Top 5 Ways To Heal a Broken Heart
Heartbreak is a universal pain, a shared experience of agony that most undergo at least once. When confronted with a broken heart, the path to recovery can appear intimidating. The physical and emotional distress can seem insurmountable. However, psychologist Dr. Guy Winch provides valuable insights on navigating this path.
In his viral Ted Talk, “How to Heal a Broken Heart,” Dr. Winch unveils the science behind heartbreak and shares practical advice for moving forward.
He states that being in love mirrors drug addiction. Brain studies reveal that love withdrawal stimulates the same areas as withdrawing from cocaine or opioids. Your subconscious mind relishes revisiting pleasant memories with the one who shattered your heart, craving that emotional “fix”. While drug addicts recognize their dependency, heartbroken individuals often do not.
In his book, “How to Fix a Broken Heart,” Dr. Winch writes, “We associate a broken heart with the young, the naïve, or the inexperienced—individuals yet to bear adult responsibilities. Real adults are expected to handle such events maturely and stoically. We perceive heartbreak akin to baseball and spilled milk—not worthy of tears. Until, our heart breaks.”
Through his practice, Dr. Winch observes successful CEOs, who overcome work challenges effortlessly, collapse under romantic heartbreak, paralleling teenagers. Love isn’t a realm we usually navigate rationally. Our instinctual responses to heartbreak typically contradict the healing steps we should follow. We resort to coping mechanisms that intensify our pain and postpone our recovery. Persistently clinging to memories of a past lover can detrimentally impact mental health over time.
Breakups are tough. Rejection is tougher. But remember—you can overcome it! Your happiness and mental health merit your effort towards healing. It’s time to grab tissues, some ice cream, and note down these tips on how to mend a broken heart. It’s time to move on. Life is ongoing. The clock is ticking.
1. Go Cold Turkey!
Stop stalking your ex on social media. Seriously, stop. https://t.co/AJWC43Bekc
— TED Talks (@TEDTalks) February 10, 2018
Healing from heartbreak requires a “cold turkey” approach – cutting off all contact with the person who hurt you. It’s crucial to delete their number, block them on social media, and move all reminders (photos, videos, emails) to a less accessible location such as a password-protected folder created by a trusted friend. While it may seem drastic or immature, removing yourself from their orbit during the initial stage is essential to moving forward.
Don’t give in to the temptation to social media stalk your ex or reach out to them in your low moments. These behaviors will only exacerbate your pain and dent your self-esteem if they seem to be moving on while you’re still hurting. Embrace your creative side and use this time to focus on self-care.
2. Don’t Forget (or Gloss Over) All Their Bad Qualities
When love ends, we have a tendency to only remember the good parts, making it more difficult to fix a broken heart. @GuyWinch, @TEDTalks viral star shares how we can change these tendencies in his new book “How to Fix a Broken Heart.” https://t.co/1aFCzvgCnr pic.twitter.com/SR27ZdiOKM
— IVY (@IVYconnect) February 13, 2018
Heartbreak often triggers pleasant memories of your ex, clouding your view of the relationship. But do you really want to long for someone who chose not to be with you?
While it may sound harsh, creating a list of their negative traits can help counter your brain’s positive bias. Maybe they had an irritating laugh or didn’t like hanging out with your friends, despite you cherishing the physical intimacy. Document these traits and revisit them often to achieve a balanced perspective of your past relationship and help yourself move on.
3. Stop Trying To Solve Why Things Ended (Or Never Took Off)
When your heart gets broken, here's what happens to your brain: https://t.co/FQ2uk4QDjO#psychology #health #mentalhealth #love #sex #brain #science
— Guy Winch (@GuyWinch) January 9, 2018
Following heartbreak, it’s only natural to play detective. We torture ourselves by replaying memories, hoping to understand why the relationship ended – or worse, why it never really began. But, this incessant pondering can harm self-esteem and unfairly cast blame on oneself. Let’s be real: sometimes, love just doesn’t pan out. Instead of waiting endlessly for a reason or explanation, it’s okay to take solace in the unknown!
4. Remember Your Reasons for Moving On
Q3 What can we do to bolster students' self esteem? Beyond that, how can we help them fortify themselves? #TEDEdChat pic.twitter.com/fvsU3rshii
— TED-Ed (@TED_ED) October 24, 2017
Moving on after a breakup requires a serious love affair with oneself. Instead of blaming and replaying regretful moments, reappraise your unique qualities and become candid about your love goals. Start with writing down your reasons for moving on: “I must cherish myself,” “I deserve someone who values me,” and “I yearn for an emotionally open partner.”
5. Learn To Love Being Alone
“Our heart might be broken, but we do not have to break with it.” How to Fix a Broken Heart, from my friend and colleague Dr. Guy Winch.https://t.co/nyGFhiukKo
— Esther Perel (@EstherPerel) February 17, 2018
Being in a long-term relationship often means ‘we’ becomes an important part of who we are. But it’s also important to rediscover ‘I’ outside of the ‘we’. Are boozy brunches really what you enjoy or is it just your partner’s thing? Take this time to explore and rediscover yourself.
Dr. Winch suggests building self-esteem by honing our skills and achieving goals that resonate with us. Love cooking? Host more dinners. Always wanted to backpack through Southeast Asia? Go for it!
It’s not always easy to cultivate self-esteem, but it’s worth it. Focus on what truly matters to you, and you’ll find it easier to handle life’s ups and downs, even heartbreak. For more motivation, watch Dr. Guy Winch’s insightful talk on ‘How To Heal A Broken Heart’ at Ted Talk.
Or Just Join Match.com and try again!
Mastered how to heal a broken heart and ready to get back out there? Here are the Top 5 Reasons to Join a Dating Site Post Break-Up.