If you’re feeling broken, you are not alone. Part of the human condition is ebbs and flows of emotions, struggles, and joys. It’s only natural to grieve and feel broken or lost at times, particularly when you’ve gone through a series of challenges. We all have, to a greater or lesser extent. There is indeed a path back to finding your footing and wholeness.
A sense of brokenness can ironically help rebuild and rebirth a better self. Your self-esteem, strength, and resilience can grow and transform through periods of intense loss or pain. Hardship builds character, as they say. Sometimes we need to come up against change or loss in order to see new perspectives, humble ourselves, or take responsibility.
However, there’s a fine line between getting stuck there and not seeking help when it becomes too much. And in the worlds of self-help and spirituality, the hamster wheel of “healing” can become a trap. If the hamster wheel is starting to feel draining or off, contact me or check out my blog here.
Additionally, these past few years have led to the vast majority of us feeling broken in one way or another. Our lives were disrupted at the very least, and completely devastated at the worst. We’ve collectively lost family members, friends, communities, jobs, money, hobbies, freedoms, and identities.
It’s not an exaggeration to say we all have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Any of us who have also experienced PTSD in our personal lives, from trauma, abuse, death, transition, etc, know that a sense of brokenness is a hallmark. Another is being easily triggered, whether by daily life factors like noise or crowds, interpersonal conflict, or substances and foods.
Right now we are all, in some sense, navigating our way back from brokenness to finding our footing once more. We are beginning a new chapter.
Do These 8 Things When You’re Feeling Broken
Here are 8 tips to gently guide you when you’re feeling broken. The path back to finding your footing and strength is unique and individual. It may be long and winding, but there is hope.
Remember too, always reach out to a mental health professional if you are having trouble coping on your own. There is no shame, and in fact great power, in asking for help.
Move your body
Exercise and movement of any kind has a remarkable power to shift emotions. It may sound boring or cliche, but don’t underestimate the ability of even a short walk to break through feelings of brokenness.
Moving your body moves your energy. Emotion = energy in motion, so it’s little surprise that movement can change your perspective. Start small. Walk for 15 minutes in the fresh air, or even on a treadmill if you can’t go outside. If you are more advanced, try a new practice like weightlifting or Zumba. You may even have some fun!
Feelings are not facts
Continuing on from the above point, once you move your body, your emotions will likely lift, or at least shift slightly. This shows you their transitory nature. What you feel in one moment, like brokenness or even strong depression or rage, will more than likely change in another moment.
The great Rumi describes this beautifully in his poem, “The Guest House:”
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Sometimes we do have persistent feelings, however, or depression or anxiety that won’t go away. In those cases, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
Don’t believe your thoughts
One of the most powerful insights you can ever resonate with is that you do not have to believe your thoughts. Many spiritual traditions teach this truth. And meditation is one of the vehicles in which people realize it.
Mindfulness means watching and witnessing your own thoughts and emotions float on by. They are like clouds, or fish in a rushing river. It’s the attachment to them, not their existence, that creates suffering. They are not YOU. You are the one, or the consciousness, who observes them.
Try EFT tapping
EFT, or emotional freedom technique, also called tapping, is a somatic tool. By tapping on certain energy meridians in your face and upper body, you can process emotions.
As you tap, you focus on and state what you’re feeling and thinking. The bilateral (“both sides”) stimulation allows for a release of stuck energy. This philosophy has some similarities to that of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), a powerful trauma healing modality. Any feelings of brokenness should subside at least a little bit after a few rounds of tapping.
A quick Google or YouTube search will bring you to endless tapping tutorials and examples. Or feel free to reach out to me for help, at email@example.com.
Write it out
Journaling is another method that helps shift feelings of brokenness. Write it all out, the good, the bad, and the ugly. By moving those thoughts and emotions from your head to the paper (or computer), you allow them to breathe. Once they breathe and you see them in word form, you can usually gain some distance from them.
With distance comes perspective and new insights. You can reflect on circumstances with more maturity and compassion.
Switch up your routine
We all get stuck in certain habits, behaviors, or thoughts patterns at times. Changing your schedule or daily life is one way to shake out of that.
Do you make coffee every morning first thing? Try a stretching routine before your coffee. Do you rush off to work or the gym? Do you check email or social media immediately upon waking? What can you switch up this week? You can always go back to your original plan if you don’t like the change.
This concept obviously works best if the change is a healthy one. For example, working out instead of scrolling social media, or drinking lemon water instead of coffee. Another impactful way to change your routine and environment is to take a trip or vacation.
Rewrite your story
Psychologically speaking, our brains create patterns. We’re always trying to make sense of things that happen or don’t happen in our lives. The stories we tell ourselves about why are usually false and fear based.
You can rewrite your story! On a smaller scale, you can reframe anything. For example, you lost your job. It’s likely devastating, and your feelings are valid. But you can change the story around it from “I am not good enough” to “I’m being given an opportunity to try something new.”
Turn to something greater
We’re not meant to handle everything on our own, and sometimes we truly need help. As I’ve already touched on, never feel shame in going to therapy or a trusted person for support. The spiritual version of reaching out is prayer. If that aligns with you and your faith, definitely do it. Surrender humbly.
I would also suggest flipping the script on new age concepts, if you’re in that world. There is a lot of covert victim blaming and shaming going on there. It’s not always your fault if you are struggling. Don’t kill yourself over not being able to maintain a high vibration or “ascending” fast enough.
There Is A Path Back From Feeling Broken
There is hope, and a way back to wholeness. Finding your footing after a season, or many, of brokenness is possible. In fact, you are never broken. You may feel that way at times, but your true self is always intact. Underneath the pain or trauma is a whole person, body and soul.
I hope these tips have served you. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.
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