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The pain of going through a heartbreak is not only emotional, it can oftentimes be physical as well. Maybe you feel like your heart is quite literally breaking or perhaps you're experiencing other pains in your body. Maybe it's making you feel unwell or sick. I want you to know, though, that everything you're feeling is real.
It might help to know that research has also backed this up and has shown this to be true. The research published by the National Academy of Sciences showed that our brains and bodies process the pain of an emotional rejection in very much the same way that they do a sprained ankle or a broken leg. The people who took part in the research looked at a photo of their ex after their breakup and were told to think about the rejection they felt because of it. As they did, the same regions of the brain that underpin the response to physical pain, became active. This research was also interesting because it showed that even viewing just a picture of an ex, caused those same reactions. So, if seeing pictures of your ex on social media feels like a punch to the gut, this is why. It's real.
The thing about pain is that you probably want to do anything and everything to avoid it. The fact of the matter is, we all do, we're all human. So if you're reading this in suffering, take comfort in the normality of what you're going through. The pain will start to subside the more you are kind to yourself. The journey of having to redefine yourself is all a part of coming out of a relationship to gain a new, stronger sense of self.
Today I'd like to offer you two things you can do to help deal with the pain you're feeling and how to start to take those positive steps forward.
First, understand and accept the pain you're going through. Also understand that it won't be forever. Instead of avoiding the pain, if you can think of it as feeling it, so you can feel through it, the pain will lessen more quickly. Anything you are currently feeling, just try to be one with it and know that it is temporary and it will subside as time goes by. Realize that this is normal and part of the healing process.
Then start to think about a self-care action plan. It's really about finding ways to lift yourself up emotionally, physically, and mentally. This mainly comes, for starters anyhow, from doing some regular exercise and eating healthfully. Even if it's just taking a walk every day and being mindful of limiting foods and drinks that will make your body crash such as sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
The other thing you can do is to find ways to connect with yourself. This can be through yoga, meditation, or just taking deep breaths in those moments when you are feeling intense pain to help ease it and calm yourself down. Spending time and surrounding yourself with loved ones who understand your situation can help too. Even if you don't feel like it right now, it will help with the pain because it will get you out of your own head. Find and set aside a time in the day to simply take a moment for yourself and your self-care.
There's no denying the pain of a broken heart but luckily there are multiple things you can do to cope with one. Honesty, compassion, social support, and self-care can go a long way towards your healing.