Heartbreaks are truly awful, but inevitable. Nobody is immune to it, almost all of us will have our hearts broken at some point in life.
As Valentine’s Day is around the corner, some of us will be having the worst time of our lives due to heartbreaks. If you’re going through this difficult phase, this post can be a very helpful read.
The emotional pain of heartbreak is so intense that it can leave the best of us reeling. It’s like someone or something clutching your heart so fiercely that it will burst at any moment – but it never does and we can feel the same pain again and again even after years have passed. Each time it’s more fierce and painful than ever before.
Pain from the heartbreak is also physical, you can feel it just like the pain you feel after injuries from falling down the stairs or by an accident. Pain from injuries normally lessens with the healing, but the pain from heartbreak is recurring with same or more severity.
In 2011, a study was conducted in the University of Michigan’s Emotion & Self Control Lab in which participants were shown the pics of their exes who had broken-up with them. Pictures activated the same brain regions which were thought to be associated with the experience of physical pain.
One thing is for sure that it will never be the same after heartbreak and it will be hard to recover.
Recovering from heartbreak is a choice and a process that will continue until you find happiness again. So it’s up to you to let it wreak havoc upon your life and be miserable for others around you.
Or you can take the fight to it and be on the road to recovery, slowly but surely. Timings of the initiation of the recovery process will vary on an individual basis and will be preceded by a mourning or grief period. But one thing is clear that heartbreak will not heal automatically.
How to fix a broken heart?
The Internet is a very great resource if you know where and how to look. So, one day I stumbled upon a Ted Talk, titled, “How to fix a broken heart?” by a Psychologist, Guy Winch, on mending a broken heart.
Let me admit it, I was amazed!
According to Guy, the following can help to recover from a heartbreak:
- Acceptance/closure is a necessity to recover.
- Don’t idealize your loved one.
- Fill all voids.
A complete understanding of how it ended is important to move on. No need to be mysterious or making up conspiracies, just plain acceptance that it is over is crucial. Because the same instincts that we usually rely on to overcome setbacks will lead us down time and again, our organs simply cannot be trusted.
For instance, our mind will continually lead us to a trip down the memory lane that how good it was. But the problem is we don’t have it anymore. A person suffering from heartbreak activates the same mechanism in his brain that gets activated when addicts are withdrawn from substances like cocaine or opioids.
Nothing short of complete understanding that it’s over would do. If you don’t have it, that why it ended and where did it all go wrong, just make your own and accept it.
Being in love is like being high. There is lots of exaggeration and idealism involved, like, “Oh my God the way she smiles” or, “The way he walks.”
Easier said than done, but this idealism needs to be cut down and replaced with bad experiences when you were together according to Guy. The fight that you had when you didn’t talk for days or any sour feelings should be re-lived to nurture the emotion/feeling of ‘who wants to go back to that’.
In the same vein, fill any voids that have occurred due to the loss of a loved one. Be it a social void or identity void, replace it with new experiences and moments. It’s not easy but no need to pander to the past, remember getting over heartbreak is a choice and a fight.
Moreover, sleeping around for distraction is not a good decision and will lead you to different sets of problems in amalgamation to heartbreak.
Set Proper Goals
Instead of looking for distractions set proper long-term goals. It could be anything that you are passionate about. That job you’ve been after or pursuing your own business to satisfy the gap in the market that you earlier identified or traveling to new places or learning new skills like painting or sketching.
Heartbreaks are hard with serious consequences. Getting over heartbreak is a fight and getting over it can be easier with the help of friends and family, so isolation is a non-option.
We must always be there for people going through it in our circles to help them get over it collectively and find new meaning to life as our hearts may break but we don’t have to break with it.