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5 Steps to Go From Breakdown to Breakthrough



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We’ve all been there at this moment where the overwhelm is so intense that we can not even think or act. I’m talking about the moment where you just can’t. You are ‘done.’ You feel stuck, sad, and frustrated. You would scream, but if you only had the strength!

I know, I’ve been there too. I remember clearly, me laying down on the floor staring at the green walls of this apartment I used to hate, crying in silence, feeling hopeless while wishing I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. But “where is the tunnel again?”. 

It is not a good place to be at all. But at the same time, it is perfect as it is. Have you noticed what happens after a major breakdown? When we decide to break out of it, there is a breakthrough. And I love breakthroughs. They help us move on in life, usually more mindfully and more meaningfully. Breakthroughs help us see beyond our limitations and encourage us to pass through barriers that sometimes we don’t even realize were there in the first place. Breakthroughs are insightful and liberating. But how do we get there, from a breakdown? The answer is right down below. 

1. Drop everything you are doing

To stop and drop whatever you are doing is probably the most crucial step to take since a breakdown usually comes after a series of non-stop, forced actions. We try so hard and go so deep without taking the necessary rest that eventually, we reach a point where we can not keep going anymore, or it’s just too painful to continue. So, what you must do right now is simply stop and breathe. Allow yourself some time to recenter and accommodate time for the following steps. 

2. Scream, shout, let it out

When was the last time you let it all out? How many emotions have you been bottling up? It is now time to let the feelings come to you, actually feel them, and then let them go. If you haven’t cried in a while, allow the tears to fall. If there is a scream desperate to come out, scream. Remember: you are human, and feeling feels is as normal as breathing air. So, feel whatever you need to feel and then let it go. You deserve this time to process your emotions, and it is essential for your mental health that you do so.

“There is no breakthrough without a breakdown.” – Tony Robbins

3. Center yourself

After all the release from step 2, you will need a tool to help you center yourself and realign your energy. My go-to, in this case, is meditation. It can be as simple as sitting down in silence with your back straight, eyes closed, and breathing in and out slowly. Focus on your breathing and allow any thoughts to go as they come, without attaching to them. This simple meditation will help you become more present and prevent the usual spiral of thoughts that comes with a breakdown. 

4. Re-evaluate the situation

If you got through the previous steps, I’m pretty sure you can think more clearly now, and you must feel a lot better. If you don’t, don’t worry. Know that this process takes time, depending on the person and the situation. So maybe give yourself more time and 

whenever you are ready, start the re-evaluation. 

The re-evaluation process is when you sit down with your thoughts, a pen, paper, and objectively re-evaluate what took you to break down. Here, you will elaborate on what happened, what part you played on it, and what you’ve learned from the situation. You must write everything down, so you can look at what happened “from the outside” and read it whenever you want to.

A breakthrough can happen anywhere between steps one and four, but what is a breakthrough without some action to follow up? That is why it’s essential to create an action plan.

5. Create an action plan for the future

Now that you have been through all the steps, it is time to take advantage of the insights you got and act on them. To do so, I encourage you to read the following questions one by one and give yourself a couple of minutes to think about the answers. 

What is it that you uncovered in this process? What would you like to do differently? What new actions are you putting in place to prevent this from happening again? What is the goal now that you have all this information? What do you need to do today to achieve this goal? What can get in the way of what you want to achieve? How will you stay on track?

By answering these questions, you have all the information you need to design your action plan.

Remember: having a breakdown can be an opportunity to recenter, re-evaluate and repurpose our lives. All we have to do is create the space for that to happen, and that would include a pressing pause in our busy lives and some inner work followed by intentional action. Even though it is simple, I realize how difficult this may sound right now, but I promise it is worth it. And if you are worried about productivity, wait until you get back to business. You will be amazed!

I would also like to say, take your time. This process can be made in one go, or you may need weeks to process everything. The secret here is to not force or rush it and let it happen. 

Give yourself the opportunity, the time, and the space to make it happen.

Erika Sardinha is a certified life coach, a blogger, and a yoga teacher based in the Canary Islands, Spain. She is also an abuse survivor that supports women who have been through trauma by helping them let go of the past and find peace and emotional freedom in the present moment. Erika provides 1:1 online healing coaching and facilitates in-person events. To know more, go to You can also connect with Erika on Instagram:

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The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.



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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.



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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.



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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
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