Researches have revealed that divorce, separation and breakup can be equally traumatizing like a death. Breakup becomes harder because the former partner is still on this earth and incidentally may come across anytime. Even if the relationship was destructive and negative it may still cause feelings of loss, grief, guilt (why I was stuck so long), confusion, frustration, anger, resentment, changes in mood, Insomnia, weaker immune system and dysfunctionality in regular life.
A breakup can turn someone’s life upside down temporarily or for long-term in the form of trauma. Try and find out if any of these ways could be helpful for you:
- Think over and write down the causes why this relationship was formed in the first place. If those causes are still left unresolved, most probably you will not be able to maintain this breakup and may return to the same person or rush to another one.
- Write down those events/incidents when you felt isolated, insulted, rejected, ignored and abused by your ex.
- Write down the expectations and goals of the relationship which were agreed upon in the beginning. Give a rating in between 1-10 to your expectations being fulfilled.
- If this relationship evolved from your side over a period of time (which is common and natural), do you felt other person also reciprocated in the same manner or not?
- OR you can ask yourself if this relationship gets deeper and stronger over a period of time or was worsened?
- To get over a breakup it is very important to dissect the relationship in an as much neutral way as possible. It may be very hard initially but try to see your ex’s perspective and approach too to this relationship. Think over how much you contributed to this relationship and break up. This will be your lesson learnt from this relationship and will help in laying the balanced foundation for the next relationship in the future.
- Share your pain with someone who can listen to you in a non-judgmental manner. Let it out.
- Do healthy activities which you have always enjoyed.
- Focus on self-care. Reward yourself each day for winning over your weak moments and not contacting the ex.
- Maintain your health and daily life schedules. You will feel lighter every week.
- Make a list of the activities which you were not able to participate before due to the ex but have the freedom to enjoy them currently. Feel the freedom.
In a small new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, researchers tested a variety of cognitive strategies which might be helpful to overcome the pain of breakup over a period of time:
- Analyzing and writing down the former partner’s negative qualities in a microscopic manner.
- Accepting your own feelings towards the ex. It could be:
- I can still love someone without getting anything back from them. It’s my choice and I am going to be OK with this choice.
- Ex was driving me crazy most of the time. I am glad I quit, otherwise, I could have harmed them or myself someday.
- Distract yourself by trying new activities. Trying new stuff will help in breaking the old pattern, habits and will reinforce the belief that there is so much fun material still available and possible in life.
Researchers observed that the first strategy may ignite bad mood but in the long run your emotional brain will finally accept the fact that both of you were not a healthy match and breakup was the right step.
The second strategy may make person obsessive but lack of regular interaction from ex may slowly help the person to settle down with their own choices.
The third strategy could be Escapism and brings only temporary relief but the idea is to let you experience and enjoy the life without ex.
Anyone of us is not a superwoman or superman. The breakup is like an invisible wound which may take time to heal. Acceptance of loss and application of cognition may help you to sail through the emotional storm of a breakup.
Resources and references:
-Dealing with a Breakup or Divorce. Grieving and Moving on After a Relationship Ends (HELPGUIDE.ORG Trusted guide to mental & emotional health).
-The Best Way To Get Over a Breakup, According to Science (TIME)
By Rhea Jacobs (MCP, RCC, EMDR Psychotherapist) @ # FIREFOX COUNSELLING