Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human

Recovering from a Breakup: Proven Ways to Heal (From Science)

0 views

Even if your heart tries to pull its broken self together to tell you it’s for the best, and your head – foggy and sad – tells you the pain will pass, the agony of a breakup can be relentless. When you’re recovering from a breakup, it’s important not to hurry things along – it’s your time to reset, recharge and draw wisdom from the experience – but what if your healing could be strong and complete … and quicker?  Science may have just found the way. 

New research has found that broken-hearted ones who reflected more on their relationships over a nine week period had a stronger overall recovery from their breakup. 

An important part of the healing is a process called ‘self-concept reorganisation’, which involves rebuilding and strengthening the sense of who you are, independent of the relationship.

What if your healing from a breakup could be stronger and quicker? Science may have found the secret ... http://wp.me/p5hkQx-lk Click To Tweet

Relationships have a profound impact on the beliefs we have about ourselves, whether we realise it or not. During the course of a relationship, it’s very normal to ‘intertwine’ with a partner. Goals and directions change, as well as wants and needs for now and the future.

This isn’t because you lose yourself, though certainly that can happen, but because intimacy involves opening up to another person – opening up to their love, wants, needs, feelings, opinions, love, goals, dreams. When that happens, you can’t help but be influenced and eventually move in the same direction. Sometimes that involves adjusting your own sails. It’s all a healthy part of being with someone fully, and part of the unpredictable magic of relationships.

A breakup means the undoing of this merging, which is painful to go through. However strong and independent a person may be, the fracturing of a relationship can also mean the fracturing of the self-concept. One of the most painful parts of a breakup is that it up-ends things as you’ve come to know them. The familiar is gone, plans are changed and the future all of a sudden has too many blank spaces where happy things used to be.

 

Part of the healing is re-establishing who you are without your partner. Anything that can repair and re-strengthen the self-concept, will accelerate healing.

So, to get you back to strong, based on science …

  1. Talk. Go on. Go for it.

    There are a couple of ways that talking about a breakup might help to facilitate healing. The first is that talking about the relationship will help to bring a different perspective to things. It’s not called a ‘breakup’ because it’s working well. Being in love or being in like-a-lot can blur things, hide things and dress things up, sometimes at the cost of clarity. There will be a level of insight that will throw itself at your feet when you talk about the relationship from a more distant perspective.

  2. Find your story.

    Talking helps to construct a story of the relationship that gives meaning to the experience – including the experience of the relationship, the breakup, and perhaps most importantly for healing, the recovery. Let me explain …

    If you tell the story of your breakup as one of rejection and a lost happy ever after, recovery will be slow, kind of like ‘walking through quicksand’ type of slow. It’s really easy to get stuck in this narrative when the thoughts are locked in your head and want to be with you at 2am. On the other hand, talking to people in your tribe will help you find a way to understand your story from a position of strength. This might involve finding the lessons, the learning and reframing the experience as, say, an ending, rather than a rejection.

  3. An emotional release – journalling.

    Having an emotional release is an important part of healing. Journalling is one way to do this as it allows you to capture and give definition to the thoughts and feelings that are swirling around inside. Journalling doesn’t have to be done every day to have an effect. Even a few times a week will help the healing. 

  4. Write – as though you’re talking to a stranger.

    Writing repeatedly about the process of the breakup as though speaking with a stranger about it, is another way to move towards healing. As well as being an emotional release, it also encourages a fresh perspective and new insights.

  5. Reclaim yourself – what’s been neglected?

    Reclaiming a strong self-concept – establishing who you are outside of the relationship – is critical and will be enormously supportive of a recovery. Think about the parts of yourself that might have been pushed aside during the relationship. When you’ve found these, find ways to build them and nurture them. 

  6. And expand them.

    Find new ways to expand your self concept. When you feel ready, (or maybe a little before then) take up new interests, establish new goals or re-establish your direction. Given that your need to connect has been messed with, anything that will give you the opportunity to connect with others who will also see you as your own, unique person will really help the healing process.

