HOW TO HEAL A BROKEN HEART , healing , curing, sharing heal a broken heart is important Terry’s boyfriend had been cheating on her for four months with a woman his friends introduced him to. Erica’s ex called her on the phone at 10:30 p.m. and dumped her. Heart break is something few escape, no matter who you are — just look at Jennifer Aniston and supermodel Christie Brinkley. Susan Anderson, psychotherapist and author of “The Journey
from Abandonment to Healing,” says that while a broken heart can be one of life’s most severe tragedies, it isn’t always acknowledged in the same way as other life crises.
“Most of us have had serious heartbreaks. It’s what marks us. It’s what affects our self-esteem and our ability to trust another person,” she told The Early Show national correspondent Susan McGinnis. “It’s not a validated form of grief. When someone dies, you receive cards and there’s a funeral and an acknowledgement about the grief. But when someone leaves you there is — you don’t get a bouquet of flowers from your relatives.”
“I tried the yoga thing and all it did was give me the focus to think really evil thoughts,” Ophira said.
It’s more than just thoughts — a breakup can have physical effects as well.
“You produce all these stress hormones that actually affect your memory,” Anderson said. “And it causes you to lose weight.”
“I was thrilled with the 20 pounds, but I lost 20 pounds out of just being so devastated by it,” Judy said.
What these women may not know is that a heart can come a lot closer to actually breaking than you might think.
“It is a lot like a heart attack in some ways,” Dr. Ilan Wittstein said. “People can come in with all the same symptoms that heart attack patients have: chest pain, shortness of breath.”
Dr. Wittstein at Johns Hopkins Medical Center is among several doctors who identified what’s now called “broken heart syndrome.”
In fact, a large number of patients who have had this come in after some kind of emotional trauma, such as the death of a loved one, a sudden motor vehicle accident and some kind of fright.
“A breakup can cause this,” Anderson said. “We’ve had, actually, a couple of people we’ve seen in who had a break up or learned about a spouse’s infidelity and confronted the spouse, experienced signs and symptoms of the syndrome.”
- It’s okay to grieve for a time. Seek support from your friends and family as you come to terms with the changes in your life.
- Don’t look at past relationships as failures, but rather as opportunities to learn and improve your relationship skills.
- Don’t worry that you’re not in a relationship. Your value comes from who you are, not who you’re with.
- You don’t have to be a recluse just because you aren’t a couple. Treat yourself to an evening out doing something you enjoy. Take along a friend if it’s not a solo activity.
- Treat yourself to a special gift now and then. You are a special person and you deserve it.
- There’s more to life than romantic love. Take this opportunity to nurture your friends, family and self.
- Take some time to reevaluate what you need in a relationship. Have you been choosing partners who are not capable of a loving and mature relationship?
- Be willing to take another chance on love. Like they say, you can’t win if you don’t play.
- Be a friend to yourself. If you care about yourself, the odds are better you will attract those you care about you too.
- If you’re finding it hard to let go of a relationship, you may need to seek counseling. An obsessive need to be with someone who no longer wants a relationship may be a sign of love addiction.
- Avoid jumping into a rebound relationship. Take some time to work through all the issues from your previous one.
- Don’t try to get revenge. This will only slow your progress in healing from the hurt.
- Forgive yourself. You can’t change the past, but you can learn from your mistakes and not repeat them.
- Forgive your partner. This doesn’t mean that you are saying what happened is okay. What it means is cutting your losses and not investing any more time in something that hurts you.
- Church groups, volunteer activities, and university lectures are just a few ideas for meeting new people in a safe environment.
- Get a makeover, join a gym or start a diet. As you improve your health and appearance your self-esteem will rise.
- Repeating daily affirmations can help you to regain confidence in yourself.