Have you just experienced a break-up or a divorce?
Is your heart aching?
I can empathise with you and I’m here to tell you that, whilst it doesn’t feel like it at the moment, you will survive, you will come out stronger and you will learn to love again.That which does not kill us, makes us stronger...Friedrich Nietzsche Click To Tweet
WHAT IS HEART BREAK?
Heartbreak is a metaphor that we give to the intense emotional feeling that we are experiencing in our bodies after we have either lost a partner, family member, friend or even a pet.
Although as humans, we generally refer to feeling heartache after we have lost a love interest or partner and the relationship that we had with that person.
We can also feel heartbroken when we fail to get a relationship that we so desired.
WHY DOES IT HURT SO MUCH?
Our bodies are wired to respond to a fight or flight situation and when we feel things like heartbreak, our brain tells our physical body that we are in some sort of real physical pain.
When we are in love or loved up, our brains and bodies are releasing the feel good chemicals, dopamine and oxytocin, which provide you with those feelings of happiness and pleasure.
At the conclusion of a relationship, however it occurs, those chemicals are switched off and our bodies are subjected to the stress hormone, cortisol and epinephrine.
As such, we might experience mood swings, tightness in our muscles and for some, rapid weight gain.
TIPS FOR EASING THE PAIN
FEEL THE PAIN
As much as you may want to stop the pain, the best way to do this, I have found, is to dive head first into what is hurting and allow myself to feel it fully.
By this I mean, crawl into bed or curl up on the couch with a box of tissues and allow yourself to sob, scream, cry, feel angry, happy, sad and any other feeling that may come up.
Acknowledge the feeling that you are experiencing and know that in a moment or two, it will pass.
I know that this may be a foreign idea for some and perhaps it is a bit woo woo, but I can’t explain just how much this assisted me during my last breakup.
Grab yourself a journal or exercise book and a pen and begin writing.
If this feels weird and you are stuck for a starting point, start by writing a letter to either yourself or your ex.
I’m writing this letter to you today to express my feelings of …
This should help get you started.
Don’t be afraid to write the first things that come to your mind and it doesn’t have to be neat, legible or even make sense.
Whatever you do, don’t send it to anyone. I found that I felt a lot better after I had done this exercise. To ensure that I didn’t send it to anyone, I burned it as a way of releasing and healing.
If you don’t have the ability to burn it, cut it up, think confetti and throw it out.
You may find that you need to do this daily or even a few times a day, until your anger or feelings subside.
Allow yourself to sleep when required.
You and your body have just gone through a very stressful event and you may find yourself more tired than usual. This is normal.
Allowing yourself time to rest lowers your cortisol levels and allows you some time to recover.
DELETE YOUR EX FROM ALL SOCIAL MEDIA AND CONTACT LISTS
This is very hard to do, but it is essential.
When we lose someone near to us and they are no longer including us in their life, we have this odd need to stalk and spy on them via social media or by any other means.
The best thing you can do, is fight the urge to do this. Keep your integrity and dignity and accept that for whatever reason they, or you, have decided not to be a part of each other’s lives.
Let them go and if they are stalking you, then block them.
For now, the best thing you can do is to try and forget about them.
CONTINUE YOUR ROUTINE
If you have a scheduled Wednesday movie night with the girls and play tennis on Saturday’s, then make sure you stick to those routines.
Often, we make excuses and withdraw from the world, but now is not the time to ditch your mates or to start cancelling out on people.
Besides, sticking to your routine will give you something to look forward to and will assist in releasing those feel good chemicals in our brain which in turn, will make us feel better, even if it is just for a few hours.
START A NEW HOBBY
Perhaps there is something that you have always wanted to do, try or get involved in, but didn’t have the time or your partner wasn’t interested.
Why not investigate it and give it a go. This time is all about you and figuring out who you are again as a single person.
If you aren’t ready to go it alone, recruit a friend to go with you or perhaps join a group. The more the merrier.
If you are still struggling after a few weeks to a month, it might be worth reaching out to a trained professional, like a counselor or coach.
They can provide you with the support that you require and give you a few more tips and tricks to help you on your path to recovery.
This one is the most frustrating of all, as this one is out of your control.
Time really does heal most wounds though.
If you do the work, you may start to feel better sooner, for others, it may take longer and it will depend on how long the relationship was.
They say the longer the relationship, the longer it takes to heal. However, I have known friends who have come out of a 20 year marriage and have found love again within a year of their breakup.
The difference; they did the work.
They felt the pain, dealt with the emotion and practiced both emotionally and physically, moving on.
The other big factor in how I and my friends moved on was, forgiveness, of both their partner and themselves.
Whether you like it or not, a partnership is made up of two people each responsible for their own 50% of the relationship.
We each have a part to play in a break-up, ie. we could have grown apart, build up of resentment, changed who we are or perhaps didn’t change into what our partner had hoped we would, didn’t communicate as effectively as we could have etc. the list goes on.
Whatever the reason, there is nothing to be ashamed of.
These are all lessons and as long as you evaluate your own portion and take responsibility for whatever part you may have played in it all, even if it is unknown to you, then you are doing the work.
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
This is pointless and there really is nothing to be gained.
Beating yourself up and taking full responsibility, even if your partner tells you it was all your fault, is silly.
Those who constantly blame others, are emotionally immature and that, girl, isn’t you!
Ignore your partner if they are saying this and know that you can only be responsible for your portion, your 50% and that is it.
DON’T GET CAUGHT UP
Whatever you do, don’t get caught up in a war-of-words with them either via text or in person.
What does this prove? All it does is puts you back into a negative space and doesn’t do anything to heal your wounds, if anything, it creates more.
The mature thing to do, is just to keep a distance and be polite if you do have any dealings.
If you are living together, then arrange a time for them to come over when you aren’t home or, have a friend oversee the process if need be.
Right now, do what is best for you.
You have a choice to focus on what’s tearing you apart or you can focus on what’s keeping you together.
I hope that this post has provided you with a few ideas to assist you in this crappy moment of your life.
Feel free to connect by sharing in the comments section below.
P.s. If you are struggling with your thoughts, check out How To Stop Overthinking Today With These 17 Secrets
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