How to Boost Your Happiness After Leaving a Toxic Relationship
by Brittany Jorel
A year ago
Leaving a toxic relationship is one of the most challenging things a person can do. What survivors don’t often expect are the wave of emotions one can feel over the next few months or even years.
Whether you left that toxic relationship 3-days, 3-months, or 3-years ago, as a survivor of abuse and trauma, every day can feel like a struggle.
Moving on after an abusive relationship can feel overwhelming. You may find it hard to navigate this new independence - all while trying to figure out who you are and what you want during this next chapter of your lives.
But, it’s during this time that we need to find things that can bring us joy and happiness - no matter how small it may seem.
Here are 7 Ways to Boost Happiness After Leaving a Toxic Relationship
Celebrate The Small Wins:
There’s this misconception that the only things worth celebrating are huge milestones - think birthdays, job promotions, weddings, etc. But as a survivor, the day-to-day challenges you overcome deserve some celebrating too. As a survivor, you are learning something new or overcoming an obstacle every day. Whether it’s waking up and getting dressed, re-entering the hworkforce, learning to manage money, paying rent on your own, choosing to take care of yourself, reclaiming your life, etc. At the end of each day, think of one thing you can celebrate!
Schedule Time For You:
It’s time to book some ‘Me-Time’ into your calendar for the upcoming month. Choose one thing to do during this time that will make you smile. Maybe it’s going out to the movies, heading to the beach, shopping for a new outfit, or getting your nails done. Book this in advance, so you have something to look forward to!
Start Each Day with a Smile:
Though this might sound a little silly, it’s backed by science. A study from The University of South Australia confirmed that the simple act of smiling tricks your mind into happiness. The study also suggests that a fake smile can help boost mental health and reduce anxiety or depression. So, before you even get out of bed, take a moment to smile.
If you’re having a bad day, feeling stressed or anxious, don’t hold it inside. The best place to release these emotions is writing them down in a journal.Journaling truly saved my life (I share how in this blog post). Writing your feelings, thoughts and emotions out on paper can provide a massive relief, helping you feel a lot better after a hard day and boosting your mood. Your journal will also become a great reminder of how far you’ve come.
Watch a Funny Movie:
Laughter is the best medicine! Truly! Not only can laughter help boost your mood in the short term, but it can also have positive long-term effects on your health and well-being. Pop the popcorn, put on your comfiest clothes and get ready to laugh. Need some movie suggestion ideas? Check out this list here.
Discover a New Outdoor Activity: We all know spending time outside in nature can boost endorphin levels and dopamine production, promoting happiness. But, one of the most empowering things you can do for YOU after leaving a toxic relationship is discovering an outdoor activity that you’ve never done before. Not only does the challenge of learning a new skill become an excellent distraction, but it can help rebuild your confidence.Whether you want to train for a marathon, give roller skating a whirl, join a hiking club, or learn to kayak, the combination of nature and a new activity can be one of the best ways to increase your happiness.
There are a variety of ways you can practice mindfulness. Whether it’s meditating, praying, coloring or going for a quiet walk.Find a style that feels aligned to you and make it a regular habit. If you aren’t sure where to start, Insight Timer has a ton of great guided meditations for free. Here’s a lovely 15-minute meditation by Katherine A Chestnut for those who’ve experienced pain caused by narcissistic emotional abuse. The meditation is focused on healing yourself and restoring self-love.
Finding joy and happiness after leaving a toxic relationship can be difficult. But doing things that can make you laugh, smile or re-discover who you are can make the journey to healing a little easier.
Which tip are you going to try? Feel free to share by commenting below.