Dealing with emotional pain and heartbreak

Some information on the suffering of a broken heart

Heart break can feel like the worst thing in the world, it’s almost as if you are never going to heal from the let down and disappointment of what you believed to be a true and honest relationship. Some of us can become quite numb after a loss whereas others tend to feel anger and frustration. Dealing with emotional pain as a result can seem like a never ending cycle and is indeed a very hard process to deal with because there is nothing we can do to ease it except bathe in the intensity of our own feelings. It can literally demolish all our senses and take away our natural desires such as eating, cleaning, talking and socialising. Our worlds can feel empty and it can even seem like life is no longer worth living but the interesting thing about any sort of pain is that we normally survive it.

If you recall back to teenage years for example where you experienced your first heart break, your emotions would have undoubtedly felt out of control at the time, yet somehow you still managed to walk to school in the morning, see your family and you probably managed to even scrape through your school work. It is the same in adulthood but unfortunately as we grow older we collect more baggage and it can be pretty hard to find freedom, but nothing is impossible and what you have to remember is that you have come through it before and you can do it again.

Time is a very important factor when going through a major trauma or heartbreak and although it may sound like a broken record it is wise to think about time during heartbreak. Time is the biggest healer and it’s not until you look back that you begin to realise how lucky you were to experience such important emotional upheavals because they teach you so much about yourself. Pain can be experienced as personal growth, it is a weed that eventually dies out or gets yanked up so that a flower can blossom. Aches and pains are an important part of human functioning; and we can condition ourselves in the right way so that dealing with it is more bearable. If we didn’t feel pain then we wouldn’t know we were alive! Of course it can be experienced as a sharp and excruciating shock, but it can also be an important wake up call, a moment of strength and a valuable life lesson.

We can temper the grey clouds within our souls to bring out the gold to beat emotional pain and heartbreak, if we allow ourselves to be open. We can even make friends with it even, cherish it, and say “thank you for teaching me that”. It may seem like a ridiculous thing to do, but the acknowledgement of your own grief can be the start of a new and exciting journey, a journey that allows you to sustain and build bridges. Where one love fails, a new one is found, it may be different, it may be a little alien, but it is achievable.

When we experience any kind of emotional trauma the brain can act in many different ways. .It is said to be experienced in a similar way to physical pain according to research as Panksepp explains from a new brain neuroimaging study ( Eisenberger et al.) reveals that the brain areas that are activated during the distress caused by social exclusion are also those activated during physical pain. Thus, we now have an explanation for the feeling of physical pain that accompanies emotional loss-whether that be the loss of a loved one, rejection by one's social group, or the distress of separation experienced by young animals.

We can go into shock through emotional pain where we experience feelings of disbelief and denial. We can become irritable with others and moody and shut ourselves off from others or we can self blame and feel guilty or shameless, perhaps even more anxious than normal, numb and confused. There are so many different types of feelings and emotions that follow after a break up, it’s no wonder we become confused and withdrawn. But perhaps the best way to deal with emotional pain is to simply feel it. If we hide from it we can become incredibly repressed which automatically stops us from experiencing new life and relationships. See your pain as a pathway onto the next chapter in your life; if you listen to your pain it will guide you. You may want to cry, you may want to talk, and you may even want to write your feelings out every night, whatever you choose to do, keep telling yourself repeatedly that you are on your way to a breakthrough. We can trick our minds. Think about a child that has been continuously put down all its life. The child has been told that he/she is not good enough so he/she then tells herself/himself that they are not good enough and they start to believe it. We can do the same! But in reverse – by repeating the following:

“I am on the mend, I live, I don’t pretend
I can deal with my pain, I can move on and I can refrain from anger, guilt and blame
I am on the way to a breakthrough”

Although pain is a terrible thing to go through what many of us don’t realise is the gifts and the wisdom that come out of experiencing pain, such as becoming aware of our weaknesses, realising that perhaps we have been taken advantage of in a relationship or finding a way of giving more time back to ourselves.
Pain lets you know that something is wrong and is often a signal that we must pay attention. Ignoring pain and trying to shut ourselves off will take us into a darker state of mind, where we can lose focus and forget who we really are. But once we recognise pain and accept it we can begin to unravel some of the knots within ourselves and make way for more bearable challenges. We can find a shiny new person within ourselves, and search for a broader picture in life so that different types of people can enter in and inspire us. So, once you’ve been through the muddy stonewash, brush yourself off, stand up tall and open your eyes to the new love that the world as to offer you. Enjoy!

Dealing with left over feelings

Rejection -Dealing with rejection is hard. You may have experienced a love triangle where your partner cheated on you or your marriage may have broken down because your partner was no longer in love with you. Rejection knocks our confidence because it makes us feel as though we are not good enough but we must remember that there will always be someone else and just because you have been rejected it does not mean that you are not good enough, it simply means that the energies between the two of you were imbalanced. Love is a powerful energy and it takes two people to balance it out, if one is no longer feeding off the other then there has to be room for new love. When you feel rejected, accept it, but remind yourself that everyone gets rejected because not all energies are right for each other.

Guilt – Guilt is a haunting emotion. Often we go over and over the same thing again in our minds, wishing we had done things differently. Guilt is there to remind you that you should probably do things a different way round next time. Guilt is an overpowering feeling with a nasty after taste but it is good as it allows you to learn where you stand with yourself. Remember – there is nothing you can do about the past you can only make the future better. Think of your guilt as a time sentence, once you’ve done the time, you’ve come face to face with your own crime and you can gracefully move on.

Anger - Anger is something that we must get out of our system, we must release it in someway or it can often turn into a depression. Remember anger has much energy and when we channel our anger in the right way we can accomplish many positive things. After break ups we perhaps feel angry that things have gone wrong, that our loved ones have lied or cheated. But when you lie or when you cheat, in reality the only person you are cheating on or lying to is yourself. If we turn those weaknesses around and reflect them back at the other person like a mirror we can see that they are having an interesting life experience and they must now deal with the consequences. Being angry with yourself over someone else’s’ deceit is not actually going to resolve anything. Look at the situation realistically and ask yourself what you can take back from that experience to allow yourself to move on in the right way. Is it your pride? Is it your possessions? Is it your sense of clarity? Use your anger as a clearing out process, vent it, write it, live it, paint it, but do not dwell in it! You will only be taking on double the emotions that you really don’t need!

Things to do

Divide your time into segments

Allow yourself only 15 minutes to think about your emotional trauma –YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS - IT IS YOUR MIND

During your 15 minutes think about what it is you would like to accomplish. You could think about anything, your feelings towards the loss, how that person made you feel, or how you think you made them feel.

Once you have done your thinking put your thoughts into a box (you can do this by visualisation) once the thoughts are in the box, lock it up tight and then come back to it when you feel ready.

Beware that we don’t always have control over what happens in life and accepting that can be a huge part of the healing process - sometimes, things just aren’t meant to be.

Remember that there comes a time where everything has to end, it is a fact of life, but it is through transformation that we can rise above our past hurts and past dilemmas and embrace the things we no longer need by finding a new way of thinking and living.



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