How to fix a broken heart | Guy Winch
How to Survive a Broken Heart
Having your heart broken is a truly harrowing and overwhelming event. While it may feel like the world as you have known it is has ended, it does not mean that your future cannot be bright and filled with love. While heartbreak does take time to overcome, you really will feel like yourself again. In the mean time, there are many things you can do to help mend your broken heart.
Accepting Your Broken Heart
Let yourself get emotional.It is perfectly natural to feel all sorts of emotions after a breakup—from utter sadness to blinding anger. If you suddenly feel deeply, let it out—you will feel better after. However, it is important to remember not to let these emotions dictate your life. If you feel sad, dive into that emotion, let it out, and then move on. Trying to numb yourself to the pain or holding your emotions in can cause your heartbreak to remain with you for much longer—and can cause unnecessary levels of stress.
- This also goes for crying. If you are overcome with the urge to cry, do not try to bottle it up. Of course, there are certain times when crying might make a situation pretty uncomfortable (like when you’re at work, in class, in line at the grocery store, etc.) During those situations, its always good to to keep some tricks up your sleeve to keep yourself from crying outright.
Let go of negative thoughts.When you experience a breakup, you may feel like everyone is out to hurt you or that the world is a dark, unfriendly place. Its important to remember that its not--there are many people who love you and many beautiful things to experience in the world. To rid yourself of negative thoughts, focus on things you love and surround yourself with people and things that make you happy. Meditation can be an excellent way to dispel negative thoughts.
- If you begin to feel yourself falling into a negative headspace, divert yourself by doing something distracting and calming. Go for a walk a get some fresh air, call up your best friend to find out how her day is going, or plan out a project you want to take on.
Talk to someone about what you are going through.It can really help to put your feelings into words. Talk to a family member, friend, or therapist about what you are going through. Chances are, an outside observer will be able to help you sort out your feelings and come up with a game plan for how to face this broken heart head on.
Don’t beat yourself up over the break up.When someone you trust, like your ex, suddenly hurts you it can make you begin to question your worth. Don’t let yourself go down this path--you are worth a whole lot. Remind yourself of your strengths and things that you are good at or take pleasure it. Focus your energy into things that make you feel good about yourself. Finish that mixed media piece you’ve been working on, read a great book, or start training for a marathon. These things will help you to remember that though you have experienced being hurt, you are strong enough to overcome your broken heart.
Dwelling on the past is generally best to avoid--particularly after a breakup. This means you should keep yourself from doing things that bring up your past relationship and make you feel bad. Create a list of things that remind you of your relationship and try your best to avoid them. For example, stalking your ex’s Facebook page and Instagram probably makes you feel pretty crappy--put it on the ‘bad’ list.
- Other things you may want to avoid include listening to ‘your’ song, looking at pictures of you and your ex, visiting spots that were special to your relationship, etc.
Remember to take care of yourself.Despite the fact that you might just feel like sleeping all day, you really do need to keep up your health. Remember to eat and try to get a little exercise every once in a while--exercising actually boosts your serotonin levels which in turn will make you feel happier. Eat what you can manage and boost your incentive to eat by treating yourself to something you love at least once (ice cream, a smoothie, chocolate, a really awesome kale salad--whatever you love).
- Keep in mind that if your treat is a cold beer, wine, or a fabulous cocktail, avoid getting drunk. While getting drunk and a little wild might seem like the perfect antidote to your broken heart, feeling out of control is the last thing you need right now. On top of that, getting drunk can lead to many, many drunken tears and a wicked hangover that will lay you lower than you already feel.
Surround yourself with love and laughter.While the person you thought loved you might be out of your life, you have plenty of other people who will drop everything to come give you some love. Plan a weekend home with your family after a breakup--they will give you the hugs you need. Schedule a girls or guys night out with your friends, go to the movies with your siblings--the list of possibilities is endless. Let yourself relax, laugh, and feel the love.
- Having a broken heart can definitely lead to a feeling of just wanting to be alone. While it is definitely important to have your alone time to reflect and let your emotions out, you should also definitely make an effort to get out of the house and see people who can help you through what you are experiencing.
