I’m usually willing to put in a great deal of effort to get where I want. And it’s usually easy – as long as you know what to do. The problem is that it’s almost impossible to find a step-by-step guide to get over a breakup easily.
The NLP tool guide: How to quickly get over a breakup with NLP
Getting effective by being creative
I don’t have hours to spend in front of the television screen watching reruns of Sex and the City. Neither do I think it works to go out and party like it’s 1999 all over again (and trust me, I’ve tried on multiple occasions).
Also, I’m not a great fan of locking myself in the bathroom at work to cry. Don’t get me wrong, not getting a text back after Tinder date number 3 isn’t exactly heartbreaking. But sometimes, there are breakups where I feel I need a bit more than just time to get through them.
That’s where NLP techniques come into the picture. Some of them must possibly work to get over a guy who broke your heart.
If you want to read my introductory guide to NLP and what it is, click here. Yes, I will also discuss what’s backed by science and what you shouldn’t bother wasting your time on.
Tell me what you want, what you really, really want
Before you start applying the visualization techniques used by athletes and CEOs, try spending a few minutes acknowledging what it is you wish to achieve.
Do you just want to stop jumping every time you see his name or picture somewhere? Do you want to forget a specific moment that keeps hunting you? Or do you also want to come out as a stronger and better version of yourself on the other side of the breakup?
I find that the first problem is one I have if I try to forget about someone without acknowledging that I’m hurt.
Reducing the impact of a mini trauma
Jumping in your chair and feeling physically sick when something reminds you of him, can look a lot like the emotional response of someone who has gone through a minor trauma.
Not that I think that going to war and being in a relationship are similar events, but the scars from both can be uncomfortable.
This technique is used by psychiatrists on trauma victims when they’re working on one specific memory. It’s often done with a person to guide you, but it can be applied to yourself as well.
The technique is about connecting the two parts of the brain while you’re reliving the memory.
- When you think about the person, see his picture or name, try taking a pen in front of your eyes.
- Follow it with your eyes while you move it either from side to side or in a sideways 8 in front of you.
- Repeat it for several minutes and see if it gets easier and easier not to get emotionally flustered when the memory is triggered again.
Downplaying other memories
Other specific memories of your time together can also be played down by using some of the common visualization techniques. It can be a happy memory that now makes you sad, or it can be the memory of you two fighting.
- Close your eyes and think of the event.
- If you’re experiencing it from a first person perspective, (Ie. you’re looking through your own eyes), try first removing yourself and watch it from the outside.
- Then step away even further. Put it on a movie screen.
- Then imagine it becoming smaller and smaller. Maybe it’s just on your iPhone now.
- Make the pictures blurrier and the sound unclear.
Remove all colors, or maybe add a clown nose to him so the memory can make you laugh. Anything that takes the power away from it.
When you don’t feel ready
If you’re struggling to do this, think about what you want to accomplish. Maybe you don’t feel ready to let go of him yet.
There’s usually a positive intention behind that. You may hope that you two can still find together again, and you’re not willing to give up.
Try negotiating with yourself. If you two ever pick up contact again, you can still go back to the way you felt if that’s what you want.
If it’s not just the fear of losing this person, but also the fear of missing out on love altogether, try looking at it rationally. This person was not your only shot at finding someone you can love.
What not to do
I have seen some people recommending to focus on the negative memories from a relationship to get over someone. I’m sure there are a lot of ways to use NLP to do this as well.
However, I don’t think spending time on that will make you any happier. Sure, listing up all the things you think was wrong with your ex or your time together may help you realize that you’re better off meeting someone else.
But spending time reliving those negative aspect of the relationship doesn’t sound very tempting. It would only make me angry, and all my positive energy would go towards that instead, so I’ll pass.
Put more energy into yourself
A complete opposite approach, and also the last of the three points I mentioned in the beginning, is focusing on yourself.
What are you going to be like when this person is out of your life? Who do you want to be, and what do you want more of?
Maybe one of the reasons you’re missing this person so much is because you’re missing one of his qualities that you would like yourself to have.
This can make the break-up a huge learning possibility. Maybe this is the time to acquire a new skill.
What do you miss? Did you go hunting together? Join some friends in that activity. Was he always social and took you out to parties? Try seeing if there’s anything you can do differently to become more outgoing.
Improve life in general
If that’s not the case, you may just look to be a better version of yourself. This is a good day to try to spend time setting some new goals for your life.
- Imagine yourself on a specific day not too long away from now. Maybe try seeing yourself a month, six months or a year away from the break-up.
- Play this up in your head like a colorful and vibrant movie with clear sounds and nice smells.
- How do you walk and talk? How are you behaving when you are over that person? Who are you spending time with? Are you dating someone else, or are you having fun with friends?
- What are you wearing? How are you standing? Try taking deep breaths and change your posture to the one you see in the picture. Straighten your back and let your shoulder rest. It probably feels a lot better already.
Life sometimes sucks: a general disclaimer
I know it’s foolish to think that one single recipe can cure you of the sorrows of a bad breakup. But at least it’s a step in the right direction.
There are many things that hurt when you lose someone. You’re rejected by a person you loved, so your self-esteem may suffer. Then there’s the fact that you miss the guy and the things you used to do together.
Try using as much energy as possible on something positive. Treat it as a way to improve your life. Something is stripped away from you. Try adding something else.
Start new projects at work, join a gym (the endorphins themselves may be enough to help you), go to a wine-tasting class or learn how to make sushi.
if all else fails, HBO at least lets you watch plenty of episodes of Carrie getting over Mr. Big.
Follow the blog for further posts on how you can apply NLP techniques to areas in your personal life as well as career.
Further reading for an introduction to NLP
If you want to read up on the subject, I recommend these two books, in particular, starting with “NLP. The Essential Guide”.