A breakup is an ending, not a rejection. It might not feel like that initially, but it’s an important thing to remember. When your heart has been broken, it can take a while to find your way back to whole but you will get there. Healing from a broken heart is as much a physical process as it is an emotional one. It’s very similar to recovering from an addiction, which is why it feels so hard and so damn painful.

Above all else, remember that there were things about you that were beautiful, strong, vibrant and extraordinary before the relationship. Nothing has changed.

Like this article?

Subscribe to our free newsletter for a weekly round up of our best articles

253 Comments

Racquel M

My boyfriend and I just broke up. We were together for 4 years and 8 months. It started out wonderful but after a year, it started to go downhill little by little.
I have always been independent so relationships are never easy for me. I’ve never lived with anyone or been married. Whenever he or any other boyfriend I had even mentioned moving in or marriage, I panicked. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
We are both to blame for the disagreements, arguments, and things that have gone wrong. But I was worse. The more we were together, the less emotionally available or demonstrative I was. I would get hurt or disappointed by something he did or said and either we fought or I shut down.
I feel that I’ve been a terrible girlfriend. I feel that I should never get into another relationship. What’s wrong with me? In every relationship I had, I always fall out of love. Even though I initiated this breakup, I feel awful. At times, I just want him back. At other times, I feel this is the right decision. I feel like I’m going crazy. Does anyone ever feel like I do? Should I stay broken up or crawl back, ask for forgiveness and try to make it work? Are relationships supposed to feel so difficult?

Reply
Stut

Hi.. It’s long distance relationship. It’s not my recent breakup but in January i broke up with him. But still i try to talk with him in march-april but i feel there’s no use. Things are getting more worse after i approach him. So stopped talking to him n block. But I keep missing him, our talks, intimate moments n mostly whenever I’m alone i feel crying n crying.. I feel changes in me like depression, anger and sad n uninterested in my favorite things i used to like to do… I don’t feel good energy now from inner heart.

Reply
Terranisha C

I’ve been dating my ex for 8 years and if I’m being honest I’m only 22. He’s was my first and everything and although I don’t miss the relationship “because it was toxic” it’s apart of me that’s really sad. I’m not going be his “rock” anymore like he’ll call me. And it’s been two weeks but It still feels like the first day. Our last fight ended in a physical fight and I know I don’t deserve that but why do we love the People that hurts us the most? Its like I’m over the accusing And me not knowing myself but I miss … my friend I guess💔.

Reply
Tom h

I had a tense relationship for 6 months only and it wa any decision to end it, still I can’t help but think about her all the time and if things were different. Most of my thinking is her getting intimate with someone else and it is painful…it’s been 2 weeks I think it’s getting easier, it’s the battle between mind and heart, my mind knows and tells me me 100% that she’s not the right person for me l, however, my heart still yearns for her and miss being intimate with her, just have to resist and stay focused on the reasons why it won’t ever work and pray for this pain to pass…

Reply
Raphael R

I was in a relationship for 6 years but it was a long distance one but every 2 months wecwere together and was making plans to marry…I did a lot for this relationship because of love…when you love someone you do everthing for that person….In this period of covid19 I was talking to her and I told her I miss a little more love and attention from her…..she got mad and told me to look for somone else that can be close to you…likevthat and she never text or call me back. I tried to contact her but shevwont answe or text me back…..I am feeling after 3 weeks of this still so sad and it hurts so bad….some days it goes good but for a moment and then you fall back and only tears are rolling down…..it is a pain you can explain…..still fighting to go on……thank you for reading…

Reply
Mi

We were living a wonderful life with my boyfriend almost for four months but because my brother threatened him he told me to break up. What’s killing me most is that we’re getting separated not because of our problems but someone else. I have never been sad, vulnerable and so down I can’t eat I feel like I hate my life and my self. Every day I try to make my self busy during the day and at night I sleep when I’m really tired and then at in the middle of the night I find myself thinking about him and all the stories. This is happening everyday I don’t know what to do.

