When falling out of love, the hurt involved in breaking up with someone can be overwhelming. One of the first things you can do on the road to a healthy recovery is to realize the physiological underpinnings of what you are feeling. The immense cravings, pleasure and loss of control while being in love induce changes in brain activity similar to those of addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin. To cope with a breakup, treat it like coming off an addiction.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
Painful as this time may be for you, it is important to acknowledge the feelings you are experiencing after a breakup. Don't suppress the emotions, as doing so will only drag out the grieving process. Talk with others about your feelings, but do not dwell on negative aspects. Make it your goal to move forward. You may have pinned a lot of dreams and hopes to your future with this person, but assure yourself that your future will have new hopes and dreams.
Reach Out to Others for Support
Now is not the time to seclude yourself. Surround yourself with people you can trust and talk to about the breakup. Make sure they are positive people who you feel comfortable around, and who will not judge, denigrate you or be hurtful toward you. Join a support group or seek a counselor. Participate in new activities to meet people and expand your social network, if your breakup involved losing the people you used to spend time with. Since the "high" of romantic love is like an addiction, with similar brain chemistry activity, keeping busy will help promote healing brain chemistry so you can break the "addiction."
Take Care of Yourself
After a breakup, you are physically and emotionally vulnerable, so act as you would if you had the flu. Nurture yourself with soothing activities every day. Stick to routines in your schedule to provide grounding, as a breakup may disrupt your life on numerous levels. Do not make major life decisions until some time has passed for you to gain perspective. Cope with painful feelings through activities and new interests, rather than through drugs, alcohol or food.
Learn From the Process
Undergo a self-assessment to come to grips with what happened and to acknowledge the part that you played. Doing this now will help you avoid mistakes in the future. Ask yourself how you contributed to the problems in the relationship. Was there a more constructive way that you could have dealt with the conflict and stress that arose? Do you see a pattern of making the same mistakes or choosing the wrong partner, and are you able to accept people as they are, rather than as you think they "should" be? Being honest during this assessment will help you make wiser decisions next time.
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