Going through a breakup can be devastating, disorienting, and isolating. The experience of splitting from a partner can make you feel super alone, but it could help to remind yourself that there are tons of people going through something similar. There are also numerous different philosophies on getting over breakups, but the truth is there is no right way to heal from a breakup. If you’re looking for some helpful reassurances and guidance when it comes to healing a broken heart, getting breakup advice from therapists can be super helpful.
“One of the best ways to handle heartbreak is to really allow yourself to go through and experience the pain of the loss,” says Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, Licensed Psychologist & Founder of Therapy for Black Girls, “The truth is that when we try to take shortcuts and skip through the grieving process, it can prolong our heartbreak.” Bradford’s really shines a light on the fact that it’s OK to be upset and devastated by a breakup. Sometimes, when people seek help with healing from a breakup, the goal can be to make the pain of the loss subside. Though it’s only human to find ways to ease your pain, keep in mind that this is the natural procession of grieving the loss of something that was important to you. If you found Harden’s advice reassuring, check out what some other therapists had to say.
Consider the science.
“Heartbreak actually affects your dopamine levels, which is why you might, feel anxious, stressed out, and/or crave to see seeing the person,” says sex therapist Carolanne Marcantonio, LMSW. She explains that your dopamine level decreases as the love you once had dissolves or the breakup occurs. It’s confusing because you might crave a person who is actually bad for you, but knowing that it’s partially the fault of chemicals in your brain could be helpful.
“The craving isn’t a magical sign you should be together it’s just your dopamine levels adjusting,” she says, “Knowing this can save you a lot of heartache. It can arm you with the information you need so you don’t text the person because the feeling can be very compelling.” Since post-breakup brain chemistry can be really challenging, consider taking up activities that divert your attention even for short amounts of time. This could help keep you from fixating on your desire to reach out to your ex.
When in doubt, write it out.
Marcantonio also recommends that you write down what you want to say to the person you’re missing. Continue to write whatever comes to mind, but don’t send it, she recommends. “Give yourself two days and then reread the letter,” she says. “Usually what you wrote doesn’t feel as pressing as it did when you were really upset, or you may discover more about how you feel.”