Reply
Paddy

since my children’s mother split i havent been able to eat properly, I am awake all night and sleep and dawn, She has now found someone new and i am dying inside, I think about her every minute of the day now I torture myself with visions of her and her new boyfriend together, its not easy for me to walk away as we have children together, I love her more than ever but I know Ive lost her for good.

Reply
Archit J

Dude you’ll be alright. Things come into perspective in a while. Just gather you courage and do small things, things that don’t require much efforts, that’ll add to you every day. So that you won’t regret that you wasted your time moving on. At the end of the process you’ll be one great person, better than before, a hero in your eyes and your children’s too. ❤️

Reply
Sheldon

I just broke up with ex one week ago, we had wonderful times througth the year, but our values differ, especialy when it comes to gifts from others, she took them as a habbit and refuse to talk about it when I brought things up. We were engaged, I thought we can discuss whether or which gift you can take, she said it is her own business and it makes no sense talking to me, at that moment, I can not see the future of us. After three days of silence, she wanted to break up and gave back the ring. Even though she told me she does not want a breakup, I feel like I can not trust her anymore, I did not feel the urge to say or do anything, I just accept the outcome in peace. Now I kept thinking about the wonderful time we had and worry whether her next boyfriend would love her as the way I did. I can`t sleep and I am ab out break down…

Reply
Varun

hi. i also brokeup after 2 years of very close relationship and the problem with me is also same like you as i cant concentrate anything else but her only. my appeptite is decreased. i dont know what to do. i just want my mind to stop thinking of her

Reply
Jon

Howdy Gentlemen,
My fiance and I of 3 years have just recently broken up. Thankfully we were able to talk about a lot of things, and I have documented the process pretty well. My world is shattered, my life revolved around her. The habits, the routines, the support, the feeling of being loved. Everything is gone. Every day is like being stabbed through the heart, and every night is like losing my soul.
I feel yall for sure, and here is what I believe we should do.
For one, we need to look at what we are doing and think about why we are doing it. Then we need to determine what the result of it will be.

Not sleeping, not eating, constantly thinking about her. Why are we doing those things?
For me, I could not eat because I was so upset by the situation that it blocked out my other needs. It also brought back memories of us eating together. I could not sleep because I was so used to her being by my side to talk, touch, or just share the space. I still cant stop thinking about her, because I choose to associate every aspect of life with her and the future I fully believed we would have.
The result of these behaviors will dish us out more pain, more loss, and continue to hurt our futures. We will lose energy. We will lose strength. We will break ourselves…
Now I know we cant just stop these behaviors. ( I consider myself very rational, but my mind simply cant defeat my heart ) However, telling yourself every day that not only will this hurt US, but it also hurts EVERYONE ELSE. Your friends, your family, even your ex would never wish this on us.
We need to let go. We need to determine exactly what kind of future we envision for ourselves. Even if that future is ” I want my ex back “. Then, we need to build ourselves into someone who is capable of that future.
DO NOT BREAK
DO NOT GIVE UP
LOVE YOURSELF, SO THAT YOU MAY LOVE OTHERS IN PEACE.
I’m not there yet, but hopefully some of my words ring true to you. We will recover my friends. We will learn from what has happened. We will be grateful for the good times we had. We will not hold resentment in our hearts, because we are smart enough to know that everything happens for a reason. Believe with unwavering conviction that you will succeed, and make it happen. You never know where we will be further down the road.
I wish yall the best, and a speedy recovery.
Regards,
Jon

Reply
Stut

Hi.. It’s long distance relationship. It’s not my recent breakup but in January i broke up with him. But still i try to talk with him in march-april but i feel there’s no use. Things are getting more worse after i approach him. So stopped talking to him n block. But I keep missing him, our talks, intimate moments n mostly whenever I’m alone i feel crying n crying.. I feel changes in me like depression, anger and sad n uninterested in my favorite things i used to like to do… I don’t feel good energy now from inner heart.

