Romantic relationships come with their fair share of challenges, but breaking up with a boyfriend is one of the most difficult challenges to cope with. Whether the breakup is amicable or chaotic, the changes that come with losing a significant other can prompt difficult emotions, say health professionals at Help Guide, an online mental health resource. But keep in mind: relationship breakups provide valuable lessons that are useful for future romance and personal development.
Grieve the loss of the relationship. When you first experience a breakup, it's normal to experience all sorts of emotions, say Help Guide health professionals. Anger, hurt and disappointment are often a part of the grieving process, as future plans and relationship expectations must be redirected. Experience these emotions with the understanding that healing is the end goal. Also, allow your healing process to take as long as it takes.
Seek support from others. During your grieving process, it's important to seek out close friends and family for emotional support. Isolation can exacerbate your feelings of loneliness and make you feel even worse. Counselor Nathan Feiles, LMSW, recommends on Psych Central that you make plans to meet with family and friends at least twice a week after a breakup -- and follow through with these meetings to remain socially engaged.
Practice healthy behaviors. Exercise and a healthy diet help alleviate stress and keep your long-term goals in perspective. Exercise also helps you release "feel-good" neurotransmitters, or endorphins, according to health professionals at the Mayo Clinic. Help Guide health professionals agree that after a breakup, healthy behaviors often fall by the wayside, as grievers find it difficult to sleep or resort to eating unhealthy foods. Practicing healthy habits is a necessary component of the healing process.
Avoid "rebound" relationships. Psychotherapist, columnist, radio host and speaker Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D, says in Psychology Today that beginning another relationship to fill the void associated with a breakup only interrupts the healing process and jeopardizes the chances of being in a future, committed relationship. Feiles adds that after a breakup, grievers are emotionally vulnerable and may become involved in unhealthy relationships as a result of this emotional instability.
- Maintain a positive attitude once you've processed negative emotions associated with the breakup. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you made in your relationships and use experiences as lessons to take into a future relationship.
- Don't use drugs and alcohol to cope with your breakup. Alcohol and drug use can cause depressive symptoms and distort your thinking, making it more difficult to cope and move forward.
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