None of us is immune to heartbreak. Do you agree? Heartbreak, lost of trust, and rejection. These three (3) elements encompass an anchor of sadness, disappointment, and disbelief. It has been an age-old question and an enigmatic idea that most of us try to crack and understand. Everyone’s subjected to the risk of getting his/her heart broken up. When you love someone you are also giving permission to that person to break your heart. As the Stoicism Philosophy tells us, it is what it is. Yes, you are permitted to sulk and be in despair, but within a certain reasonable timeframe where you won’t delve into self-destruction, remorse, and what’s worse is the feeling of hate towards your ex-significant other.
At some point in our lives, almost every one of us will have our heart broken. Imagine how different things would be if we paid more attention to this unique emotional pain.
Always remember that getting over someone shouldn’t be just left to chance or hope. It is a BATTLE. It is your daily conscious choice to win over your emotions. Through past heartbreaks and extensive research reveals how recovering from an aching stateless self starts with a determination to fight our instincts to idealize and search for answers that aren’t there — with this out of the box content we want to share or offer a toolkit on how to, eventually, move on. Our hearts might sometimes be broken, but we don’t have to break with them right?
This content is pretty personal to me by nature as people that are close to me have gone through this types of ordeal and even I also went through a situation. These steps came from gathered facts, data, and other relevant available information addressing the difficulty of emotional pain. I have included useful links and reference data (quantitative and qualitative in nature) to back up every step that is stipulated in this article. I am not claiming to be an expert, but rather this material will serve as my testimony that Psychology and proper understanding of how things evolve will minimize the impact of a certain negative event- such as a heartbreak/loss/social rejection. If you are going through something I hope this content will serve you well.
Here are 5 (five) practical tips and psychological driven approach to help go through this process and hopefully will succeed. Let’s apply our positioning approach on; Where to EAT, Where to GO, and What to Do.
Step 1: Stop Idealizing
Clouded mind creates fictitious mysteries and conspiracies that aren’t really there or will ever happen to begin with. Heartaches create such dramatic and emotional pain, our mind tells us the cause is equally dramatic. That gut instinct is so powerful, it can make even the most reasonable and measured of us come up with all these conspiracies where none exist. Most people (even I am guilty of such) something must’ve happened in between the former’s recent interaction that soured the other person on the relationship. Most tend to be obsessed with figuring out what that was by spending countless hours going through every minute of that moment in their minds. Searching their memories for clues that were not there. Our mind will trick us into initiating a wild goose chase, but what compels us to commit to this way of thinking for months? heartbreak is far more insidious than we realize. There is a reason we keep going down one rabbit hole after another, even when we know it’s going to make us feel worse.
The Science Behind
Brain studies have shown that the withdrawal of romantic love activates the same mechanisms in our brain that gets activated when addicts are withdrawing from substances like cocaine or opioids. Heartbroken people go through a withdrawal. Since we couldn’t get the heroin of actually being with the lost partner, our unconscious mind chose the methadone of memories of the lost partner. Instinct tells us we are trying to solve a mystery, but what we’re actually doing was getting our fix.
This is why heartbreak is such an enigmatic phase and most times difficult to heal without the proper knowledge. Drug addicts know that they are addicted. These people know that they’re shooting up, but heartbroken people do not. BUT YOU DO NOW. If you’re heartbroken you have to recognize that, as compelling the urge is, with every trip that sugary memory lane, every direct message you send, every second you spend stalking your ex on social media, you are just feeding your addiction, deepening your emotional pain, and complicating your recovery.
Getting over heartbreak is not a process or a journey. Initially, I thought it is just a journey. Same with grief over the loss of a parent. BUT NO. It is a FIGHT, and your reason is your strongest weapon. There aren’t any breakup explanation that’s going to feel satisfying. No rationale can take away the pain that you feel. So don’t search for one, don’t wait for one, and just accept the one you were offered or make-up one for yourself. Put the question to rest, because you need that closure to resist that addiction. You need something else as well as cliche sounding it is, but you really just have to be willing to let go, to accept that it is over. Otherwise, your mind will feed on false hope and set you back. Hope can be incredibly destructive when your heart is broken. Heartbreak is a master manipulator. The ease with which it gets our mind to do the opposite of what we need in order to recover is remarkable.
