By Sienna Sinclaire for YourTango.com.
You may remember the old song “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” … and it’s the damn truth! Time will heal your aching heart, but the meantime can be a mean time and breakups are a real bummer. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to speed up the process and get that breakup in your rearview mirror ASAP.
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While recovering from a breakup, don’t deny yourself a good cry, but once you do, move on. Build a bridge and get over it. Everyone responds to pain in their own, unique way. Some people take longer than others to move beyond a broken relationship. The depth of your pain usually depends on how long you were with your partner and how much you really cared for them. Nevertheless, you should give yourself permission to express your feelings, mourn the loss of the relationship and heal the hurt.
Dr. Daniel G. Amen, author of The Brain in Love claims, “When we love someone, they come to live in the emotional or limbic centers of our brain. They actually occupy nerve-cell pathways and physically live in the neurons and synapses of the brain. When we lose someone through a breakup our brain gets disoriented. Since the person lives in neural memory connectors, we expect to see them, hear them, feel them and touch them. When we cannot touch or talk to them as we usually do, the brain centers where they live become inflamed looking for them.”
Dr. Amen also said that over-activity in the limbic brain has been associated with depression. This is why we tend to isolate, have trouble sleeping, lose our appetites and cry when we’ve got a broken heart. Dr. Amen continued, “A deficit in endorphins, which modulate pain and pleasure pathways in the brain, also occurs which may be responsible for the physical pain we feel during a breakup.” Fascinating!
Whether you did the breaking up or you’ve just had your heart broken, there are ways to make your situation just a little easier to bear. Read on for 12 quick and easy tips that will turn your breakup into a breakthrough:
1. Drink St. Johns Wart Tea. This may sound silly, but breaking up can take a toll on the body. This rejuvenating tea helps heal the mind, body and spirit. Intense emotions surge powerful chemicals to the brain which can be physically exhausting. Anxiety and rejection cause dramatic changes to the brain’s level of dopamine, also known as the “feel good” neurotransmitter. Because breakups initiate a fight or flight response the body often reacts with depression, anger and sadness. It may also cause a jolt of adrenaline to the body, which makes people irrational and hyper-sensitive. St. John’s Wart comes in both pill and tea form and is said to return the brain to a natural state and calm anxiety.
2. Eat dark chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Of course, you should never indulge in the kind of chocolate binge eating you often see in romantic comedies. In moderation, dark chocolate has a positive effect on one’s sense of well-being and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. It may be hard to pronounce and difficult to spell but PEA encourages the brain to release endorphins, which is why chocolate makes you feel happier. Darker chocolate is best because it contains less calories and fat than the richer, lighter chocolates. For a limited time only, it’s okay to eat chocolate and not feel guilty but be careful as you don’t want to put on ten pounds in the process of lightening your mood.
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3. Make a date with your girlfriends. Spend the first girl’s night out taking tequila shots and dish to your girls about how he did you wrong. Get it all off your chest and have one of your friends drive your drunk ass home. Cry into your pillow until you don’t have any tears left and your forehead hurts. Do this once when you first breakup but after that, he’s off limits as a topic of conversation. The sooner you stop talking about him with your friends, the sooner he’ll become a faded memory. Hanging out with your girls after a breakup is great way to help get your mind off so-and-so and focus on your future. Soon, you will see what a fool he is and it will make you realize he did you a favor. Have fun with your friends and enjoy your life as a single gal.
4. Show your smile. Chances are no matter who did the breaking up, your ex is still following you on Facebook. Let him know you’re not sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. Take pictures of you laughing and loving life when you’re out with your girlfriends. Snap one with some random guy. Plaster the sexy, fun and flirty photos of you painting the town red all over the Internet. Don’t be fooled men are very territorial, even post-breakup. It will drive him bonkers seeing that you’re not at home pining over him. Then, after flaunting a month or two of your fabulous new life, simply delete him and block him. This is the best way to move on and regain control. He is yesterday’s news.
