Julie was engaged to be married to a man who she was going out with for two years. She believed that they had a great relationship. Suddenly, and out of the blue, he tells her that he “wants to take a break.” He is unsure of what he wants in a relationship, and he is calling off the wedding. He wants to know if they can still be friends.
Julie is devastated and suffering from the worst kind of rejection. The kind of dismissal when there is no siren warning like a tornado ripping through your living room at dawn. She had no idea that her man was going to abandon her.
She was planning her wedding and fantasized walking down the aisle with her husband-to-be. All her friends and family were going to be there, smiling down upon her on this sunny, happy day. What was supposed to the greatest day of her life has turned into a nightmare.
She feels the epitome of hurt, loss and shame. What was she going to tell everyone? How was she going to deal with all the pain that came from this rejection?
In order to work through this pain, Julie can either push it away by denying its existence or face it directly. If she avoids dealing with this pain, she may have difficulty ever resolving it, and she also may suffer from physical or emotional problems. Facing this rejection is not easy, but hiding from it will not bring her peace.
You can all probably readily relate to Julie’s story here. We have all been rejected at some points in our lives. Rejection and abandonment are as much as a part of life as the sun rising in the morning is.
7 ways exercise heals the pain of abandonment:
• First of all, realize that feeling traumatized after getting dumped in this manner is normal. There is nothing abnormal about feeling extreme anger or sadness. However, you need a way to process your feelings and work through them.
• Write down an “emotional pain question” such as “How could he do this to me?” or “How am I feeling about his abrupt abandonment of me?” or “How do I feel about him now?” The purpose of writing down this question is to prepare you to focus on it once you begin your exercise.
• Any aerobic exercise for 15 minutes or more will increase your endorphin levels and bring about a feeling of calmness. Walking, running, skating, and swimming are some forms of exercise that you can participate in. Exercise increases the serotonin levels that improve mood and increases another brain neurotransmitter called norepinephrine, which teaches the body how to handle stress.
• Focus on your “emotional pain question” while you are exercising. While you are working out, the brain chemistry changes, and it gives you a sense of self-confidence and inner peace. That in turn provides the strength to face your emotional pain with increased clarity; an action that may be impossible to do while sedentary because the feelings of loss are too overwhelmingly frightening.
• Listen to music that provokes an emotional response while you are working out and focusing on your “emotional pain question.” Choose music that you know will bring up intense memories of your former lover or other songs that trigger earlier memories. Sometimes these earlier memories can help us gather up the strength to deal with heart break.
• While you are self-questioning, exercising and listening to music, you will notice that you will deeply feel your pain. This program teaches you how to go into the pain in a safe way. It is not uncommon for folks to find relief after their initial work out. You may also discover new insights about yourself and begin to feel more optimistic about the future.
• After your workout, write down your thoughts and feelings in journal form. You will notice that writing down your experience will further advance your feelings of sadness, anger and betrayal. Eventually you will learn to accept this devastating loss and move on with your life. You will no longer feel like a victim, and your heart will be open for positive energy that may come your way.