At some point in a relationship, you might sit with your partner for a serious conversation where one of you will utter the words: “It’s not you, it’s me.” Breaking up can be one of the hardest things to do, and can take days, weeks and even months to recover from. But don’t give up hope. While you may feel alone in the world, plenty of other people endure (and even overcome) heartache every day. It’s tough, but — believe it or not — it also helps one grow emotionally, provides a learning curve and prepares you for future relationships. But why does breaking up actually feel like the hardest thing in the world? Here are a few ways to deal with making it through those trying times.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Whether you’re the one breaking up or receiving the hard news, it can make you feel like the one at fault. If you’re broken up with, you’re labeled as unworthy, and if you’re ending the relationship, you’re considered a cruel person. Nobody wants to play the “bad” role. Of course, breakups don’t mean you’re a bad person, and anyone in a relationship should never feel this way.
If you break up with someone, you should be commended for taking action rather than suffering in a relationship that didn’t work. If you’re the one getting the news, you should see this as a positive way of getting out of a relationship that could have gone nowhere fast.
Take Care of Your Body
Breaking up can also take a toll on you both psychologically and physically. According to studies by NPR, people in long-term relationships tend to regulate each other’s biological rhythms. A breakup can disrupt your physiological flow, which has significant consequences on your sleep, appetite, body temperature and heart rate. And according to a 2011 study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers saw a “neural overlap” between physical and emotional pain for men and women going through breakups.
So for those who aren’t feeling too hot after splitting with your ex, make every effort to stay physically healthy by eating right and exercising. Exercise helps raise your serotonin levels and endorphins, and it’s only a matter of time before your body get back to normal.
Don’t Bottle Up Your Feelings
The mental repercussions of a breakup are most significant. Plain and simple, it’s hard to let go of your ex. According to a study published by the Journal of Neurophysiology, romantic rejection causes a profound sense of loss and negative effect in early-stage relationships, mainly because being happily in love was a goal-oriented motivational state rather than an emotion. Bottom line? You’re going to feel intensely sad emotions by thinking you “lost,” so it’s best to cope with the feelings in a positive way, and this is why emotional outlets are necessary.
Historically, scores of people have written poems, songs and stories of heartache, which helped them get through it. When you express your feelings creatively, it helps you cope rather than dwell or blame. It gives you a key sense of self, which helps you move on, according to a study by Ashley E. Mason from the Department of Psychology at University of Arizona. Do whatever it takes to help you carry on, even if it means deleting old photos of your ex or listening to sad music, which has been proven to be effective. You’ll recover before you know it. In fact, research by the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology states that most people actually overestimate the amount of time it takes to recover. See? Things are already looking up!