ETHAN CHANG JUL 22 2018, 4:55PM
It is an unavoidable truth that if you loved enough to be heartbroken, you have to experience some suffering.
When you lose something that mattered to you, it is natural and important to feel sad about it: that feeling is an essential part of the healing process.
The problem with broken-hearted people is that they seem to be reliving their misery over and over again. If you cannot seem to break the cycle of painful memories, the chances are that you are locked into repeating dysfunctional patterns of behaviour. Your pain has become a mental habit. This habit can, and must, be broken.
1/ CHANGE YOUR HABITS.
Turn off the music that reminds you of your ex. Make your home look and feel different from when your loved one was around. Move the furniture.
Take up a new activity. And keep moving: exercise is the single most effective therapy for depression.
The point of these changes is to break up the old associations and give yourself a new environment for your new life. The changes you make don’t have to be permanent. Even if it is just using a different shampoo and deleting your ex’s number from the memory of your mobile, change something.
2/ CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS.
When the love affair ends, these patterns can still be running.To change your thinking habits, you need to understand a little more about them.
Have you ever witnessed the same event as someone else, and later found out their account of it was completely different from yours? Each of you saw the event through a ‘frame’, made up of your personal beliefs, feelings and internal habits.
If you are finding it devastatingly difficult to handle the end of your relationship, you may need to change this ‘frame’. You will need to reframe your heartbreak. Stop seeing it as the end of your happiness. Instead, turn it into a challenge; view it as an opportunity.
Being heartbroken can make you feel worthless and hopeless – but that is because the frame you are using is too narrow. Learning to see your situation with a different frame is a wonderful liberation.
3/ CHANGE HOW YOU SEE YOURSELF
Every single one of us makes pictures in our imagination – and we can all learn how to change the pictures. It is important to learn to do this, because our bodies react to what we imagine in the same way that they react to what is actually happening to us. Memory and imagination affect our feelings in the same way as reality does.
We are constantly altering our state by the pictures we make in our imagination and the way we talk to ourselves. So it is vital to control those pictures and not let them run away with our feelings.
4/ UNDERSTAND YOUR EMOTIONS.
Your feelings of heartbreak are unlikely to disappear unless you cope with what they are trying to tell you.
An emotion is a bit like someone knocking on your door to deliver a message. If you don’t answer, it keeps knocking until you do open up.
Opening the door to your feelings means learning to understand them. This can be hard, because heartbreak is complicated by other feelings: anger, fear and shame.
5/ BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL FIND LOVE AGAIN.
This is unlikely to be true on a planet with six billion people.
So why do you believe it? Can it be because you are desperately trying to avoid accepting that the relationship is over? Or are you afraid that the bad feelings associated with heartbreak will never go away?
That fear makes you anxious, and keeps you feeling bad for longer. The burden of your heartbreak has grown heavier, and a vicious circle has been established.
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