Posted on Nov 11,2021
How to Deal with a Breakup Successfully
We’ve all been there, dealing with a breakup and knowing how to actually overcome it. To a very large extent, we wish things would go back to ‘normal’. Sometimes we swear we will never fall in love again. A breakup comes in many shades, many emotions, many thoughts. Yet, the emotional pain is the same for different individuals. Here in this article, we will dissect breakups using psychology and share some research-backed tips to help you through one, along with a few basic morals that you need to incorporate in your behaviour once you part ways with your lover.
How painful can a breakup be?
According to Psychology Today, a sudden and unwelcome separation can inflict a great deal of mental anguish. You may feel as if you've been kicked in the stomach or as if you've been caught off guard and knocked to the ground. Rejection and self-doubt are widespread, as is the sensation of being stuck and unable to let go, despite one's best intentions. Friends and relatives may encourage you to get over it and move on, but brain research reveals that, at least in the first few months, this can be quite difficult. When we are going through a painful experience, our brain responds in the following ways.
● Breakup feels like physical pain to our brain
Relationship breakups appear to be processed in the same areas of the brain as physical pain. This does not, however, imply that love rejection is physically painful. Instead, your brain is informing you that both occurrences are significant enough to pay close attention to. It's possible that there's an evolutionary rationale for this. The purpose of pain is to warn a person of impending danger or injury so that she might take preventative measures.
● Your body goes in fight or flight mode
Your body may detect a breakup as an emergency and go into "fight-or-flight" mode when you experience one, especially if it's unexpected. According to Very Well Mind, being in this condition causes the production of hormones that can prepare your body to either stay and cope with a threat or flee to safety. It can also cause trembling or a quick pulse.
"Our limbs freeze up, we lose appetite, we may have gastrointestinal problems, and we're more likely to have difficulties sleeping. Headaches, stomachaches, and muscular discomfort can result from being in this physiologically hyper-vigilant condition "Dr Kristin Bianchi, a qualified clinical psychologist, detailed the situation.
● They feel like traumas
Obsessive thinking is common in those who have just been rejected by their loved one. They could obsessively think about their ex-partner, how they're feeling, if they remember the connection, and so on. Destinations they used to visit together, people they used to spend out with, festivals, and everyday rituals that they shared may provoke these thoughts and feelings of loss. In this way, dealing with a breakup is similar to dealing with shock.
● It can impact the function of your brain
Your brain may enter a state of intense desire following a breakup, making it impossible to focus on anything else. Indeed, a relative deficiency in the neurotransmitters linked to pleasure experiences can cause symptoms similar to severe sadness.
If you're dealing with a terrible breakup, it's critical that you keep track of your mental health and get professional treatment if you need it or find it difficult to operate in day-to-day life.
● A breakup can feel like losing a hefty investment
Relationships may be extremely rewarding, but they can also be extremely demanding. Once you've spent months or even years developing a life with someone, cutting ties with them might cause you to feel like you've spent all of your emotional energy and financial resources on keeping that relationship alive.
Do men and women experience breakups differently?
According to research, women are better at recovering from breakups than males. According to the findings, males have a stronger urge to go back into dating as soon as possible to "replace" what they've lost and to prove that they can. This doesn't imply they've moved on from their split, but it might be the only way they know how to go on. This could be because their relationship was their major, if not only, source of social support, and they feel compelled to seek sexual or romantic support to compensate for the loss of connection and closeness. Whilst dating or trying to hook up may temporarily make them feel better, lingering sentiments will emerge, and they will still have to cope with unresolved feelings over the split.
However, according to HuffPost’s compliances of different studies, men and women have the same sense of loss and identity conflict. We presume it's distinct because we deal with breakups in such diverse ways. Men favour action-oriented activities such as working out and rebounding, but women prefer connecting-oriented activities such as vocally expressing or displaying how they feel. A major part of this is due to men's perceptions that they aren't permitted to express emotions and lack the required social support. As a result, they choose bodily release above emotional experience.
However, the sensations are still there, and the longer they are suppressed, the more they will remain, which is why it may appear that males respond slowly to breakups. When the distractions melt away, the truth of the situation will emerge. They utilise coping tactics to avoid having to confront the pain, but women use coping strategies to get them back on their feet.
Scientifically proven ways to overcome the bad breakup
● Think of your ex’s negative traits
Recalling their stinky feet, sloth with home tasks, refusal to reciprocate sex acts, and other unpleasant traits might actually help you fall out of love. In short research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, it was shown that focusing on a former partner's bad features was far more efficient than general distractions or thinking about their favourable traits in removing residual romantic sentiments.
● Fake it till you make it
According to recent research published in The Journal of Neuroscience, doing something that makes you feel like you're getting over a breakup might help you heal your failed relationship. That's because merely believing you're working on getting over your ex might activate sections of your brain that can help you cope with suffering. While enrolling in a calligraphy class is unlikely to cure your sadness, if you think it can, it just could. The mind has the upper hand over matter.
● Cut all the ties possible and treat them like an addiction
In a video for Business Insider, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher explains, when circumstances in a relationship aren't going well, the best approach to deal with the object of your passion after the breakup is to treat them like an addiction—and go cold if possible.
"Throw trash the cards and letters," she advises, "or put them in the box and store them in the attic." "Don't email, don't phone, and don't show up at the location where this individual is most likely to be." "Go out with old pals instead." Get embraces from old pals to boost your oxytocin levels and help you relax.
"Get some physical activity—it stimulates the dopamine system, which provides you with enthusiasm, positivity, concentration, and determination. It also raises endorphin levels, which alleviates some of the pain.”
● Volunteer for a cause you care about
When you're grieving the loss of a relationship, it's easy to throw yourself a pity party complete with Sex and the City repeats. While it's fine to be unhappy for a while, Taitz suggests that becoming engaged in something new, such as volunteering, might help you get out of your mind (and heart). In fact, research has connected volunteering to decreased sadness, more life satisfaction, and improved well-being—all of which are often inadequate when you're devastated.
● Hit the gym
"Exercise affects your mood as dramatically as medicine does if you're sad or nervous," Taitz adds, citing research published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine that indicated that those who practised yoga were better equipped to cope with stress. Mood-boosting endorphins, according to second research, appear to help people feel less depressed by merely getting up and moving about. "There's also something about boosting the burpee count that makes you feel like you can take on any challenge...even grief," Taitz adds.
● Let it go once and for all
Samantha Jayne, a relationship specialist and dating coach, advises allowing yourself to mourn and talk about your relationship—but not indefinitely. "They say it takes half a relationship to get over it, and if you've been with someone for 5 years, do you really want to spend that much time feeling sorry for yourself?" No way. Science backs this up. According to research published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, most people can recover from a breakup in 11 weeks. Setting a time limit for grieving (such as a few months) and then moving on is something Jayne recommends.
Not every relationship culminates into a happily ever after and we need to accept that gracefully. Moreover, there is no need to brush off your sentiments and rather process them completely. If you too are going through a breakup, then join WellEQ’s supportive community, where all the emotions and thoughts are given attention to.