Reply
P

Jon I love your post were all suffering here am going through exactly what your going through, I dont eat i dont sleep i cant think of anything but my my ex sometimes i wish I didn’t have kids with her because now i have to remain in her life and i know she doesnt love me anymore ive never been through heartache like this in my life ive been through all emotions even thought about ending it, but i couldn’t do it i have children and a life to live, we all have to stay strong find hobbies take things slow dont rush these painful feelings its ok not to be ok tell ourselves that we our hurting inside and were going to be ok, alls i can say is its not going to be like this forever.

Reply
Crisis

There are many outlets to release your pain.
Try chatting with a crisis counselor at Crisis Text Line. They literally helped me every night while I was alone and depressed. Breaking up was terrible for me.

Reply
Ro

5 years. I was doing my best being patient. There was something that I saw in her, when I wanted to date her. I knew from the first look, that she had the same feeling about life inside as I did. I was sure of that. But half year ago, I got tired of not being taken for granted. My strength was put in my patience, and I was thriving for celebrations. I always knew that there was more of me inside, still, my patience became a picture of me for her, and she did not believe me of who I was. It was stressful. I wanted to give her something. In the end she told me : I am thankful for the gifts, that you gave me. But there are no more feelings.
for me it is painful. I should not have taken a teachers role here, but what love is ? I taught her, she taught me about things that come from inside. That is lovely. We can not cope together. She picks at me when I express what I am capable of, and after a day we both agree, that we could be together : I pull you on the nose, you pull me on my nerves – she says. we love one another, but we cannot cope with arguments no more. And she got medical issues, when I stopped putting my strength on keeping myself patient. This showed her that she was egoistic.
She got messed over that, and I see her. Still, she does not want to hear anything about that from me. well, sometimes she does. She is pushing that away from her.

I love her. She is a beautiful soul. Good luck for her.
I need to rearrange myself now. Make something for myself.

And I think that if there was a beautiful time – do not delete it after it gets nasty. Remember the beauty you had. Do not put a cross over it.

Reply
Rey

It’s been over a year since my breakup but some days it feel too fresh. My ex and I dated for 3 and a half years and I saw a lifetime with her. And then those plans changed. I spent so much time reminiscing on everything that we had and wishing on the things that we didn’t.

This was a painful chapter of my life, and the recovery has been slow. Some days are better than others, but you know, life still goes on even if its not how we thought it would be. I just wish I came across this article sooner to help me further realize this fact.

Reply
jojie

I had relationship with my EX for almost 6 years. He is very comitted in our relationship in the 3rd year we apart by distance. But he maintaining our closeness by visiting me every 3-4months, we used to have trip together. So we both never feel apart always stay close.
But i decided to broke up after many years i did not seen any future for stability into marriage. There will always excuses since our first year till the 5th years. First he lied me bout his status in the second year that he still processing his divorce. I was shocked that time, i did broke him but him kept coming and promised that everything on track. His genuinely and comitted will do anything for us that was the reasons so i give the second chance for him to proof. But that was the same no changes after 5 years and I only found out he still with his wife. They have problem and he was afraid to loss his son. Thats the main reasons why he never processed anything
Im exhausted for all the promises and love words and the trip few months. I feel terible heart broken and ended our relationship. And now he still begging me to be back and said that he just started the divorce. But i will never trust all his blinded me. He even asked his good friend to contact me to asked forgiveness and kept stay waiting for him till end of the year for his divorce. His friend told me that he is really obssed at me and was confused to take decision. I know this is hard for me since his the first love for me and i was treated like a princess during our relationship. Thoght we are perfect couple as soul mate unfortunately all paid by untrustworthy. This is deeply pain for me to healing and while he is till begging to be back. I had block his contacts but all the memories still running well into my heart. Im praying for everyone who have this situation we all can find our own happiness

Reply

Leave a Reply

We’d love to hear what you’re thinking ...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

















Hey Warrior - A book about anxiety in children.








