Why heartbreak hurts so badly & how to survive it

- Most of us have been through a heartbreak and remember the experience vividly when called to mind. When you find that one special person and invest yourself completely into their care, it affects both your mind and body when you lose them. Studies have shown that within minutes of hearing your partner talk about breaking up or leaving, your heart rate drops significantly. You may recognize this happening with a feeling of faintness or nausea. Your body isn’t done reacting to the bad news, and after the shock wears off your nervous system begins secreting loads of cortisol due to the high level of anxiety you feel. You become more susceptible to colds and the flu, and sleeping through the night is impossible. As your body continues to deteriorate with the breakup, increased stress levels begin affecting hair growth as well as other factors such as loss of appetite. You begin wondering who you are without your significant other, and this confusion clouds your thinking as well as your work performance. 

Your brain tries to help you recover as quickly as you can, which is why you may want to get rid of every memory of your ex. But throwing out photos, unfollowing them on social media or blocking them from your phone may help temporarily, but it’s a short fix. You have to grieve the loss before you can fully recover. Don’t worry. Once again your body is going to help you with this process. Loneliness affects the body by raising a hormone level (progesterone), which makes you feel motivated to get out there again and socialize. It’s one reason you may see couples re-marrying after the death of a beloved spouse. Being with someone is healthy and makes you feel more secure and happy.

How to get yourself back together:

  • The quickest ways to heal from heartbreak is to understand it from the inside out. You may feel as though you’ve lost your identity and therefore reclaiming it is key!
  • Find a new place to live.
  • Try new coffee shops, restaurants and places to meet your friends.
  • Stay away from activities you use to do with your partner. These will bring back old memories of loss, and don’t let yourself settle into watching tear jerkers alone on a Saturday night.
  • Do not start a new relationship. It’s too soon. Finding out who you are as an independent person takes time…don’t rush the process.
  • Don’t allow your value as a person to become part of the breakup.  When a breakup happens, it’s common to take the rejection personally and see it as a flaw within you. Understand both you and your partner have strengths as well as weaknesses, and both contributed to the loss of the relationship.
  • Begin taking new risks to expand opportunities. When you love someone you also close the door to possible opportunities elsewhere. Opportunities don’t go away just because you don’t take them. Open your eyes and begin seeing the life you were missing in the relationship, like new career opportunities, new interests, activities and people to meet. Use the experience of your past relationship to become wiser about your needs going forward. Holding onto the past makes you resentful and cynical toward the future, so letting go is an essential part of experiencing more.

Breakups are a reminder that everyone changes and that includes relationships. You can’t hold on to someone who doesn’t love you and expect to find happiness. Appreciating your good friends, supportive family, and a deeper understanding of yourself are essential in surviving a heartbreak!

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