Relationships require commitment and effort. Imagine putting a lot of both into a relationship only to have it come to an end. In that case, it doesn’t matter if the relationship lasted for four weeks or four years. We come out of a breakup with residual emotions and feelings. At times, breakups leave us so stressed out that we can even become physically ill. In fact, this study showed that our sense of self could get muddled after a breakup. The deeper your connection with your now-ex may have been, the more complicated things can get.
Moreover, each relationship is different, which is why there is no well-defined protocol that we can follow to heal. However, as more time passes and with the use of healthy coping mechanisms, it is possible to speed up the healing process. If you are recovering from a recent breakup, then you may need help alleviating the stress associated with it. The following tips might be useful in such a situation:
Sharing your feelings
Studies show that by sharing our negative feelings with someone, we can calm down the pain centers of the brain. It doesn’t matter who you talk to as long as it is someone whom you trust. Don’t try to go through it alone. Instead, share your feelings, and you will find it can soothe you. Not only will this make you feel good, but it will also stimulate your brain to release opiates. With nature’s painkillers on your side, you will do a better job of managing the emotions and dampening the pain associated with your breakup.
Mourn the loss
What may surprise you is that you can’t judge how much pain you will endure based on the longevity or duration of a relationship. You have experienced a loss, and you are likely to go through most of the five stages of grief. If you allow yourself enough time to mourn this loss, you will be on your way to a better mental and physical state. Some breakups we can see coming, so we may be better prepared for them. In the event of a breakup that takes you by surprise, you may find yourself denying that it happened! Denial is one-step away from isolation, and we use it as a defense mechanism to overcome the shock. Don’t let your thoughts go into a circuitous mode by revisiting the breakup! Instead, try to relax and try this next step.
Get a massage
If you didn’t already know, massages are linked with many mental benefits, including boosting our concentration levels and reducing tension. The physical advantages of massage therapy include relieving muscle soreness, boosting the immune system and helping you rest. Studies like this one show massage therapy could bring down the levels of cortisol – the stress hormone – by 53%! If you are feeling anxious or depressed after your breakup, it is your brain’s way of telling you to relax and take care of yourself. Getting a massage can be a good way to start the process of healing.
Do things you love
Take a break after a bad breakup and revisit the things that you used to love doing. Often, being in a relationship can mean that we give up on things that we individually enjoy and look for pastimes that we enjoy as a couple. But since you are on a break, it might be time to start getting excited over things that you enjoyed before. Go out for coffee with your friends or invite them over if you don’t feel like going out just yet. Reading, exercising, and gardening are all good viable options too. We’d recommend the first one because being in the company of people who make you laugh is therapy in itself. In fact, you can feel yourself get a mood boost when you smile and laugh with people who care about you. It will also help lessen the anxiety and feelings of isolation that arises after a breakup.
Avoid any kind of contact with your ex
This might not always be possible. You may be sharing a place with your ex or the custody of kids with them. That would mean you’d see them often if not every day. But if you can break all ties with them, it can help you heal faster. You might think it is a good idea to meet up and talk about all the happy times you two had. Or the thought of being lonely can be scary or painful, which has you reaching for your phone to call them. That is never a good idea! Take what measures you can, such as deleting your ex from your social media accounts, avoiding places you know they might frequent, distance yourselffrom them. If your work or education brings you together often, then avoid physical contact and making small talk with them.
Why is it so important for you to distance yourself? Because it can lead to stress. A breakup is considered one of the many stressful life experiences a person can face. Such experiences may make your brain age 1.5 years! An aging brain is at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Know someone who is showing early signs of Alzheimer’s? Have them take a dementia test immediately!
You might have to put some work into it, but it can be useful to reprogram your brain about breakups. Instead of thinking of them as rejections, think of them as a new beginning. Sure, it will be difficult to think optimistically in the beginning. You might feel heartbroken and getting back on your feet could take some time. Give yourself that time to heal. Just keep in mind that it isn’t just your heart that needs healing, your mind, and your body will need care and consideration to recover as well. Focus on the positive things that you have going for you. Look at the qualities that make you the beautiful, vibrant, and strong person. You’re still that person!