September 27, 2016

11 Ways to Get Past Painful Break-ups

Breakups are really hard. I showed you why breakups are painful in my latest post which you can find here. In this post I am going to show you how to get past a painful break-up.
  • Purge your ex from all of your contacts

  • Stay off of social media for a few weeks

  • Pack up photos or other reminders of your ex

  • Spend time with those who love you. Don't isolate even if that is all you want to do

  • Journal about your feelings

This photo was actually taken by my daughter (who is awesome). You can find her blog here. 

  • Write a letter to your ex (but don't send it). This is just for you
  • Acknowledge the good things about your past relationship (but don't over-romanticize it)
  • Spend time doing things that recharge you
  • Give it time. Rushing into a new relationship will not solve the problem 
  • Make a list of your goals and dreams. This will help you redefine the life you want and get you thinking about the possibilities.
  • Make a list of 10 things you like about yourself. This can help you develop some self-compassion. You have a lot to offer the universe. Yes, you!

Here is a little infographic to sum up the post. 

If you are struggling with the pain in your life,  professional counseling can help. You can call our Houston therapist at 713 - 591 -3612, or visit the Wilson Counseling website at  to find out more.

September 13, 2016

Why break-ups are so painful

Love hurts, literally

You can see the physical and emotional pain in the body language of someone who has gone through a recent breakup. It hurts to exist. It looks like it takes all their energy just to hold themselves up. The metaphorical weight of the world seems to be literally propped on their shoulders, threatening to crush them. And the distant, glassy look in their eyes betrays the fact that they are not fully present. It is too painful to exist fully in the here and now.

The most popular post I have ever written is entitled "Letting go of broken relationships." It resonates with people because so many people in broken relationships can't let go. We fear the breakup. We are wired to avoid pain, so why would we court it by breaking up with our partner? 

Some of the most depressed clients I have worked with are those going through recent break-ups. I had one client recently who commented, "My ex is already posting pictures of herself with another guy on Facebook. It kills me so badly. I don't know what to do" I think the language he used in that statement is both typical and instructive. It "kills" him to see his ex with another. He is talking about physical pain, not just emotional. 

The physical effects of heart break

Research shows that physcial pain and emotional pain are nearly the same. 
  • Emotional pain lights up the same pathways in the brain as physical pain
  • After a breakup the body often releases stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline which can lead to restlessness, chest pain, muscle tension, digestive problems and other physical symptoms
  • Brain scans show that cravings for an ex look like cravings for cocaine 

Your brain is hard wired to move on

Your pain is real, but it is finite. I had a friend who likened being depressed to being stuck in a giant pile of dung.  When you look around, all you see and smell and feel is shit. But, if you can just get past the dung pile, you will know that there is joy, richness, and life. On the plus side, new research supports the idea that your brain is hard wired to move on.  

If you are struggling with the pain of a breakup or a difficult relationship, professional counseling can help. You can call our Houston therapist at 713 - 591 -3612, or visit the Wilson Counseling website at  to find out more.