Being loved is one of the greatest things that can happen to someone. It is the happiest state in which to live. But to know love, you must know heartbreak.
Heartbreak is a universal feeling associated with intense emotions of grief. It can happen when we no longer have what we once held close to our heart. When we get our heart broken, it feels like everything in our life is frozen, like we are stuck in a dark hole, falling and there is no amount of alcohol or talking about it, or anything else can make us feel better.
One cannot fully understand the true value and meaning of love not until when they come across the word “it’s over”. The degree of pain we experience during the phase of heartbreak signifies the amount of love we have invested onto someone.
The question is never how to avoid being hurt because hurting is always part of loving. They are inseparable and inevitable. The real question here is how do we heal and move on from a heartbreak? While there is no definite solution for that, but we gather top 5 self-help strategies to protect your wellbeing while going through the healing process.
1. ALLOW YOURSELF TO GRIEVE
I have read a quote from Brene Brown from her book, “Rising Strong”, she wrote there “If what I am experiencing is heartbreak, then grieving is inevitable”. But what does it mean to grieve? Understanding your emotional response to heartbreak helps you cope up on the situation and make you feel less alone. Let us look at the 5 stages of grief, presented by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her book “On Death and Dying”. While her theory was originally proposed for people who were on the verge of death, but these stages have been adapted for other experience with loss, as well. According to her, individuals who suffer heartbreak will likely experience through a range of emotional stages.
Denial Stage “This isn’t happening”
Your heart rules over your brain. You cannot accept what is happening, so you comfort yourself by denying the fact. This common defense mechanism helps you rationalize overwhelming emotions.
Bargaining Stage “What if “and “If only “statements
When you feel vulnerable and helpless from intense emotions you look for ways to escape the pain. You begin to think of many scenarios that gives you hope and time to adjust to your situation. This stage helps you postpone the need to grieve because it is just too painful for you to face it.
The pain of being broken and many other emotions that you try to hide starts to take hold on this stage as you search for someone or something to blame. Your anger maybe directed to the people directly involve, to yourself, to the situation or even to objects. According to Cathy Meyer, a certified divorce coach, “It is okay to let out your anger as long as you are venting in a non-violent act or in a way that hurts yourself or others”. Although not everyone will experience this stage but know that it is good for your mental health to let out your anger rather than suppress it. Unload all the heavy baggage that you are carrying in your heart and free yourself from all those guilty feelings.
It is not a sign of mental illness but rather a normal response to being broken. This can be difficult and messy to handle at times and it comes from various forms. For example, you may feel a deep feeling of hopelessness, helplessness, tiredness, and sadness. You may feel disconnected from people around you. You may breakdown all the time. There may be a loss of appetite or you are stress eating. It will make you feel like you do not want to move on and that nothing will ever work out for you in the future. While friends and families can support you during this stage, it is also important to seek help from a therapist if you experience severe symptoms of depression to guide you cope up during this period.
You have come to understand and accept the reality. It does not necessarily mean that you are already fully okay, but you are on the process of moving forward with your life. Sometimes it happens right away, but oftentimes it comes in a slow phase up until you finally find yourself coming to terms with the end of the relationship.
Grief is different for every person. We all have our own ways on how to mend a broken heart but knowing theses stages can help you normalize heartbreak experience. It is also important to know that not everyone will experience all five stages, and there are no limits and rushing the process. Remember that it is okay not to be okay. Your feelings are valid. Admit that your heart is broken, acknowledge the pain, and allow yourself to feel the sadness. But make sure that you can get through it all.
2. LEARN TO RELEASE YOUR ATTACHMENTS
Love creates emotional connection that bonds people together. The deeper the love is, the stronger the attachment is, and the harder to release it once it is gone. The greatest trap of being attached is it can manipulate your ways of thinking leading you to resist change and staying in the world of fantasies your mind has created. At some point you must learn how to accept what is, let go what was and believe in what will be. Bear in mind that not all relationship is meant to last forever. You can keep the good memories with you, but you must let go of what was holding you back to move forward in life.
3. CONNECT WITH PEOPLE AROUND
Some of our coping mechanism when we broke our hearts is to isolate our self from everyone. While at some point it helps us think more rational and reflect on our lives, but it is also important to talk to people about how you truly feel. You can disconnect yourself for a while from social medias, but you must connect yourself to real people around you. When heartbreak hit us harder, it feels nice to hear some encouraging words from them and accept their comfort you sometimes cannot give to yourself.
4. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
There is nothing more valuable than taking care of yourself during the hard phase of your life. Your physical health mirrors your emotional and mental health. So, paying attention to your self is not an option, but it is necessary. One benefits of this is boosting your confidence. There are many ways to incorporate healing into our life:
By doing so, it does not only strengthen your muscles, but it also helps you cope up with pain. How? Our brain releases chemicals called Endorphins during exercise. It produces feelings of happiness, pleasure, and euphoria, thus making it as a natural pain and stress reliever.
Try practicing deep breathing, meditations, and other mindful activities. It teaches us how to manage our thoughts well and help us not to overthink things. It focuses on wisdom searching that enables us to see things from a wider perspective.
Pamper your self
Indulge yourself with whatever activities or things that makes you feel relax, brings you joy & laughter and put back that gorgeous smile in your lovely face. This way, you can focus not on your misery but more on good things in life that you deserve.
5. TALK TO GOD
Draw yourself to God and he will take all your worries and fears away. Let him fix the broken heart that no longer beat wildly. Ask him to take care of the memories that haunt your dreams at night. Trust in him and he will heal the broken part that has lost its way. According to Gary Yupangco from his book “Stress free life”, he quoted there that “God is our friend, the friend of all friends, the one constant, the unchanging friend. He is available to us all 24 hours of the day and night. He is ever ready to help us”.
Let us accept the fact that heartbreak sucks! But know that in every painful situation, there is a great reason and lesson behind. Take these beautiful words from an anonymous person who stated that “Be thankful for every heartbreak, for they were planned. They come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. Their purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate, and out of control that you have transform your life. And you do”