When you break up with someone that you care about, it can leave you feeling like a part of you is missing. Much like a rock that has cracked in two, you may feel fractured and broken, damaged beyond repair. Trying to get your life back on track when you are experiencing this initial pain can seem impossible. How do you get the momentum that you need to start feeling like yourself again?
Over the years, there have been a number of studies done that focus on precisely this question. Here are five tips that researchers have discovered that can lead to a faster recovery:
Focus On Rediscovering Yourself
Researchers found that people who are in love tend to experience an increase in self-growth. Sharing your life with another person can help you expand the definition of who you are, providing you with increasingly diverse experiences. When you and your partner live your lives together, you may begin to lose your sense of self. Instead, your identity and your partner's identity start to merge together, intertwining with each other.
That is one of the reasons why breaking up feels so awful. When you lose your partner, you lose the sense of who you really are. Not only can this leave you feeling confused but it can also do a real number on your self-confidence.
The key to getting over this part of the breakup is to start reminding yourself of who you are without your partner. This is the perfect time to branch out and try something new. Explore new hobbies, spend time with new people, and remind yourself what it is that makes you the person that you are. People who take steps to rediscover their own identities after a breakup tend to recover much more quickly. Studies have shown that the fastest way to heal is to challenge yourself to experience new things and to meet new people.
Cut Off Contact Completely
One mistake that people commonly make after a breakup is trying to stay in touch with their ex. In fact, however, this can make it harder for you to heal. A study done by Sbarra & Emery in 2005 found that staying in touch after a breakup kept the feelings of love alive longer, prolonging the pain and making it more difficult to move on. Additionally, when you keep your ex in your life, it is a lot harder to focus on your journey of self-discovery.
Anytime you experience a stressful event such as a breakup, it can impact both your body and your mind. One way to help ease the symptoms of stress is by exercising. Researchers have found that starting a post-breakup exercise routine can help alleviate problems like difficulty sleeping, poor concentration, and mood-related issues. Although you may still feel stressed out, when you are exercising, the depressive symptoms that go along with a breakup are usually far less overwhelming.
It is important to be honest with yourself about your feelings. When a relationship ends, it is only natural to feel sad. In the meantime, however, one way that you can increase your happiness is simply by acting happier. Interestingly, the mere act of faking happiness by forcing a smile can have an impact on your brain. When the muscles of your face contract into a smile, your brain gets a signal telling it that you feel happy. As strange as it may sound, making yourself smile can actually make you feel happier. Give it a try the next time you are feeling sad. You may be surprised by how much it can boost your mood.
Consider Starting A New Relationship
Most people recommend waiting a while after a breakup before jumping into a new relationship. In fact, however, researchers have discovered the opposite. People who start relationships on the rebound tend to get over their breakups much more quickly. They also experience an increase in feelings of well-being and see themselves as being more attractive and desirable. This can result in an improvement in self-esteem, a decrease in anxiety, and a more social approach to life. Contrary to what most people recommend, you may find it easier to get over a breakup by starting a new relationship right away rather than waiting.