How to deal with a breakup?
Breakups are usually bad. It can leave you physically and mentally exhausted. But more than anything else it can leave you devastated emotionally. Feeling let down, scared, angry, and a sense of loss are the usual emotions! Something that seemed so amazingly beautiful, all gone in minutes and seconds. You thought you understood each other so well and yet you feel betrayed now by that very person.
We all try to give things one last shot. You may try that too. You may try to get your girlfriend back or your boyfriend. But, remember, when it starts to hurt your self-respect, it’s time to pull back.
Feeling empty after a breakup
Emptiness is a natural feeling because you are so used to have the person around, and suddenly, there’s a void. Everything around you reminds you of the person without their physical presence. Thoughts like “I am lonely” keep making regular appearances in mind.
The reason is that the brain processes your emotional grief as physical pain, making things difficult. How do the brain and the body process a breakup?
A heartbreak is nothing less than a trauma. All of a sudden, you feel lonely; there’s an ache, an emptiness deep within as if something or someone has gone forever. Multiple physiological processes occur when you part ways with a loved one. The human brain processes emotional pain just like it does physical pain. Probably, that’s why it hurts so much. One research conducted at Columbia University found that two parts of the human brain are stimulated when shown pictures of exes. These two parts are the insula and the anterior cingulate cortex, both responsible for processing physical pain.
It implies that the human brain values emotional pain as much as it does the physical brain. Another aspect of a breakup is that the serotonin levels of the body drop, which can lead to depression. Serotonin is a feel-good hormone and works like dopamine. This neurochemical is to blame for all the weeping spells, waking up at night and staying awake, losing appetite, decreased energy levels, and so on.
The point is that the biological processes make it all the more difficult to get over a breakup. The body and the mind are stressed while the brain plays havoc. All of it can affect the health of the person, both emotional and physical. The American Heart Association recognizes broken heart syndrome. Emotional stress can induce intense chest pains called stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Doctors often find the symptoms similar to heart attacks, but it is not because there are no blocked arteries.
To top it off, skin breakouts like acne, rashes, etc are quite common. All of this can affect the self-esteem of the person.
How long does it take to get over a breakup?
Sadly, there is no generic answer to this question. Every person is different, and so are their grief processing timelines. What is common, however, is that eventually, you will come through and heal. It will happen one day – maybe not tomorrow or the day after, but someday, yes!
A scientifically-conducted study in 2007 points out that, on average, people take about 11 weeks to get over a heartbreak. However, this cannot be generalized as each of us has our own ways of dealing with emotional pain and distress. In general, psychologists believe that people start to feel a little better as they cross the tenth week of parting ways with a partner.
What is crucial here is to understand that the time taken to heal depends upon numerous factors. Some of these include:
- The level to which you were personally invested or committed in the relationship. The higher the commitment, the more will be the time required to accept the parting.
- When one of the partners has betrayed the trust of the other, the time taken to heal can be longer.
- The quality of the relationship. If there were more disagreements than agreements, you might get over the breakup quickly. While for people with healthy relationships, things can take time.
- The partner who decides to leave. If you have chosen to end the relationship, you might heal faster than your partner because coming to terms with rejection is a bigger ordeal.
- Your chances of healing increase if your partner fears of losing, abandonment issues or aggressiveness.
How to deal with a breakup alone?
Healing a broken heart is crucial for moving ahead and living life to its fullest. Irrespective of whether you are alone or you have shoulders to cry on, the major work of healing needs to be done by you. One of the first things you need to do is to stop your feelings for your ex. A few tips to heal holistically after a breakup:
1. Acceptance of the heartbreak
Tune your mind, especially the brain to accept what has happened. Be honest with yourself. No need to pretend, at least to your own self, that things are fine. Why suppress your grief and anger because it is only going to make things difficult for you. Rather, tell your heart and mind that it’s okay to have a breakup and feel bad about it. Acknowledging it is the first step and it is going to ease off things for you in many ways.
2. Start indulging in self-care
Yes, only you can take care of yourself in a way that can speed up the healing process. It's okay to not feel like eating, sleeping, doing your routine work, etc., initially. But, with time, you need to get up, cook, take a shower, go out, attend office or college, and get back to the normal lifestyle again.
Ensure that you are eating and sleeping well. Take out time to do something that truly gives you fun and makes you happy. Alongside, go out for walks, start exercising, meditate, practice yoga, and try to live a healthy life to make a difference in your mood.
3. Before letting it go, take one final look
Now or sometime later, you’ll have to let go of the emptiness and sadness. But, before you do so, relook at the entire relationship objectively. As a third person, just to figure out what went wrong, where things started getting muddled up. If you find and convince yourself that it was a toxic relationship, the suffering will be much less. This is essential, or you will keep blaming yourself or the other person for life.
Also, an objective analysis of things and events will give you some learning for the future.
4. Avoid if possible
Depending on your situation, you might or might not be able to avoid your ex. But, try your best to maintain a distance. This is because the more you see the other person, the process of getting over the breakup is going to be even more difficult.
One of the things advisable is to unfollow all social media accounts. Narrow down all possible avenues of getting information about your ex.
5. Look for support
Remember, some people love you a lot and want to see you happy. Ask them outright for support. Let your parents, siblings, or friends move in with you for a while. Other than that, you can take the help of professionals to talk it out and throw it out of your system.
How to get over a breakup fast?
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula that will help you get over the loss fast. It will take its own time and, to a great extent, will depend on your body and mind. Hence, you need to cultivate healthy habits, develop patience and let things take their normal course. Try not to push things to get over them fast. You may end up doing more harm than good.
Trust in the fact that things will get better soon and you will be back to your good old days in some time.
Types of Breakups That Get Back Together
Yes, there are certain types of heartbreak wherein the partners get back after some time. The most prominent one is the First Love Breakup, where the urge to get back overpowers the instinct to stay alone.
Circumstantial breakups can witness the partners reconcile. Such heartbreaks usually occur when the circumstances do not suit, and the partners decide to walk away. But some compromises and mutual agreements can drive the partners to come back together again.
Another type of heartbreak that happens due to others – for example, someone said something to the girl, and she decides to walk out is reconcilable. She can get her boyfriend back by discussing and talking. You will realize that it was all a silly misunderstanding created by others around. Getting back is easier in this case.
Things Not to do After a Breakup
- Stop yourself from communicating with your ex. The impulse will be too strong but restrict yourself.
- Do not get into another relationship before healing on a rebound. It could spell doom and not a healthy decision.
- Restrain yourself from posting about it on social media. It could be embarrassing later.
- Do not stalk your ex. It can all be one vicious circle that can never let you heal.
- Do not neglect your health.
- Avoid over-indulging in food.
- Stop yourself from taking into bad habits like alcohol, drugs, smoking, etc.
A breakup may be unavoidable because there is no guarantee that your romantic relationship will always work. The bottom line is to take it in your stride and try getting over it fast. The more you dwell on the past, the more challenging it will be to overcome. While it is not an easy task getting over a breakup, it is best advised. The faster you choose to fight and get over the heartbreak, the better it is for your mind, body, and soul.
If you are finding it difficult to do it all by yourself, take the help of a professional therapist and ask your social connections.