Breaking up sucks.
There’s pain, anger and loneliness, and a damaged ability to trust.
If that isn’t bad enough, a broken heart can even kill you. Researchers say that you have a 41 per cent increased risk of death for six months after losing a spouse, regardless of age.
We speak to four different experts for their tips on how to heal a broken heart and lead a more fulfilling life than ever before.
The psychologist says: Feel your feelings
Jacqui Manning, Sydney’s “Friendly Psychologist“, counsels the recently broken-hearted not to fear their grief.
“You’ve lost something that was very special to you, so allow the space to cry, scream, rage, be bereft,” she says.
“Often, we simply distract ourselves from our feelings and pain, but if you allow yourself to go into it the pain will pass more quickly.”
After following your feelings, Ms Manning encourages you to remind yourself of what’s great about you, and explore new goals.
The life coach says: Take care of your needs
Jane Taylor is an accredited certified coach and wellbeing expert on the Gold Coast. Her mantra is to know what’s most important to you and prioritise it.
Ms Taylor says break-ups can teach you what you need to know before giving away your heart again.
“Even though it is hard to experience, sometimes it really can be a blessing in disguise and an experience that helps us to become more of ourselves and find out who we are.”
Ms Taylor advises you to know your values, strengths and boundaries so you can care for yourself before caring for a new partner.
This might mean nurturing yourself with healthier foods, or launching the small business you’ve long dreamed of.
The hypnotherapist says: Swap old patterns for new
Sydney hypnotherapist Julie Rice says that a break-up is a time to explore new opportunities – like hobbies or travel.
But before you can explore new horizons, you need to offload your baggage.
Ms Rice suggests using pen and paper to identify what really upsets you.
“What is it you will miss about the person? How have they hurt you? What dream of the future with them was destroyed? Once we can pinpoint and understand exactly what has caused the pain then we can begin the process of letting them go.”
The baggage Ms Rice helps clients leave behind includes the damage to their self-esteem, their fear of getting hurt, and unhelpful relationship habits.
Ms Rice says: “Hypnosis helps my clients to overcome the fear of rejection or to change some of the behaviours that were not working for them in the relationship. By working on changing their self-esteem I help people to move beyond these patterns (sometimes passed down by parents) and ultimately move clients to a place where they have an enriched life with or without a new relationship.”
Eventually, her clients often realise that they deserve a more satisfying relationship than the one they just lost.
The self-help author says: Change your story
Amanda Gore, a Sunshine Coast-based emotional intelligence expert and author, has this message for those suffering heartbreak: stop telling yourself things are awful, or you’ll be right.
“If you have recently broken up, become aware of what you are telling yourself about yourself and the rest of your life and your ability in relationships.”
Ms Gore says that if you’re telling yourself stories like: you’re never going to meet “the one”, you’re too hard to love, you’re too old to meet the right person and so on, they become self-fulfilling prophecies.
“If that is your story, it will become a belief and that WILL affect the rest of your life.”
Ms Gore sees relationships as precious opportunities to learn.
“Life is about growing, developing and learning – so here is another golden opportunity for you to do just that.”
She also believes in writing down reasons to be grateful for the relationship and focusing on those rather than the pain.
“It IS a choice,” she says.
You can also turn the story you tell yourself about your future into a positive one.
“Remember that many many times what looks like disaster in the moment, turns out to be one of the best things that could have happened – we just could not see the big picture and how this fits in. This may have happened so you are available and free for your real perfect partner.”