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How to Soothe a Broken Heart

by S. Grey

Broken hearts are an inevitable experience, but regardless of how painful the breakup feels, you have the power to soothe your broken heart. Every day remedies such as music or the company of others will provide comfort to you. Meditation or exercise will soothe your heart psychologically and physically. Though you may be in pain, you can still do many things to help you reach the other side of heartache.

Music

Music can offer comfort to your broken heart, because the profound capacity to induce emotions and can aid in your recovery. Listening to happy songs can lift your spirits, while listening to sad songs will be cathartic during your heartbreak. Research in a 2004 issue of "The Archives of Psychiatric Nursing" indicates that soft music particularly helps a person heal from heartbreak. Participants who responded to the soft music indicated that they have less arousal of the autonomic nervous system, which the nervous system responsible for arousal and relaxation. These same participants also indicated that they have reduced depression. Do not listen to songs that evoke painful memories. It is important to limit the emotional tenor of songs you listen to so that your heartbreak does not feel more painful, according to the article, "Music to Soothe the Broken Heart," by Joseph Cardillo, Ph.D., in Psychology Today. Instead, listen to songs that remind you of positive memories and events.

Meditation

Meditation helps you face difficult emotions and thus is helpful in healing your broken heart. Meditation is a core practice in Buddhism and is done to increase self-awareness. In everyday practice, meditation is used for relaxation. Both effects will prove beneficial for you -- relaxation reduces intense emotions and self-awareness increases your ability to deal with difficult emotions. In his book "The Mindfulness Solution," Ronald D. Siegel, Psy.D., states that meditation is helpful in freeing you from intense emotions, increasing your capacity to be with and accept them. At first, difficult emotions will arise, so pace yourself to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Over time, you will grow in your ability to handle difficult emotions.

Exercise

Exercise does more than provide physical health benefits -- it helps soothe a broken heart. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which are natural opioids that function as neurotransmitters and induce positive feelings and help sleep, and, over time, contribute to healing a broken heart, according to the WebMD, article, "Exercise and Depression.” The positive feelings from endorphins counteract your negative feelings, giving you relief from a broken heart. Adequate sleep enhances emotional regulation, leaving you less at the mercy of difficult feelings. Sleep also improves concentration and reduces your response to stress, which enables you to handle your emotions better. An added advantage of exercise is increased self-confidence, which gives you an increased sense of being able to manage your heartache. Aim for exercising 20 to 30 minutes at least three times a week, the recommended amount of physical activity.

Seek Good Company

After heartache, you may be tempted to be alone, but to soothe your broken heart instead seek company. Heartache is a common starting point for depression, which is exacerbated by isolation and social withdrawal. Being alone excessively exacerbates your difficult feelings and intensifies how your brain responds to stress. Being around others can mitigate the potential snowball effect of heartache. If you start to feel down, consider calling a close friend to be with you. WebMD advises doing this process slowly -- begin to reach out more as you feel more comfortable. You do not have to talk about the heartache with others, and it may be helpful to give yourself time away from your pain. Simply enjoying the presence of loved ones aids in the process of healing from heartache.

About the Author

S. Grey has a Master of Science in counseling psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. He is also pursuing a PhD and has a love for psychology, comic books and social justice. He has been published in a text on social psychology and regularly presents research at regional psychology conferences.

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