Getting a Break from the Break Up

Tips and creative visualizations to move on from your breakup from the Shameless Psychiatrist. It is important to process the loss, no matter how painful!

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Image: Shutterstock (ThiagoSantos)

I have often asked myself why it took me so long to get over my last relationship. For months and months, I cried and pondered the reasons. “Why did they just cut me out of their life, like an unwanted wart? How could they?”

The fact of the matter is: during sex, it is easy to get attached.

It is mediated by the same part of the brain as addiction. So, when taken away, it can cause cravings similar to that of cravings for addictive drugs. And, when you do not get what you want, it can feel like a constant itch…that doesn’t get scratched.  

So when you get the tension relieved, it is like in another sexual encounter. You get a love brainwash: a dopamine surge will feel great for a while, but later you miss it and the tension builds up again – along with the drop in serotonin. Serotonin causes you to become obsessive about the object of your sexual fantasy. Similar to what happens in obsessive compulsive disorder, you are obsessing for the LOVE brainwash.  

Due to our neurobiology, breakups are tough under any circumstance.

I often talk to clients about how it is a great time to identify their support systems, and ask them in a vulnerable way to be there for you. However, avoidance of the pain or realization of the finality of the break up will only make the pain last longer. I recommend running toward the hurt and negative emotions, and marinating in them. That will help create closure and help you heal in the long run. 

So, what should you do about it? How can you get a break from the break up? 

Here are a few exercises to practice during a break up to give yourself the Closure YOU NEED.


Relationships exist on four different planes:

  1. Physical – the easiest to break (don’t see them anymore)
  2. Emotional – also easy to break (time/space/distance heals all wounds)
  3. Spiritual – the deep emotions related to the physical/emotional (very hard to break) 
  4. Energetic – one of the tightest bonds, the thoughts/mental (hardest to break)

Lay in a dark room and imagine that each of these are hooks in your body. Release each of them one-by-one, while playing through memories of each as you go. When you release the hook and give it back to the person (or hook it to something else like a tree or other source), thank that person for what it provided and acknowledge what it gave to both of you.


Think of the promise(s) that were made and never realized. For example, “let’s get married,” or “have a baby together.” Isolate the few promises that are the most disappointing to you. 

Close your eyes and picture a projector screen on the wall, where you get to control the scenes that are playing. You have the remote control and can play each scene, and switch to the next. The goal is to play out the scene in its entirety that never came to fruition. Examples of your scene might be spending the day together, what your shared home looks like, what your future baby might look like, the expression on each other’s faces –  then watch it crumble to the ground.   

This can take a while and that is okay. Don’t rush through or skip over the details. Once that scene has completely played through, thank the scene for happening and let it crumble to the floor before beginning the next. 

It is so important to fully process your regret and loss, no matter how painful. It is only then you can carefully create space for a new opportunity and redefine what your life is going to be like when you are single.  

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


The Science Behind Heartbreak And How To Heal

by Amy Chan

Going Through a Breakup? Here’s How to Heal Faster

by Roman Mironov
nito100/Getty Images

The 11 Mistakes That Can Make a Breakup Worse — And What to Do Instead

by Lindsay Dodgson
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.