If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know that this year I experienced the most traumatic breakup in my life thus far—and, I’m 45, so I’ve been through the gamut of breakups. If you’re going through a breakup or have recently gone through one and need advice on how to deal with it and get over you ex—because, maybe, you’re feeling the same kind of excruciating emotional pain I did—you may want to consult the trusty ‘ole Google search on how to do so. But, before you do, let me tell you the most common psychologically and scientifically backed things doctors and scientists recommend you do. *NOTE: I have read, literally, hundreds of articles, studies, and posts about how to get over your ex and/or a breakup or heart-break. The following are the top three things that are 95% always recommended, listed in the order of how frequently they are suggested as the number one thing to do.
NUMBER ONE RECOMMENDATION: CUT OFF ALL CONTACT WITH YOUR EX!!!!!
Oh, there are so many reasons NOT to contact your ex! Some studies suggest that being in love with someone produces chemicals in your brain that are similiar to what causes someone to be addicted to a drug. When you go through a breakup and experience mood swings, insomnia, crying fits, nausea, etc. it is actually your brain going through withdrawal from these chemicals! According to
According to Dr. Reef Karim, psychiatrist and addiction specialist, physiologically, there is almost no distinction between withdrawal from heroin and withdrawal from the intoxication of infatuation. The love and drug chemicals are so similiar that ” they massage the same neurochemistry as substance addictions. They hijack the limbic system and take over the dopaminergic response. You get euphoric recall, you get withdrawal (2012, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/ethlie-ann-vare/love-addiction_b_1240652.html).” To further elaborate, research shows that being rejected and/or the loss of love can be likened to going through nicotine, alcohol or narcotic withdrawal–because it causes the neurotransmitter, dopamine, to wash over your brain causing frenzied feelings, desperation, and a whole slew of other nasty things that are synonymous to withdrawal from an addictive substance. Doctors say that you can, literally, crave your ex and because you are also, literally, going through withdrawal, you can relapse and these cravings can occur months after the rejection/breakup or after you’d thought you’ve gotten over them. Soooo…to bring this all back to the point, researchers found that the greater the number of days since rejection, the less activity showed up in the brain area associated with attachment. In the Journal of Neurophysiology, Dr. Fisher writes, ” You’ve got to treat it as an addiction, and get rid of the cards and letters and don’t call or write the person who jilted you. Don’t try to make friends with this person for at least three years ( Fisher, H. Journal of Neurophysiology, 2010).”
Whiiicchhhh brings me to the second most recommended thing to do:
Get rid of “ex reminders” !!!!!!
These can be any memento–cards, letters, gifts, clothing that belonged to him/her, clothing they bought for you…basically any visual or tangible reminders of your ex. These are all reminders that can trigger strong emotions and memories. Just cleanse your environment of any traces of them. Do it!
And third, NO SOCIAL MEDIA TIES!
Do NOT follow them on Facebook, Instagram, whatever! Don’t pour over friends of friends’ posts looking for them. Don’t look them up, Google them, etc. Just don’t do it. Take their number out of your phone. Exorcise that ghost! If you do any of these things, you are just reinforcing those weird brain addiction chemicals, causing yourself more pain and heartache, and setting yourself up for major emotional trauma. Just pretend they never existed. This brings to me an addendum: An additional piece of advice from professionals comes in at number four, which actually should be one of the top recommendations, because it’s a healthy and productive thing to do. This is make a list of every negative trait, experience, etc. about and with your ex. This helps because when we’re lamenting the loss of our ex, we tend to focus on the fond memories and good times. We often look at these things as what the relationship was really like–when, in reality, our relationship was never all milk and honey.