Know that there might be bad days.Don’t get frustrated with yourself if you think you are doing better and then one day, feel like the break up happened all over again just that morning. Some days are bound to be harder than others. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you feel sad while you are recovering. A broken heart is a strange thing that won’t repair in a day--on those days when you do feel sad, angry or lost, let yourself feel that way--and then move on.
Avoid the ‘Ex Games’.There is no question about it--you two broke up. Regardless of whatever sugar coating you might have been fed--like the dreaded “its not you, its me” or “you’re just too good for me”--the message is the same: your lover does not want to be in a relationship with you. Do not waste your time by trying to play games to get him or her back. Trying to make her jealous, or continually calling him to talk your breakup through is a waste of your valuable time--put your energy towards moving on and starting over.
Minimize contact with your ex.While you might not be able to avoid your ex entirely (like if you go to school with him or have the same friend group as her), you can--and should--minimize the amount of time you spend in contact with him or her. Don’t send your ex passive aggressive texts or call you ex crying. Absolutelydo notdrunk dial your ex one night. Doing these things will just make you feel worse. Instead, try to avoid seeing or contacting your ex as best you can.
- If you do have to see your ex, such as if you are in the same class, don’t give into your desire to run up to him and slap him in the face, beg her to come back to you, or simply scream “why?????” Instead, collect yourself and either ignore your ex, or give them a quick greeting without any further interaction. Do not let your ex see that they are putting you in any sort of turmoil.
Ignore ‘updates’ on your ex’s life.Be it in real life or on social media sites, its time to ‘block’ your ex. Ask your friends not to tell you if they saw your ex or heard something about him/her. Remove your ex from your Facebook news feed (or unfriend him/her entirely). While this may be hard to do, ultimately it will be for the best.
Try out some new activities.As the saying “out with the old, in with the new” goes, one of the best ways to move forward is by trying something new. Its time to create a bright, vibrant future for yourself. Have you always wanted to try scuba diving? Lacrosse? Sculpting? Do it! Join a sports team or enroll in an after school or work class. Not only will you get to experience something new, you’ll also meet new people who enjoy the same thing that you do (and have never even heard of your ex).
Avoid sad songs and sappy movies.Now is definitely not the time to watchThe Notebookfor the first time or develop a taste for romantic ballads. Listen to music that will pump you up and motivate you, rather than that list of sad songs you put together in the first days of your breakup. While this may sound strange, creating a blacklist of songs that remind you of your ex will help you to move on, rather than dwell on the sadness you feel.
- This goes for really any form of entertainment-- romantic movies, books, plays--really anything that revolves around a romance or doomed love affair should probably put on the blacklist for now.
Distract yourself by helping others.One of the best ways to move on is by putting your situation into perspective. Instead of dwelling on your own problems, help others with theirs. Start volunteering at a local charity, call up a friend who has been having a rough time, or even just help your mom rearrange her furniture--doing something for someone else will help you to realize that while you have suffered a broken heart, your life really is pretty sweet.
Exercise to release your emotions.Working out really is one of the best ways to reduce stress and sadness. When you work up a sweat, you are also working up your serotonin levels which in turn will make you feel happier and more relaxed. Set up an exercise routine or join that Zumba class you’ve been wanting to try for ages.
Wish your ex well.One of the biggest steps you can take to moving on with your life is simply wishing your ex well. You don’t have to do this to his/her face--instead just think to yourself, “I hope ___ is doing well”. You do not need to forgive your ex for breaking your heart, nor should you forget what you have gone through because of that heart break. However, letting go of the anger and sadness your ex caused is a healthy and positive step forward.
- If you feel like it is important that you remain friends with your ex, you must be absolutely sure you are not harboring any remaining feelings of romantic love for him or her. If you still feel flutters in your belly when you see your ex, or find yourself fantasizing about getting back together, it is best that you don’t try to be friends yet. When you do become friends, know that you will most likely never be able to hang out with your ex without recalling your relationship--thats ok, just put those affection feelings towards your friendship (andnothingmore).
Open yourself up to new possibilities.This does not mean you should rush into a new relationship immediately--particularly if it is just a rebound relationship that doesn’t mean much to you but does have the potential to hurt the other person. Instead, take things slowly when you do meet someone you think could be a new love interest.
- Remember that a broken heart won't heal in a day--this process takes time but eventually you really will feel like yourself again.
- Remind yourself every day that you are special person.
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