Hey Sigmund on Instagram

There is absolutely nothing that feels okay about There is absolutely nothing that feels okay about moving our children towards something that fuels their anxiety and distress. The drive to scoop them up and lift them over that ‘something’ can feel monumental, because as parents we are wired to protect our children from distress. This is related to attachment, and it’s is one of the strongest instincts known to us humans. .
♥️
But sometimes we will need to be brave enough for them, and remove avoidance as an option. This might feel awful but it’s important. The brain learns from experience so the more they avoid the more they will be driven to avoid, but the more they are brave the more they will be brave. It’s okay if this happens in little steps, as long as the steps are forward. .
♥️
When we take avoidance off the table, things might get worse before they get better. When something that has always worked stops working, we’ll do that thing more before we try something different. We all do this. If avoidance has worked as a way to bring calm, the amygdala (the part of the brain in charge of anxiety) will be rock solid in the belief that this is the only way to feel safe. .
♥️
When we stop supporting avoidance, the amygdala will often recruit other emotions (anger, distress) to make us (the recruited support) bring back avoidance as an option. This is not bad behaviour or manipulative behaviour. It is absolutely 100% NOT that. It’s the brain making way for the only way it knows to feels safe and calm - avoidance. .
♥️
There is no doubt you love your kiddos and would do anything to support them. But anxiety has a way of messing with this. When anxiety drives avoidance, it can feel as though we’re supporting our kids but we’re actually supporting anxiety. .
♥️
When we lift them over the things that make them anxious, but which are safe (and often life-giving), we are inadvertently aligning ourselves with anxiety and its message that they aren’t brave enough, or that the only way to be safe is to avoid the things that make them anxious. But we know this isn’t true. We know they are capable of greatness, and that greatness is often made of tiny brave steps.♥️
.

There is absolutely nothing that feels okay about moving our children towards something that fuels their anxiety and distress. The drive to scoop them up and lift them over that ‘something’ can feel monumental, because as parents we are wired to protect our children from distress. This is related to attachment, and it’s is one of the strongest instincts known to us humans. .
♥️
But sometimes we will need to be brave enough for them, and remove avoidance as an option. This might feel awful but it’s important. The brain learns from experience so the more they avoid the more they will be driven to avoid, but the more they are brave the more they will be brave. It’s okay if this happens in little steps, as long as the steps are forward. .
♥️
When we take avoidance off the table, things might get worse before they get better. When something that has always worked stops working, we’ll do that thing more before we try something different. We all do this. If avoidance has worked as a way to bring calm, the amygdala (the part of the brain in charge of anxiety) will be rock solid in the belief that this is the only way to feel safe. .
♥️
When we stop supporting avoidance, the amygdala will often recruit other emotions (anger, distress) to make us (the recruited support) bring back avoidance as an option. This is not bad behaviour or manipulative behaviour. It is absolutely 100% NOT that. It’s the brain making way for the only way it knows to feels safe and calm - avoidance. .
♥️
There is no doubt you love your kiddos and would do anything to support them. But anxiety has a way of messing with this. When anxiety drives avoidance, it can feel as though we’re supporting our kids but we’re actually supporting anxiety. .
♥️
When we lift them over the things that make them anxious, but which are safe (and often life-giving), we are inadvertently aligning ourselves with anxiety and its message that they aren’t brave enough, or that the only way to be safe is to avoid the things that make them anxious. But we know this isn’t true. We know they are capable of greatness, and that greatness is often made of tiny brave steps.♥️
.
...







{"cart_token":"","hash":"","cart_data":""}