It hurts and it might feel like the end of the world for you, but it doesn’t have to be!
Whether your relationship just ended from weeks, months, or years of dating, the hurt felt is indescribable; and it makes total sense that you feel lost and confused. The anger, confusion, shock, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and the shame that comes from a breakup turn even the best of us into sad potatoes.
These emotions are overwhelming, but if this is where you are right now, you should know that it will get better. It might take months or years, even decades, but you will heal. But between now and then, how do you cope? How do you go on when your heart is literally broken into pieces?
For how long will you cry and lie about it? And most importantly, how do you do on the hurt, without hurting everyone else you come across? Unfortunately, there is no magic pill to wash away all that pain and frustration.
So, how do you go about it? What do you do when every part of you hopes for your ex to come back crawling to you or even text you just to see how you are?
To help you overcome that numbness and to move past the doubt over whether you made the right decision or not, we’ve put together a list of things you could do to cope and live with the pain?
#1. Get Your Space
While it’s common to find that immediately after a breakup one of you is constantly texting or calling, and even trying to visit the other, doing any of these is not the best of ways for anyone to get over the other or deal with the breakup.
While you feel lost, trying to reach out to your girlfriend either to get the last word or to beg her to change her mind will not help you. And in any case, it will only make things worse for you.
Instead of reaching out and gorging out deeper cracks in your heart, you need to take a minute. Pause and let all that dust settle. Give your mind time to sort through things clearly.
We can tell that you feel like shouting some mean things and you might find yourself doing just that if you don’t handle your emotions, but take a few deep breaths and allow your mind to work through things. This is not the time to be impulsive. Step back and mourn the loss.
If you are wondering why we keep asking you to settle down or ‘let your mind process things’ you should know that psychologists note that when you are in love, you use the same neural pathways that you would use if you were addicted to cocaine, which explains Beyonce’s Drunk In Love.
What this means is that your heartbreak is more of cocaine withdrawal. To be specific, however, love fills you up with many feel-good neurotransmitters and chemicals, and on top of that list, you have oxytocin. Withdrawal from these good-hormones is what leaves you feeling sad and deflated.
#2. Don’t close yourself off
For most of us, the obvious response to a breakup is isolation. With feelings of inadequacy piling up, it will be so easy for you to look okay in public/ work only to turn into this lonely guy at the end of the day every day.
Although taking some alone time helps you think over things, you should have friends over or go hang out with the guys at the bar as often as you can.
Isolation and loneliness give rise to rumination, and if you are not careful, rumination could lead you down the path of depression. While most of us (men) will downplay breakups off and act as if the breakup isn’t a really big deal, breakups are big emotional deals that increase the risk of depression.
Isolation and downplaying your emotions will catch up with you when you are in bed, tossing and turning as all those negative thoughts flood your mind. The interesting bit is that the inadequacy feelings and all the negative self-talk sets in when you are alone.
Every time a memory comes to mind or think of them, not have to talk to her as you used to, or when you wonder about what she could be up to at that late hour, your mind will drive you off the cliff with everything that makes you feel bad about yourself.
Therefore, cry if you need to. Curse in front of your friends if it makes you feel better, but don’t do these for too long. Meet up with guys. They will understand that you are sad, but they will also help you feel better. Talk to them.
If you are not ready to talk, start engaging in an activity that takes your mind off things. Volunteer during your free time, or go on the adventures you’d been dreaming about before. By doing things you are passionate about, with other people, you find a sense of belonging and that collective energy will make you feel better, and the best part is that you don’t necessarily have to talk or make eye contact.
#3. Take care of your body
The ideas above are great for your emotional well-being, but they are not enough. You need to do more to feel good (and look good at the same time) about yourself.
While hanging out with the guys is a fun, and take out a convenient relief, these things don’t really change the fact that you feel bad and are hurt. You will also take longer to get over the lost love.
So, before you lose yourself completely, take care of your body. Go to the gym and go at it hard if you want to. Hit the trails and hike every weekend if you have to; as long as you don’t hurt yourself.
The surge of testosterone from working out will make you feel better, more manly, and even though you are not ready to get back on the horse after the breakup, hitting the gym will give you an ego boost when the ladies start noticing you. Even with strong or lingering thoughts of your ex, the positive reaction from the rest of the world will make you feel good about yourself.
In addition to working out, taking care of your body also means eating nourishing food, and getting enough sleep. Sleep allows you to reset/ regroup mentally and also physically. Sleep heals.
Also, don’t do drugs
#4. Rewrite Your Story
‘Mind Over Matter.’ You’ve probably seen this before but are you ready to crawl out of that thick blanket of lost hope and a broken heart? If you get that strong urge to call her or her best friend to see if she’s okay, don’t.
Instead, think of what you want your story to be. Do you want to be the guy who had his heart broken so hard he couldn’t go on living or the guy who got hurt but learned to love deeply again?
Note, however, that if you’re convinced that you have to get back with that girl and that you must win her back, you could use The Magic of Making Up to get things started in the right way – and to have a lasting kind of love this time.