How to Get Over a Broken Heart

The worst possible thing has happened-- you have broken up with your true love. It may have happened yesterday or a year ago. Either way, you feel crushed. No matter how many times it has happened, a broken heart can be incredibly devastating. Though the only real cure is a combination of time and perspective, there are ways to get there more rapidly than others.

Allow Yourself to Feel
The first step is to allow yourself to go through the different stages of grieving. Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance may not come in any specific order, but it's important, if you are feeling one of these things, to let them run their course without stifling them. These feelings are normal, and if you don't give them a little time, they will end up bubbling up later in inappropriate times. That said, there is a difference between allowing feelings and feeding feelings. You can be angry, but it's better to speak to someone who makes you feel validated and important than it is to take revenge on your ex. Also, allow yourself a certain amount of time, a week to a month or two, to go through a certain stage before trying to counteract the feelings with joyful activity. Too much dwelling can create negativity patterns in your brain that can be hard to break, and make it slower for you to move on.

Find Joy
There are a lot of people who will tell you to get back on the horse, but even if you don't want to date, find ways to love life without your new love. Start a hobby, return to a favorite vacation spot, make new friends or spend extra time with old cherished ones. Spend time outside, in the sun. Exercise. Clear all the clutter from your home. Make someone's day. Join a charity. Whatever you do, make it something that is about finding a happier role in your own life, independent of any romantic relationship you may have. If you don't know what to do, lean toward things that are known to inspire happiness even when you are not mourning the loss of love. Exercise, giving to others and following a passion or dream all qualify as natural mood stimulation. So does laughter. Laugh often, even if it's just at a cheesy movie.

Date Yourself
While you are healing from your broken heart, make it your job to care for you. Take yourself for treats, whatever kind you especially love. For some, it might be a trip to the farmer's market on a Saturday morning. For others, it could be a carton of ice cream and that movie you have watched every year since childhood. Revel in what you enjoy, treat yourself, and remember what extraordinary things you have to give. Before you know it, you will remember having loved him, but you will also be ready to move on yourself.

How to Get Over a Broken Heart: ""
Cite this page: Nugent, Pam M.S., "How to Get Over a Broken Heart," in PsychologyDictionary.org, January 25, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/how-to-get-over-a-broken-heart/ (accessed August 16, 2018).
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