5. No rebounds. The most important thing to remember when you’re navigating the aftermath of a breakup is not to rush into a new relationship. Many people give in to the desire to be validated by looking for approval from a new lover. This is a recipe for disaster. Date and have fun but be cautious when it comes to letting the next person into your heart. Don’t create a quasi-relationship with someone just to get over someone else. It’s not fair to the other person and it will eventually bite you in the ass (and not in the good way).
6. Go away on holiday. Plan a break from your usual routine. Take a trip to a nearby town you’ve never visited. Hop on a vacation cruise across the ocean. Go to the spa and get a massage. Whether it’s by yourself, with family or friends a change of scenery will do you some good.
7. Show yourself some love. We tend to forget we’re loveable when enduring a breakup. Take care of yourself by staying healthy. People often get sick and depressed after a breakup and eat or drink too much to numb the pain. They stop exercising, wallow in self-pity, gorge themselves with potato chips and isolate. Be sure to continue your normal self-maintenance regime. Workout, eat right and be sure to take your vitamins. Do things for yourself like take a relaxing bath, go to the gym, get your nails done, send yourself flowers or buy yourself sexy lingerie. Get off your bum and take action so you can get him off your mind. Loving yourself after a breakup and taking care of yourself is the best revenge you can plot against your ex.
8. Masturbate. Yeah, I said it. Just because you’re not having sex with your ex anymore doesn’t mean you should stop having sex with yourself. Having an orgasm rushes the brain with serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals increase mood and appetite and will make you feel fantastic. Don’t feel guilty this is a natural aspect of the human experience and pleasuring yourself is completely normal.
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9. Spring clean. Clear the clutter, girlfriend! Get rid of your ex by trashing any music that reminds you of him, gifts he gave you or any other miscellaneous items around the house associated with your relationship. Donate everything to your favorite charity. You will feel better knowing you gave to a good cause and you’ll get a tax write-off! Get rid of any photos of your ex. If you can’t bring yourself to do it, have a friend do it for you. Don’t forget to de-clutter your virtual reality as well. Remove and untag photos of your ex from your social networking sites. Keep in mind, you can always stash everything in a box if you’re not ready to give up on the notion that you might get back together. Ask someone to hide the box from you. In three months if you know you’re not getting back together, toss the box and your ex out with the trash.
10. Staying friends with your ex. When your ex says “Let’s be friends,” you need to move on. There is no being friends. But there is a difference between being friends and being friendly. Being friends down the road is a possibility but only when you no longer have feelings for that person. So until that time comes forget about being friends with your ex.
11. Join a dating website. Do this ONLY when you feel it’s time. Don’t rush it. Post your profile online and see what happens. You don’t have to go out on dates right away but it will feel good to know you’re still wanted. Because you’re fabulous, guys will be hitting on you in no time and it will be a real ego boost. This will certainly help with your confidence and make you realize you are desirable. You’re a great catch! Plus, we all know the best way to get over a man is to get on top of a new one!
12. Learn from your breakup. Recognize this as an opportunity to learn a life lesson. You can transform this experience into one with a positive outcome. Take time to cater to yourself and fulfill your own needs for a while. Ask yourself some important questions to see if there are areas of your life that need attention. Why didn’t the relationship work? Do you need to learn to be more responsible, more independent or more interesting? Maybe you need to focus on your career or work to get balance in some other area of your life? Take this sacred time to find out what you really want in your next relationship but do things you enjoy in the meantime. Partake in activities that will make you feel good about yourself. Go out and get a bold new look, change your hair color or buy yourself some new clothes. Make a commitment to exercise and get healthy. Get out and meet new people by joining a social club. Focus on how you can do better at your job. This is your chance to spring clean your soul, start over, rejuvenate yourself and get ready to rock the world!
Sienna Sinclaire® – The Single Girl®: Your Naughty Lifestyle Guide
This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: From Breakup To Breakthrough: How To Mend A Broken Heart.