When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a breakup, everyone will have an opinion on how best get over it.
Your parents will remind you there are “other fish in the sea”, your friends will encourage you to get over your ex by getting yourself a diversion for the night, taking you out and getting you too drunk to remember him.
While your friends and family mean well their actions and advice may be prolonging your pain and heartache. Research is now saying that there is a correct way to get over a relationship breakup and it seems most of us have been doing it wrong.
Researchers at the University of Arizona have determined the best way to get over a relationship is to “spend a significant period of time reflecting on the relationship” which is the opposite of what most of us have been doing. The last thing we want to do when a relationship ends is go over it in our minds. All we want to do is recall the disastrous times and blame him for being a dreadful partner that we are better off without.
Researchers came to this conclusion after conducting a study of over 200 young adults, all of whom had recently experienced a relationship breakup. Data showed that participants who discussed their breakups at length, over a 9-week period, reported lower feelings of loneliness than those who did not.
Researchers say this period of reflection is necessary for “self-concept reorganisation,” the process by which a person redefines himself or herself post-relationship. So allowing yourself the time to examine your feelings will help you emotionally accept the breakup and move on from it faster.
Saying this, however, may depend on how the breakup occurred and what meaning we place on it. If you were cheated on, this is not only a devastating loss of love, but also a loss of trust and a burden of rejection.
While the researchers indicated months of reflection and going over your story is helpful, I wonder how many of our friends are prepared to sit and listen to you over and over again.
The best solution is to pay for counselling so the counsellor can listen, support and reframe your thoughts. This is a far faster way to recover from the devastation of a lost love or rejection.
Yes, time does heal, and yes you will move on past this loss, however, understand that the feeling may not pass for some weeks or months and only time and keeping busy assists.
This along with support is an essential prescription for recovery. To speed things along a little faster, it is good to write down some of the things you were grateful for in your relationship. Anger and bitterness can last a lot longer than being thankful, so make sure those negative emotions don’t come out on top.
Instead, think of something you can be grateful for. Regardless if it is something you learned or experienced that you may not have before or from another person, even the fact that you were loved at some point and knew the reasons why this person did love you and what they loved about you. Breakups are hard because we are connected to the emotions of the loss and hurt.
Once the emotions reduce and logic returns, we can often take something from the breakup and learn what to avoid or do differently next time. When we start to recover and move on with our life normality starts to return. We find many other relationships also return to normal.
This includes work relationships which make up a big part of our lives. So many of us work five days a week, up to 40 hours each week. We mix with work colleagues and may deal with work pressures, deadlines, customers and stress. While progressing through our relationship breakdown recovery, we often take a step back from work, not physically necessarily, but often emotionally and psychologically.
Frequently our work or business suffers as we are focused on our emotions and recovery as we proceed through the mourning process before moving on. Once we come through that process and start to live in today, instead of yesterday’s regrets and hurt, we can become more focused, can set more goals and live for today in a happier and more positive way. Our work usually becomes more of our focus, and productivity improves.
Obtaining professional counselling support can make the transition faster, smoother and far less painful. It allows us to pass through the stages quicker and come through the other side stronger, more focused and happier. We have often learnt some valuable life lessons which we can apply to our life now making us wiser and stronger as a person and this is always a good thing.
There is a great hypnotherapy session available to every one wanting to move through this process faster. Please visit Virtual Hypnotherapy’s Relationship Recovery session.
You will be able to adjust those negative hurt thoughts of loss into feelings of opportunity and move on much faster.
Dr Karen Phillip is a counselling psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist, as well as the founder of Virtual Hypnotherapy.