How to let go and move on up!
The feelings of being in love have been scientifically proven to be as strong as drug addiction. Releasing a huge range of hormones from us as our relationships progress, as a result of having sex and growing feelings of attachment and commitment, is it any wonder that when relationships come crashing down, these hormones go into turmoil?
Depending on how long you have been in a relationship, there are a whole host of hormones involved. As Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and author of Why We Love?, investigates, the processes of falling in love falls into three different stages - lust, attraction, and attachment - all of which induce different bodily reactions and releases of hormones. If you have been together long term, hormones such as vasopressin released after sex make you feel more and more attached to your partner, building your sexual motivation and commitment. Yet, even if your relationship is in it’s early stages, in that first attraction stage there’s a group of neuro-transmitters called ‘monoamines’ that can take over your body. There’s Dopamine, also activated by cocaine and nicotine, which makes your focus become entirely focused on your lover, norepinephrine, otherwise known as adrenalin which gets our hearts racing and palms sweating, and serotonin for happiness and energy, as well as the release of oxytocin in an orgasm that promotes intimacy and bonding in a relationship. If a partner breaks up with you, or suddenly “ghosts” you, ignoring your texts or not arranging that next date, it’s a battle with all of your emotions, and all of these irrepressible pesky hormones too.
So how best to conquer these withdrawal symptoms? We’ve come up with our best ways to let go and move on up!
1. Keep calm. If your break up has given you a shock, come to terms with it and give yourself time. Everything may seem overwhelming at first, but comfort yourself with the knowledge that your shock will eventually subside and you will be able to move forward. Meditation, yoga, long walks, whatever it takes.
2. Goals. It’s commonplace to think there are different stages to a break-up, however large or small, along the lines of shock, denial, isolation, anger, depression and acceptance. It’s important, however, to not dwell in your break-up and allow too much negativity to take over your life. Give yourself a bit of time for each of these stages if you need, but set yourself end goals that are positive, see a light at the end of the tunnel however far you need to journey through it. Here are some tips for you:
3. Focus. You may face denial. There’s temptations to stalk your ex-partner on social media, call them up, finding activities that make it feel your relationship hasn’t ended. It can often feel easier to put on hold dealing with the heartbreak, reminiscing on your times together instead, and harbouring all of your feelings for them. But what you need is a little focus. Create new and interesting reasons to have excitement in your life and show yourself that you are better off without them! You can do it by making an extra effort with other social plans, taking on a new project at work, or finding a point of contrast in your day-to-day life that can give your brain space a new focus. This may start as a simple distraction, but can soon develop into a rewarding new lease of life. Do things for yourself that you didn't have the time to do before, or things your partner didn't approve of you doing. Prove to yourself that you are in control of your life and that you can achieve so much for yourself, having all the free time now to focus on yourself. Maybe you'll simply clear out your wardrobe that you wanted to do for so long, you could repaint your house, buy new cookbooks and start experimenting, or travel to a completely new destination. Whatever you choose, rest assured that you will gradually begin to stop seeing your ex-partner as your primary focus. And after a while, seeing how independent and confident you are in your new life, they will no doubt start finding you even more attractive and want you back - the ultimate revenge!
4. Energy. Where can you harness a revitalised sense of energy? You can turn to fitness and exercise. Physically tiring yourself out at the gym, running, boxing, actively channeling your anger and sadness into your work out will bring positivity in your head-space and body both emotionally and physically. Create a kick-ass playlist and go for it! Maybe before you might have chosen a comfy night in with your partner and ordered in a take away over and above any training, now you have the opportunity to sign up to that half marathon, that Tough Mudder or yoga retreat you always wanted to do and focus your energy and thoughts on how to prepare for it. Not only will your brain have important distractions, but your body can also recharge with new hormones, and the euphoric rush from working out. And it's these endorphins from exercise that can replace pain and upset with happier feelings of exhilaration. You can build up your dopamine levels and serotonin through exercise instead, helping you to think with more clarity, sleep better, maintain a healthy appetite and find more happiness.
5. Celebrate. Make sure you enjoy moments of pride in yourself for carrying on regardless of your break-up. Sadness will pass, so relish those moments of happiness and enjoy moving on. Celebrate your freedom and celebrate a new chapter where anything is possible in your life, a life that can now be completely controlled by you!
What are your tips? We want to hear what you find most effective to get over a heartbreak!
Words by Lottie Franklin