“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it's better to listen to what it has to say.”
— Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
IMPACT OF A BAD BREAKUP
Breakups can impact mental health in myriad ways, especially depending on how the breakup occurred
Breakups, particularly if they’re unexpected, can cause a stress response due to a surge of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones send your body into fight or flight mode, which is a constant state of high alert, where your body is prepared to protect itself.
Acute or prolonged stress can lead to physical and mental health conditions.
Grief and Depression
Breakups can also cause us to feel like we are grieving or depressed. This can be situational in the sense that it may occur for a few weeks, or it may last much longer and signify that a person is having a hard time adjusting to the breakup or possibly even developing depression.
Negative Emotions and Behaviours
Breakups can lead to unexpected and intense emotions that one is not used to experiencing or managing.
Some people might let those emotions guide their behaviour. For instance, they may withdraw and isolate themselves from others, eat too much or too little when they feel sad, not sleep or sleep too much, or not keep up with work.
We all have a story to share. We are with you in these bad times. Share your experience with us, cry your emotions out. We are here to listen.
How to Get Over a Breakup
Seek support from trusted friends and family, particularly those who have been through something similar. Social support can buffer some of the negative effects of a breakup. It can help reduce the time you spend alone, feeling miserable. Instead, you will be around others who can offer advice, perspective, or ways to cultivate or increase positive emotions amidst a sea of negative ones.
Reframe the situation
Breakups can be painful and it can be hard to imagine a future without that pain, but it can be helpful to recognize and acknowledge that you will eventually feel better. Also, when you’re in the proper mental space, it’s important to think about the ways that you grew from the relationship and try to view the breakup as a lesson.
Don't avoid the negative emotions
While you don’t need to welcome negative emotions all of the time, you also shouldn’t avoid them all of the time. Suppressing emotions, whether it's anger, frustration, betrayal, grief, or sadness, can lead to physical stress on the body. Allowing yourself to be present with your emotions, even for short bursts, can help you process them and work through them so that you can skilfully manage them, instead of letting the emotions manage you.
At the end of your relationship, one thing should be at the top of your list of concerns: you.
Now is the time to focus on self-care and development. Indulge in cheat meals and relaxing bubble baths. Take that solo trip you’ve been meaning to take.
Keep Some Distance
Staying apart from your ex can provide the space and clarity to review your decision. This does not always mean cutting them off, or refusing to see them—a friendship can remain after ending things with a romantic partner. Instead, simply reducing the amount of time spent together, as well as avoiding intimate spaces when interacting can be a good start.