One of the most common tendencies we have, when our heart is broken, is to idealize the person who broke it. Spending hours remembering their messages, their smile, and how great they made us feel. All that does is make our loss feel more painful as it is already. We know that, yet we still allow our mind to cycle through one greatest hit after another, like we’re being held hostage by our passive-aggressive-romantic Spotify playlist. Heartbreak will make those thoughts pop into your mind, and so to avoid idealizing you have to balance them out by remembering their frown, not just their smile, how bad they made you feel, or perhaps compile an exhaustive list of all the ways this person is wrong for you, all the bad qualities, pet peeves, and then keep in on your phone’s notepad. Once you have the list you have to use it! When you start idealizing even just the faintest whiff of nostalgia session, go to your phone and open that note. Your mind will tell you that they’re perfect, but they were not, and neither was the relationship. If you want to get over that relationship you have to remind yourself of that, FREQUENTLY.
Step 2: Take Paracetamols
Published in 2010 a study conducted at the University of Kentucky, College of Arts and Sciences, examined the link and possible overlap between physical pain and emotional pain. The study had 62 participants who were filling out the “Hurt Feeling Scale”, a self-assessment tool which measures an individual’s reaction to distressing experiences. In addition, the study was using doses of the active ingredient found in Tylenol, acetaminophen, as part of its core protocol.
The finding from this study showed that the control group without the acetaminophen, after three weeks, did not experience any change in the amount of strength of “hurt” feeling throughout the three week period. However, the group that did partake the active ingredient reported an evident reduction of “hurt” feelings on a regular, day-to-day basis.
Of course, we’re not advocating drug dependency! but if it comes to a point that emotions override your sound judgment then you might want to take a pill or two.
The Science Behind
The two areas of the brain already known to register physical pain, the dorsal anterior Cingulate Cortex and the Anterior Insula, also emotional pain. The outcomes of the research showed that the brain where emotional discomfort is felt is the same location that the physical pain is experienced in. Meaning the brain cannot distinguish one from the other. Hence, it sends signals and experience jolts just the same.
The consequence of heartbreak or rejection is that feeling alone and in pain can significantly impair our intellectual functioning. Most especially when performing complex tasks, involving logic and sound reasoning. It temporarily lowers our IQ. But see, it wasn’t just the intensity of the grieving over the pain of rejection from the love that confuses the people around us. It is always the duration. We may be subjected to this confusion as well. One can ask “What’s wrong with me?! What kind of an adult spends months getting over a one-year relationship?!” or for most even shorter. Actually many do.
The Science Behind
Heartbreak shares all the hallmarks of traditional loss and grief:
- Intrusive thoughts
- Immune system dysfunction
40% of people experience clinically measurable depression. It is a complex psychological injury. It impacts us in a multitude of ways.
Step 4: Fill the Void
You used to do everything together from dinner parties to church, and any other form of personal and social activities. You do everything as a couple. When one lost the other half you will also derail from the sudden change in your routine. You didn’t just lose your partner, you actually lost your entire social life, your identity as a couple. Now you recognize the breakup had left this huge void in your life, but what you fail to recognize is that it left far more than just one. And that is crucial, not just because it explains why heartbreak could be so devastating, but because it tells us how to heal. To fix your broken heart, you have to identify these voids in your life and fill them, all of them.
- Voids in your identity: re-establish who you are what and what your life is about.
