You are great by yourself, but you’re even better with a partner who complements you, shares your idea of fun and has your perspective on a few important things in life. The sense of security that comes with this attachment brings joy, comfort and reassurance. But over time, something happens. All that suddenly ends, causing immense emotions that override all logic. You’re left broken and doubting your self-worth. So how do you heal a broken heart?
This is not a peculiar thing, rather a situation that most people go through, sometimes more than once in a lifetime. And it is why researchers have come up with advice for a broken heart.
But Why Do Breakups Hurt So Much?
Robert Firestone, a psychologist explains that the pain and hurt comes from a sense of loss from an illusion known as a fantasy bond. He describes it as “an illusion of connection between a couple that substitutes feelings of real love and intimacy.”
Dr. Dean Burnett in his book “Idiot Brain” says that love is like a drug, and withdrawal from addiction is disruptive and damaging. He says “being in love seems to elevate dopamine activity in the reward pathway, meaning we experience pleasure in our partner’s presence, almost like a drug”. Studies have actually proven that heartbreak from a relationship activates the same brain region that processes physical pain.
Whichever approach you give this, the fact remains that heartbreak shakes up your emotional centre, your spirit and psyche and the question to be answered is how to overcome heartbreak and depression?
But you may have heard about conscious uncoupling, especially lately. This is when a couple agrees to go their separate ways amicably.
Is Conscious Uncoupling Less Hurtful?
Conscious uncoupling, according to the Macmillan Dictionary, is “the act of ending a marriage or romantic relationship in a way which shows that the two people will remain friends and believe that this is a positive thing for their future lives.”
So, can this understanding make the breakup easier and less hurtful? According to Dr. Habib Sadeghi & Dr. Sherry Sami, who were interviewed for an article on Goop about consciously uncoupling, “every irritation and argument within a relationship is a signal to look inside ourselves and identify a negative internal object that needs healing.” With this shift in perspective, the end of a relationship becomes a learning experience for both parties, instead of World War III.
In addition, current events may trigger pain that has built up from the past and if you can be mindful of this during “uncoupling”, it will help you understand your own state of mind and you will be able to see that it’s not you or your partner that is to blame, but instead you are undergoing a valuable learning experience.
With this established, there’s no animosity as you will both consider the breakup as a journey, and the uncoupling will seem like a destination to a better you.
But conscious uncoupling may not always work and you may find yourself in legal offices or having to deal with a “stalkerish” ex. It’s important to remember that the other person is hurting as well and they’re trying to handle it their way. It may be important to seek help in an extreme situation.
When it’s all said and done, you will still have to heal, and below are ways on how to heal a broken heart from cheating.
7 Proven Ways to Heal After a Breakup
1. Allow Yourself Some Time to Heal
Do not try to heal after a breakup by numbing the pain with rebounds or by hardening your heart.
The Roman poet Ovid said “It’s some relief to weep; grief is satisfied and carried off by tears.”
What did he mean?
It’s ok to wallow in the pangs of grief. Life is not placid and happy all the time. And this is just one of those moments that it’s not. Grief, just like any other body function e.g. sweating, must be released. If you contain it, it will hurt you some more. So, it’s ok to cry when you need to. It’s acceptance.
This is backed by science; it’s been found that tears shed when you’re feeling emotional contain high levels of stress hormones. This means that after crying, you’re relieved of a bit of stress and tension.
It allows your mind to process the grief quickly and you’re able to get back to your stable self again.
2. Consider It a Lesson
You learn something new with each experience you go through in life. Relationships are no exception. When you view your newly-ended relationship in this light, you find yourself healing a lot faster, than when, for instance, you look at it simply as a misfortune.
By taking a look at the relationship from an outside point of view, you’ll get helpful insights of personal growth that make you strong. Steve Jobs said you cannot connect dots by only looking forward, but you can connect them by seeing backwards.
What he’s saying here is that there are lessons that you can pick up when you look back at what was and this will help you avoid repeat patterns that may have failed before, and give you reason to look forward to something better.
3. Reboot Yourself
You have now grieved, and picked up the lessons. Start afresh.
Which are your untapped hobbies?
Drop all the habits that you had been doing together and pick up new habits. This may include taking up yoga sessions, scheduled walks or workouts; you may take painting or salsa classes. Occupy your time with new activities that you love, explore those hobbies that you’ve not tried before. While you’re at it, you could take up a holistic healing course.
Rebooting yourself may also mean removing pictures or things that could remind you of the ex. All this helps free the mind of the old unpleasant memories and instead of it being reactive, it’s more active and rejuvenating.
4. Have Something to Look Forward To
According to research reported by HuffingtonPost, anticipation of exciting experiences is linked to greater happiness, excitement and pleasure. You can therefore plan a getaway, a mini holiday or something that will be exciting to you.
Studies reveal that “after people envision a brighter future their perceived meaning in life increases, and it does so especially for those prone to search for meaning in life.” So, get busy by planning for something exciting. It helps clear the mind.
5. Feel Compassion for Your Ex
As counterproductive as this may sound, you’ll be surprised at how much effect it has on your healing process. This is not about loving them back, it’s more about loosening the grip on anger, bitterness or negativity, and it’s possible that they may also be going through a similar pain.
It helps to keep that space between the two of you peaceful. This is especially very important in a situation where kids are involved. According to psychologists, it reduces anxiety and confusion in kids.
6. Stay in the Present
By this time down the road, you’re feeling better and slowly refocusing your life around the things that are important to you. Avoid ruminating about the past or worrying too much about the future. Be mindful about now. Enjoy the sounds, scents and scenery around you. You can only find your sense of calm and balance when you deal with the inside. Mindful meditation always improves your awareness of the present. Michael Kernis, a psychologist from the University of Georgia says, “Mindfulness decreases ego involvement, so people are less likely to link their self-esteem to events and more likely to take things at face value.”
Simply put, enjoy the present, savour all that is going on around you, and you won’t have much to stress about.
7. Sound Healing Frequencies
Sound healing is deeply rooted in ancient civilizations and cultures and has been used as a tool for fostering physical and emotional health for generations. It’s in fact widely used today even in modern medicine as a mode of healing. What’s even better is that now there is a modern take on this that involves specialised frequencies that have been designed to help you with the symptoms of heartbreak. They help you deal specifically with each of the symptoms that you may be going through, from stress and anxiety to depression and uncertainty.
This will leave you motivated to seek a positive outlook for your life.
Life isn’t one smooth ride and just like all other aspects of your life, relationships too can cause lots of pain and grief. But you’re not alone – some people have found ways to break up without pain through conscious uncoupling, especially when there are kids involved, while for others it’s just plain hurtful. Don’t give up hope, though, because here is how to heal a broken heart in 30 days. Allow yourself to heal, embrace the process as a lesson, reboot yourself as a step to starting afresh, plan something exciting you can look forward to, feel a little compassionate about your ex considering they could be suffering too, and finally stay in the present by being mindful of yourself and savour your present environment.
So, take courage, gather all your energy, heal and savour life as you look forward to the future.