How to Fix a Broken Heart

Breakups are a form of emotional trauma that can cause severe stress and unwanted emotional changes. The ability to cope after a breakup varies depending on the severity of the situation; a breakup with a spouse will be more traumatic than one with a short-term dating partner. To expedite the recovery process, manage your symptoms by participating in behavioral and psychological coping strategies.

Things You'll Need

  • Professional counselor
  • Exercise regimen
  • Support group
  • Three to five thought-stopping techniques
  • Vision statement

Instructions

    • 1

      Hire a professional counselor such as a therapist, psychologist or clinical social worker who specializes in trauma. She will help you create an emotional recovery plan that fits your needs and lifestyle.

    • 2

      Work with your physician to design an exercise plan that fits with your financial and physical ability. Having a regular exercise routine improves mood by releasing endorphins.

    • 3

      Join a trauma survivor's group where you can discuss the breakup and its effects. Communicating with other people in similar situations will provide support and prevent isolation.

    • 4

      Practice at least three to five thought-stopping techniques per day to prevent rumination. Examples include going for walks, doing housework, listening to music or calling a friend as soon as the breakup crosses your mind.

    • 5

      Create a vision statement by listing everything that you want in your next mate and relationship. Use the previous relationship to evaluate life lessons and circumstances that did and did not work. Be as clear and descriptive as possible.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are religious, you might substitute the professional counselor with a qualified counselor from your place of worship. Do not be frustrated if the recovery period from a breakup is longer than intended; breakups are emotional traumas. Allow yourself sufficient time to heal.
  • Do not use a weapon or threaten violence to anyone as a means of dealing with the breakup. If you think you might hurt someone, immediately contact your counselor or any professional in human health or safety services (police officer, medical doctor). If you find yourself beginning to engage in any high-risk behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse to cope with the breakup, inform your counselor of this immediately so he can help you make healthier choices.
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References

  • Rosse, R. B. (1999). The Love Trauma Syndrome: Free Yourself from the Pain of a Broken Heart. New York: Insight Books.
  • Larson, J., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1999). Coping with Loss. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Resources

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