really it’s the reason that email was invented…to deliver difficult news.

State your reasons for say NO clearly and decisively and offer no personal justifications or emotional commentary about this decision or anything else.

Your message will land and the asker will not be able to argue and will move on to ask someone else. And there is ALWAYS someone else to ask…

#5 – Reward yourself. Positive reinforcement is a really good thing. Of course, by saying NO you will have the positive reinforcement that you haven’t added one more thing to your plate but I think that it’s important that when you have done something good for yourself, you reward yourself.

So reward yourself for a job well done, saying NO. It can be little, like a wonderful piece of dark chocolate, or big, like a massage. Whatever it is that will make your heart sing.

You have done something very difficult and you should give yourself credit for a job well done.

So there you go…5 Pathways to Saying NO – And Not Even Feel Guilty Doing So.

Saying NO is not something that comes naturally to any of us but once you learn the value of doing so you will be well on your way to reaching the life of your dreams. Saying NO will help you not only not get overwhelmed but it will keep your time open for more important things.

And remember, if your kids see you saying NO in a clear, positive and respectful way they are more likely to do so themselves. This will set them up for success in the future, because they can set boundaries, something every mom wants for her child.

So really, it’s a two for one win. More time for you and a lesson learned for your kids. Well done, Mom!

Get in touch with me NOW for more ways to help your dreams come true!  You will be happy you did.

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!