Like death and taxes, having a broken heart is one of those inevitable things in life that we all encounter at least once. In the beginning, looking for ways to heal a broken heart can seem like a futile search.
A broken heart can leave you feeling physically ill and emotionally exhausted. But if you feel alone in your heartache, know that the feelings you are experiencing — however dreadful — are extremely common.
In fact, the pain that comes with a bad breakup can actually be similar to drug withdrawal. In 2010, researchers from Rutgers University used MRI scans to find that people going through a bad breakup had brain activity similar to cocaine addicts going through withdrawal. Furthermore, the scans showed that people with a broken heart experienced greater sensitivity to pain, experienced a greater release of cortisol (the stress hormone) and even experienced symptoms like nausea and shallow breathing.
So yeah, having a broken heart sucks.
BUT, there are several ways to heal a broken heart that won’t require months or years of sadness. Take a look below at 5 ways to heal a broken heart that can easily put you on a path to a happier, healthier and more confident you.
#1 Spend 2 Weeks Doing Whatever You Want
Don’t feel like you need to go straight from the gut punch of a heartbreak to working on a great post-breakup body, dating again and the like. Take a couple of weeks off after the breakup to give yourself some individual time and to do whatever you want.
Feel like grabbing a box of tissues and binge watching This is Us as you sob into a box of Oreos? Do it. No one’s watching.
Want to eat a pizza in bed…without a napkin…in your UNDERWEAR? She’s not there to judge you, man! Go for it!
Taking some time to yourself can also be a great opportunity to purge your apartment of anything ex-related. Put the “man” back in “man cave” and get rid of anything that reminds you of your ex. There are positives in reclaiming your space and independence, which in turn can aid you in your quest to heal a broken heart.
These couple of weeks are also a good time to cut off any communication that could stoke your heartache. Delete or hide your ex from all social media platforms, delete their number and any other contact platforms that would leave you tempted to reach out.
One thing that I also feel is important for me to mention is the therapeutic benefits of crying. Even though we’re well into the 21st century and times are much more progressive, a silent stigma seems to still exist when it comes to crying and men.
According to research, women cry an average of 3.5 times per month while men only cry an average of 1.9 times per month.
Look, I’m not asking you to open the floodgates in a room full of strangers. But if you need to cry — either alone or with a trusted friend or family member — it can be extremely healing to let it all out.
A 2014 study found that crying releases oxytocin and other endorphins that alleviate pain. Crying has also been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which slows down the body’s processes and leaves you more relaxed.
#2 Start Working Out Daily
Speaking of endorphins, working out leads to a release of a whole slew of those lovely, feel-good hormones!
When people refer to their post-workout bliss as an “endorphin high,” they’re not just joking around. Structurally, endorphins are similar to morphine. Because of this, edorphines activate the brain’s opioid receptors in a way that is similar to morphine and other prescription drugs. But unlike man made drugs, moderate exercise doesn’t run the risk of ill effects.
Start exercising daily. Depending on your fitness level, this can be anything from strength training to a light jog. Incorporating daily fitness into your life can raise your self esteem while also providing a healthy outlet to distract you from the breakup.
When you’re feeling down, opt for any form of physical activity instead of turning to junk food or alcohol. Although it may be tempting to choose a six pack of beer over working on your own six pack, remember that alcohol consumption during a breakup should be extremely limited.
Alcohol is a depressant, so turning to the bottle can be counterintuitive when trying to heal a broken heart.
As time goes by and you are comfortable with your new exercise regime, you can slowly begin to incorporate group exercises to help you meet new people. Sign up for a class or join a running group. Group exercise is a great way to socialize and also encourages you to stick with the program because of accountability and a regular schedule.
#3 Book Two Appointments with Friends and Family
Although you are fully entitled to take some time for yourself, after a couple weeks of doing whatever you want, it is time to brave the outside world — with the support of friends and family, that is.
Too much time alone can lead to extreme rumination, which can occur when there is nothing to distract you from thoughts about your ex and the breakup. At its worst, rumination is a dangerous thing that can lead to things like compulsive negative thinking, depression and even substance abuse.
It’s important to distract your mind, and a good social support system can be the perfect remedy for rumination, as well as an integral tool when it comes to healing a broken heart.
According to research conducted by Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University, the stress of a breakup can actually lead to decreased immune function, depending on the seriousness of the relationship and the amount of psychological stress causes by the breakup.
In her research, Kiecolt-Glaser underlines the importance of having a social support system during these times of distress.
Find two times each week to spend time with valued friends and/or family members. Don’t talk about the breakup unless you really want to. Find fun activities to do that will take your mind off the pain. A simple night out can be enough to show you that — while it hurts now — life and happy times continue following a heartbreak.
#4 Megadate When You’re Ready
Once you have healed to a point that you feel ready to dip your toes back in the dating world, start megadating. Megadating is a strategy where you date several people at once in order to increase your confidence, reduce anxiety, and ultimately find the right person for you.
During my 100 date experiment, I put megadating to the test. It worked for me. I found an amazing long-term relationship, and you can too!
If you’re worried that megadating will make you come off as a “player,” allow me to put those fears at ease. Megadating is not about sex — it’s about learning more about yourself, refusing to settle for less than what you deserve, and eventually finding a person to have a successful, long-term relationship with.
It takes time to learn whether or not you should be exclusive with someone. During the initial stages of dating, you are fully entitled to go out with more than one person at a time.
At the end of this article, I will go into more depth on how I can help you reach your dating goals, find the right relationship, and what I can do to help!
#5 Ways to Heal a Broken Heart for Guys: Talk to a Professional
Earlier, I talked about the ways a broken heart can lead to things like depression. There is no shame in feeling a lot of pain after you have had your heart broken. In fact, it’s quite normal.
Still, depression is not something that should be taken lightly. Even if you realize that the pain you’re in is temporary, the severity of a breakup can sometimes warrant some professional intervention.
Booking an appointment with a therapist can be extremely beneficial to your healing process. Even if it’s just temporary, an objective, professional point of view can help you work through the painful emotions you’re feeling and help you learn how to heal a broken heart, and move forward with your life.
When you feel that you are ready to move on and start dating again, I would love to help you find success. Book a one-on-one Skype session with me today and learn how to dive back into the dating world with gusto. During our session, I can tell you more about the benefits of megadating, how to reach your specific dating goals, how to increase your confidence, and the secrets to a successful relationship.
You can also check out the EmLovz Academy for a comprehensive online course that will help you break through your personal barriers and meet that someone special. I look forward to connecting with you!