Heartbreaks can be one of the most painful and difficult experiences in your life, especially if you’re one to give your all in a relationship. Questions such as “What could I have done differently?” and “What changed between us?” can fill your minds—leaving you emotionally and physically stumped for a certain time period. Whether you’re ending a long-term relationship, experiencing the disappointment of a failed situationship, or noticing your feelings wane from love to like, there is no doubt that you’ll be experiencing a series of overwhelming emotions.
Feeling lost and alone after a heartbreak is normal. And while it might feel like the end of the world at times, it’s important to realize that the path forward–while seemingly unclear—is still there. With time, space, and an active healing process, it is possible to move on from the situation and the pain. In this article, we will explore some of the most effective ways to get over a heartbreak, from learning how to process the pain, to finding happiness within yourself and with the people around you.
Putting it into words
There are times when we can’t explain why we experience sadness, heartache, and loss. When your mind is filled with so many questions and your heart with various emotions, you sometimes have a hard time processing the situation at hand. This is where journaling comes in. When you put your feelings into words and take time to write down everything you’ve experienced so far: what happened, what you feel about it, and what you think of it—you are able to get your thoughts and feelings out of your head.
This then gives you the opportunity to understand yourself, your struggles, and your heartbreak more clearly. Journaling can help you gain control of your emotions again, process the pain you’re feeling, and assist you in your journey towards acceptance and, eventually, healing.
Questions that you might want to answer while journaling
- Was your relationship with your partner good?
- How did your relationship make you feel?
- Did you see any signs that the breakup was coming?
- What events led up to the breakup?
- How did the breakup make you feel?
- What were your initial reactions to it?
- Did you try to fix the relationship? If so, how?
- Did you have any physical or emotional reactions to the heartbreak?
- What did you learn about yourself from this experience?
- Did you learn anything from the experience that you can apply to future relationships?
The emotional and physical effects of a heartacheBreakups can have an effect on both your mental health and physical wellbeing. Our bodies respond in various ways when we go through this highly emotional experience. Heartbreaks can even have similar symptoms to those of bereavement or grief, according to psychological studies.
The physical effects of a heartache can then be seen through one’s sleep disturbance, compromised immune function, digestive problems, weight loss, body aches, depression, and anxiety. This is because one of the most common physical changes associated with heartbreak is a surge in stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can cause physical symptoms like increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and a feeling of tightness in the chest—putting one in an uncomfortable state.
These changes in the body can lead to feelings of anxiety, panic, and even physical pain. Aside from that, when we withdraw from a situation that used to give us happiness and peace, we become unmotivated and fatigued. While this is totally normal for one to experience, it is important to remember that you still need to take care of yourself during this time.
From heartache to healing
Healing from heartache can be a gradual process that needs both time and active effort. To transition from heartache to healing, here are some steps you can take:
Take the time to process your emotions alone
While it is also good to talk to your friends and loved ones about your heartbreak and heartaches, processing it alone will help you understand the situation you're in and how you’re feeling—without the biases of your personal circles.
Cry it out
It's normal to feel a range of emotions after a heartbreak, including sadness, anger, and confusion. Allow yourself to experience these emotions and don't try to suppress them. And because crying releases endorphins such as oxytocin and endogenous opioids, it will help ease both your physical and emotional pain.
Find new things to make you happy
Journey out into the world and look for things that you enjoy doing alone and with others. By finding new hobbies, you’ll be able to find joy in other things.
Focus on personal growth
Use this time to focus on yourself and your personal growth. This could involve taking up a new hobby, learning a new skill, or setting new goals for yourself. Don’t let yourself stagnate because of this experience. Take it as a learning curve to become a better person for yourself and your future partner.
Find joy in being with other people (including yourself!)
Spending time with people you trust and who make you happy will replace your feelings of sadness with feelings of joy and peace. You could take the time to be with a friend, a family member, or even find comfort in talking to your therapist. While alone time is needed, it is also good for you to spend time with others.
Remember that healing from heartache is a process. Be patient with yourself and don't be afraid to seek help if you need it. With time and effort, you can move forward and find happiness again.
Moving forward from a heartbreak is a personal choice that requires courage and resilience. It's natural to feel hurt and overwhelmed after a breakup, but ultimately, it's up to you to decide on whether you want to stay stuck in your current situation or move on to a brighter and happier future. Never expect closure to make you heal, only you can make the closure that you deserve.
It takes time, space, and effort to heal from a heartbreak—you can choose to focus on working on yourself, being with others, finding new love, accepting support from loved ones, or even seeking professional help. The process of healing is unique for every person, but the decision to move forward is entirely in your hands!
Want to consult with a professional about your heartaches? Book a session with our psychologists today!