Managing your emotions after a romantic breakup
Breakups can be an emotional rollercoaster. The process can be heart-wrenching with many people reaching for the ice cream and tissues to help ease the pain.
But new research suggests that repeatedly reflecting on a breakup and expressing emotions through journaling can speed up the emotional recovery process.
Study leaders at Evanston, Ill.-based Northwestern University and the University of Arizona in Tucson wanted to learn more about the ways people cope with broken romantic relationships.
To truly understand the emotional state of breakup and coping mechanisms that work, the study surveyed those who had gone through a non-marital breakup within the last six months.
So what’s the best way to get over your ex?
The results show that visually seeing and verbally discussing the separation helped people to cope more quickly. Using techniques like “self-concept reorganization,” in which the process of seeing and defining yourself separate from your ex and from the relationship worked well.
Participants in the study also used an expressive writing exercise where they could be emotionally open. Additionally, privately speaking their thoughts into a voice recorder brought relief.
Some mental health experts see real value in writing out your thoughts.
“Expressive writing has shown to have definitive benefits in our efforts to deal with just about any kind of loss, especial breakups in love relationships,” says Dr. Shastri Swaminatha, psychiatrist with Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago.
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