Heartbreak is a difficult pain to soothe, and a difficult ailment to solve. Trying to get through it is difficult, especially when you don’t have the mental capacity to deal with it. To fully get over something or someone, you’ve got to understand the nature of what you are going through. It lights up the same parts of the human brain that flare with withdrawal in drug addicts, and managing your behavior towards the source of your pain is crucial. When heartbreak becomes grief, you have to understand its five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It’s natural to not be able to go through them smoothly. Whether you are dealing with losing a loved one, losing a connection, or losing a part of your identity, there are steps to the healing process.
- Accept what you’re feeling.
Denial is real, but you won’t be able to really feel better or move on from the incident or the way something made you feel if you don’t recognize how it affected you. Bottling it up will only hurt you.
2. Moderate how much you’re feeling.
Once you do accept the reality of your situation, you’ve got to be careful in making sure that you’re not causing yourself unnecessary pain by reliving words or events in your head. Once your emotions begin to eat into other parts of your life for over a certain period of time (for example, a rejection letter from a college you really wanted to get into may take you a few hours at most, but losing a loved one can take weeks, if not months), you will have to start moving on through your actions and controlled thinking.
3. If there is a living source to your pain, cut off contact.
This really applies in the case of a relationship, and in the comparison of your heartbreak to drug withdrawal. It will only hurt you more and restart the pain cycle if you continue to contact the person. Even if it ended amicably, you need to give each other time and space to actually heal.
4. Find people who love you and care about you.
Give your time to your family and friends. Let yourself rely on your family and friends. You are there for them when they need someone to talk to, and they are happy to return the favor. Trust in them.
5. Identify bad thinking habits, and work to end them.
If you find yourself obsessing over painful details, find ways to get yourself to stop thinking about them. When you identify the habit, make a habit of taking a moment to assess its importance and its effect on your emotional health.
6. Take care of yourself.
This is the most important and all-encompassing one. Put yourself first. It’s easy to write self care off as indulgent or commercialized, but it is absolutely necessary to take care of yourself. You can indulge in things that make you happy, but taking care of yourself also means exercising, eating right, socializing, taking care of your environment, and regulating bad habits that feed heavy emotions. You are worth it.
Healing is a process, and it takes time. Be kind to yourself and be understanding of how long it takes. Do new things in your day, and explore new hobbies. You’ve got this, and in time, you will heal.