Heartbreak, a universal human experience, can leave us feeling lost in a sea of emotions. Whether it’s the end of a romantic relationship, the loss of a loved one, or a shattered dream, the pain can be excruciating.
We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives – that heart-wrenching feeling of a broken heart, leaving us with a question: how to get over a heartbreak?
Though there’s no guaranteed method to completely avoid heartbreak, there is a path to healing, even if it feels like happiness will never find its way back to us right now.
Heartbreak and pain often come as a result of giving and experiencing love, which is undeniably one of the most beautiful emotions in the world.
After a heartbreak, it’s natural to experience a whirlwind of emotions – anger, confusion, grief, loneliness, and sadness, commonly known as emotional baggage, said Antonio Pasquale Leone, a clinical psychologist specializing in psychotherapy and emotional changes.
Research has shown that unresolved emotional baggage can have serious effects on our well-being, and it’s essential to address these issues for personal growth and healing.
These feelings can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate, but it’s essential to remember that you’re not alone in this journey.
Fortunately, there are steps we can take to work through on how to get over a heartbreak.
The key to healing is to gather the strength within yourself to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward. It might be challenging, but staying resilient is crucial.
Along the way, you’ll learn how to trust again, though it may take time and patience.
1. Accept the reality.
The first and crucial step on how to get over a heartbreak is acknowledging the reality of the situation and coming to terms with the fact that the relationship you cherished has come to an end.
While it may be tough to hear, it’s essential to stop holding onto fantasies of reconciliation or the belief that it’s just a passing phase or temporary break.
Moving on becomes an uphill battle if you cling to the hope of reuniting with your ex-partner.
If you’ve given your all to repair the relationship but it’s not progressing, it’s time to embrace the truth and accept the circumstances.
As you navigate the process of gradually accepting the break-up, consider the power of forgiveness, the second step.
Whether you’ve faced the pain of betrayal or found yourself dangling on the edge of heartbreak, trying to be the bigger person and embracing forgiveness can be truly transformative.
And if you happen to be the one responsible for the end of your relationship, remember to extend forgiveness to yourself as well.
Accept your imperfections, learn from your mistakes, and understand that we all stumble and fall along life’s journey.
3. Stay positive.
Staying positive is the next step and it is entirely achievable even after heartache.
You know what they say – everything happens for a reason. So, it might be worth pondering the idea that your ex wasn’t meant to be your forever partner.
Perhaps staying together with them could prevent a more suitable and fulfilling companion from entering your life.
The key is to believe that positive changes are heading your way. One of the first steps is showing kindness and compassion to yourself during this post-breakup phase.
4. Confront the pain.
Avoiding pain after heartbreak may seem like an instinct, but it’s crucial to recognize that suppressing emotions is an unhealthy coping mechanism.
So, the next step in how to get over a heartbreak is to confront your pain and acknowledge its presence, which is an essential part of the healing process.
Allow yourself to face the emotions head-on. Cry if you feel the need to or find healthy outlets to vent your feelings.
Bottling up your emotions will only prolong the healing process, whereas expressing them can help you release the pain and begin the journey of moving forward.
It’s essential to understand that crying is a normal and natural response to heartbreak. It is not a sign of weakness, as some may mistakenly believe.
According to researchers, crying has some fascinating effects on our bodies. When we cry, our system releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids, commonly known as endorphins, Harvard Health Publishing noted.
These wonderful chemicals play a vital role in alleviating both physical and emotional pain, offering a soothing and comforting sensation.
5. Disconnect with your ex.
If it feels easier for you to move on from heartbreak, consider cutting off certain connections.
Hence, the next thing you want to do is to unfollow or unfriend your ex on social media to create some distance and give yourself space to heal.
It’s essential to avoid trash-talking or posting negative things about your ex on your own social media accounts as well. Spreading negativity will only prolong the healing process and may even lead to more hurt.
Deleting their phone number can also help them resist the temptation of staying in contact. By removing easy access to communication, you can focus on your own well-being and allow yourself to process your emotions without unnecessary distractions.
Avoiding social gatherings where you might run into your ex can be a sensible approach, at least in the early stages of your healing journey.
This will give you time to heal and regain your emotional strength without facing potentially awkward or uncomfortable encounters.
However, the situation might be different for divorced couples who have kids together.
In such cases, communication is necessary for co-parenting responsibilities. If possible, consider having a mediator or a middle person involved in your communications, especially in the initial stages of the separation.
This can help maintain a healthy and respectful dialogue for the sake of your children’s well-being.
6. Continue your social life.
Experiencing loneliness and sadness after a break-up is natural, but there are healthier ways to cope than sulking at home. Instead, try stepping out and engaging with the world around you.
Socialize, spend quality time with your friends, and open yourself up to meeting new people. Consider exploring new places or even taking a trip to invigorate your spirit.
Your support system is a valuable resource during this time.
Embrace the comfort of your loved ones and share your feelings with them. Talking openly about your emotions is a form of emotional venting, which is essential for healing after heartbreak.
7. Limit the advice you get from others.
During challenging times, seeking support from friends and family is crucial, but it’s essential to strike a balance to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too much advice.
As David Tzall, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist in Brooklyn, NY, wisely points out, well-meaning people may offer guidance based on their own experiences, which might not always be relevant to your unique situation, according to TODAY.
In such moments, it’s beneficial to be around individuals who are good listeners rather than those who continuously offer their opinions.
Sometimes, all we need is a compassionate ear to hear us out without imposing their solutions or experiences onto us.
A valuable lesson to remember is that what worked for others may not necessarily work for you.
Remember, healing takes time, just like recovering from a physical injury. Be patient with yourself and embrace your emotions as you move through the process of releasing emotional baggage.
Watch Antonio Pasquale Leone as he takes TEDx’s stage and talks about how to get over a heartbreak.