How can I learn to be content and at peace?

I recently broke up with my boyfriend After being together for over 4 years. I truly believe I did the right thing, but omehow being single now has made me very needy and unsure of myself.

I am seeing someone casually and I am losing my mind with anxiety about how he feels about me and this need for validation.

How can I learn to be content and at peace with myself regardless of my career, relationship status, etc?

Natalie Jimenez, M.A., Ed.S., LMFT
Natalie Jimenez, M.A., Ed.S., LMFT
Courage To Shine Counseling

The decision to end an relationship, especially after 4 years, is not easy and it takes courage.  So, good for you for taking that leap with courage!  As you mentioned, you truly believe you did the right thing, and that says a lot about your self-awareness and courage to make difficult decisions, even they're scary, for a healthier life for yourself.  

It is totally normal to feel a bit out-of-sorts after ending a 4 year relationship.  It is experienced as a loss, even if you're the one that ended it.   Like any loss, you'll go through the stages of grief to some degree:  denial (i.e. wondering if you made a mistake by ending it), anger (i.e. why did wait so long?; anxiety/frustration about self, like wondering "Am I lovable?," "Will I ever find love again?"), bargaining (i.e. if only I had...), depression (i.e. missing what you liked about the relationship; feeling needy, lonely), and acceptance (i.e. being okay with your decision and moving forward).  

Ideally, you want to take some time to heal, reflect on the previous relationship (and it's lessons), reflect on your values and what else brings fulfillment and joy to your life, and give yourself the relationship you want to have eventually (i.e. attention, love, support, encouragement, compassion, etc.).  Taking the time to do this will help you feel less "needy" for validation from others, more sure about who you are/what you value and what you want in your next relationship (someone that aligns with you and encourages those values too).  

To be content and at peace with yourself you need to give yourself the attention you'd like to received from another.  When you date, you normally want someone who is interested in getting to know you, who will encourage/support your goals, and who will be loving/compassionate with you.  So, get to know yourself (what makes you happy?, what matters most to you?); encourage yourself (what areas of my life that I value need attention/more time from me?  What can I start doing now to pay attention to those areas?), and be compassionate with yourself (acknowledge your regrets, reflect on what you learned from them, and forgive yourself for mistakes made).  

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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