I have written about connection and attachment and love, but what about when that romantic bond is broken. What about heartbreak?
I thought I’d share with you my take away from the TED Talk, How to fix a broken heart, by Guy Winch, shared below.
Whoever came up with the term “heartbreak” was right on. Heartbreak is painful like a heart that is broken.
Heartbreak is an injury. It is complex and psychological in nature. It can cause insomnia, intrusive thoughts, and immune system dysfunction.
When we are recovering from a heartbreak, our brain tries to make the pain go away by figuring out what happened, what went wrong: as if it is a math problem with a solution that will provide a soothing balm to our wound.
But indulging in that craving is actually a way of feeding our love addiction when we can’t get the real thing.
Brain studies show that the withdrawal of romantic love activates the same mechanisms in our brain that are activated when addicts go through withdrawal from cocaine or opioids.
We get a hit by thinking of all the good times, hoping our romantic interest will come back to us, trying to figure out why the breakup happened, and/or idealizing our ex or the relationship. To beat the fix, we need to:
- accept the reason they gave us, or make up one of our own
- refrain from looking our ex up on social media or contacting him/her
- keep a list of all the things that were wrong with the relationship and why that person was not the one for us
In addition, we need to rebuild our lives and get back to who we are, what we’re about. We need to make efforts to fill in the missing links of our social lives and invest in activities that interest us. We need to leave ourselves open to connection by learning about ourselves in relationship.
Recovery from a breakup is an arm wrestle we win in a multitude of ways.
(professional website: http://www.BethLevineCounseling.com)