Added: Terrill Gabbert - Date: 19.07.2021 22:10 - Views: 34643 - Clicks: 5864
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash. Breakups suck. They usually suck more for one of the break up-ees. Sometimes it feels like you physically cannot do any of these things. All you can do is sit slumped in your bed, staring into nothing, stuck in your thoughts and weeping. Scratch that, sobbing. Sadness, anger and anxiety stalk your days and nights. Your family or friends come over.
Make you food. Dress you. Drag you out of the house unwillingly. You may believe them deep down. In that moment though, it feels like you are never going to be the same again. Everything has changed and your body is screaming this knowledge back at you. I have been there. Maybe the answer lies in the way our brain processes breakups Meaning that a really Break up sucks time to get even break up is processed in the brain in the similar way to a broken leg. An example? One of the first studies to looking into this found that the same brain regions the Insula and Anterior Cingulate Cortex lit up in people who were shown pictures of a ificant ex-partner and those who were, essentially, being burnt on their forearm had increasing levels of heat applied!
This study was particularly interesting as participants in the study were looking at people they had never met before. They were shown a set of pictures and dating profiles of imaginary people and asked to state the ones they liked. This was when the opioids were released by the brain. As though they had been physically injured! It does however mean that even the slightest rejection causes your brain to be alerted to a potential threat to your survival. A threat at the same level as physical harm.
It suggests that our brain has evolved to alert us to the threat and then focus our attention on it not letting us look away or get distractedbelieving that it will keep us safe it is focuses on what it considers to be danger. Three cheers for our brains. No wonder break ups therefore feel so damn bad. They are interpreted as a threat to our survival, meaning our brain focuses on them, fixates on them No one wants to feel these things.
Maybe it eases some of the self criticism we engage in but we are still left with the fall out. So… Do you have to go through the awfulness?
Unfortunately I would say yes, as avoidance of any kind of emotion usually comes back to bite you on the bum. However, there are ways to ease the pain.
Firstly by understanding the process and secondly by taking action. Stage 1: Shock - The break up has just happened. This is healthy. The best part about this phase is that you can use this indignation to get out the house and start rebuilding your independence. Stage 4: Bargaining - This is a real bugger of a stage. The intolerability of the feelings and separation mean that you suddenly remember the relationship through rose tinted glasses.
In this phase people try to bargain their way back to what they had, either with their ex or with a higher power e.
Assuming it will be different this time. Stage 5: Depression - The sadness really sets in this does not mean clinical depression. Appetite changes, the tears come, you want to withdraw from the world. This dark hole can feel like an abyss but its a goodyou are on the home stretch. Stage 6: Initial acceptance - This can feel more like surrender at first. Finally giving in to the terms of the breakup. Overtime this will change.
While the pain may still be present you can see the relationship more clearly, accepting each person's role in the relationship, the good and the bad. You go out with a friend and realise you are enjoying yourself not just tolerating it like you had been. These stages are not set in stone. They are just the current conceptualisation of grief post break up. Also, its not necessarily linear. People go in and out of phases and sometimes round in circles.
However, its a good start when thinking about how you are feeling and why you might be feeling it. Furthermore, when you date someone for a while you incorporate them into your sense of identity. Following a break up you can feel confused about who you are. A literal piece of your identity has been torn from you. Recovering will involve reconnecting with, and rebuilding your personal identity. Surround yourself with loved ones. Friends and family reconnect us with ourselves. They remind us we are lovable. They cause a release of endorphins feel good hormonesand at the moment this can only be a good thing.
If there is no-one you feel you can talk to, write Break up sucks time to get even down. Journal about your emotions. Research shows ificant positive effects of journaling during times of challenge. Then just let it flow. Whatever words and thoughts come up. Write hard or soft, however you feel for 20 minutes. Finish it with three positive sentences to yourself. Something soothing. Something you have noticed about yourself that's a strength. Words of encouragement.
Then re-read it and tear it up.
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself time. Try not to set dates or timelines for your recovery. Get active. This could mean using exercise to trigger endorphins and metabolise stress hormones see this post for more information. It could mean scheduling your day around the patterns you see arising.
For example, if you know that you feel worst in the mornings, go for a walk to get out of the house when you wake up. Meet someone. Notice self-criticism. Notice any time you blame yourself, list your shortcomings, call yourself names or recall rejections. Doing this is like taking a hammer to a broken limb. Your brain is already running on a survival response. This only activates that further. When this happens think about what you would say to your friend. Say this to yourself instead.
You could even write a letter as if to a friend in this situation. Then read it. Learn how to self soothe.Break up sucks time to get even
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Cheating and Breakups