- Voids in your social life: the missing activities
Get Social Support
As mentioned above anything that increases our overall survival and fitness as species is likely to persist. The rise of relationships and social bonds between lovers and friends alike became an important part of how we treat one another. “You look out for me, I’ll look out for you” And just as our desire not be hurt by being burned by hot coffee we also desire not to be socially alone. The pain from both instances increases our chance of survival by avoiding less desirable outcomes.
The Science Behind
This can be seen in studies of primates who, when separated from loved ones, experienced an increase in the hormones cortisol and a decrease in the hormone norepinephrine, causing a major stress response. For humans, a breakup, loss of a loved one, or isolation can trigger a similar reaction, creating the perception of physical pain. Studies have shown that high levels of social support are related to lower levels of pain, whereas socially alienated individuals show poor adjustment.
If you’re heartbroken surround yourself with friends and family as difficult as it may seem and if someone you know is suffering emotionally be there for social support.
These curated places are ideal for family and friends gathering for any occasions. Make sure to check out our recommendations
- Siargao: Where you will forget time exist. Experience & Travel Guide here.
- Bataan in 50 Minutes: here.
- Hanoi, Vietnam (International): It has all the beautiful textured disarray you see in movies, a remarkable food culture that will introduce you to new and unusual combinations of flavors. With the just right amount of English where you still need to struggle to get around and to actually feel that you are traveling. Experience & Travel Guide here.
- Calaguas: Long Daze Stare on its Blue Waters and Sepia Sunsets. Experience & Travel Guide here.
- Scuba Dive or Snorkel: SCUBA diving is known as a thoroughly enjoyable and sometimes adrenaline boosting sport, however, most do not know that SCUBA diving has many health benefits. Especially for your mental health. Most consider diving as a way of meditation. When underwater all you hear is your own breathing, the sound of your heart and the tranquility of your surroundings. Read our guide here.
- Music Therapy: Fat Girls Day Out’s 15 recommended spots to witness the local independent music scene in Metro Manila. Check out here.
- Coffee Warmers: Psychologists have found that holding a warm cup of coffee was enough to make people think strangers were more welcoming and trustworthy. A team led by John Bargh at the University of Colorado set about testing whether hot and iced drinks influenced bias of others after noting how frequently warm and cold are used to describe personalities. Third Wave Coffee Crawl Guide here.
Step 5: Listen to Sad Music
A new study from Freie Universität Berlin has found what all of us sad sorts already knew: sad music can make an unhappy person feel better following a breakup. The study of 772 participants discovered that listening to sad songs when you’re already feeling down actually acts as a cognitive reward for your brain.
Missed Connections Mixtape
For all the unrequited love
Lost someone> Lost something> Lost yourself
Get your tub of ice cream and that bottle of rum.
These mixtapes are available on our Spotify page you may follow the Fat Girls Day Out MixTapes on Spotify
- We’re not affiliated with any of these artist management/promotion (we just love their music!)
- This is not a paid content from Spotify or these artist management/PR (again, we just love their music!)
You have the weapons, You can Fight.
None of that will do you any good unless you prevent the mistakes that can set you back, the unnecessary searches for explanations, idealizing your ex instead of focusing on how they were wrong for you, indulging thoughts and behaviors that still give them this starring role in this next chapter of your life when they shouldn’t be an extra in the first place.
Getting over a heartbreak is hard, but if you refuse to be misled by your mind and take strategic thoughtful steps to heal, you can significantly minimize the suffering. It won’t just be you who will benefit from that. You’ll be more present with your friends, more engaged with your family, and not to mention the risk of being negligent at your work due to compromised productivity that could be avoided.
If you know someone who is heartbroken, have compassion because social support has been found to be important for their recovery. Have patience, because it’s going to take them longer to move on than you think it should.
If you are hurting. Know this: It’s difficult, it is a battle within your own mind, you have to be diligent to win. Remember you do have weapons. You can fight. And you will heal.
Stay focus. Stay Strong.- Paula
Should you be ready to get back to the dating scene again in the future you may want to check out our content on How to Date Someone. Life is good!
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