Okay this week I answer a questions: How can I recover from a broken heart?
I’m really sad, and I don’t know how to get over this. Thanks for your question. It’s short and simple and I like that.
My answer is long and rambling.
So prepare yourself… Let me start with this… I have a history of anxiety and panic attacks. And when I was in the depth of it I slowly became depressed and concerned that it would last for ever.
You see… when we find ourselves facing something painful, like a broken heart, or panic or anger or fear, our brains de-generate, and our more primal functions kick in. We LITERALLY regress mentally. This is why army training focuses on repetition because in the heat of battle we can’t rely upon our ability to think, we have to react based on training.
Anyways our flood of emotions in bad times can make us mentally slow and dumb, but emotionally sharper and on edge. Probably something to do with survival… when we’re in danger there’s no time to think… reacting quickly is more likely to save our lives. When we’re drowning in emotions it’s almost impossible to see outside of ourselves.
We lose perspective immediately. And we catastrophize. Basically we see the worst and we assume it’s forever. We become little drama queens addicted to our own struggle, sorta speak. And when we’re highly emotional we also make poor decisions… Have you ever gone shopping for groceries when you’re starving?
You’re more likely to choose junk food over salad because you’re making decisions with your gut instead of your head. We especially do this when we’re broken hearted. We assume the worst because that’s how we FEEL. We feel bad so we think bad. And we become biased to believe things that support our negative thoughts.
So we think dramatic things like “I’ll never find love again. I’m a loser. I’m un loveable. I’m the worst. Women are the worst. Everyone sucks. Women are bitches!” Etc. We shouldn’t drink and drive, and we shouldn’t trust our feelings when we’re upset. so how do we escape this self-made prison of emotion and depression when we’re dealing with the pain of a breakup?
Well I have a couple ideas…
1) Accepting Reality.
Becoming free of negative feelings doesn’t come from fighting how we feel. We can’t “get over” something painful when we’re right in the middle of it. Instead it’s actually easier to go “through” it. We need to just Accept it basically.
Once you’ve been through the ATTRACTION section of my “Get The Girl” Video Course you’ll know I really harp on this idea of TENSION and I dig into how attraction IS TENSION. Well Attraction can build from friction… And anxiety is very similar.
nxiety is a friction we make for ourselves… where we think of something we fear, but hasn’t yet happened, and our body responds. Because our body doesn’t know that what we’re imagining isn’t real. And heart break is kinda the same thing… if we sit around pouting and daydreaming about being with that girl, when in reality she doesn’t want to be with us, we’re creating our own inner agony.
In Psychology they might call this cognitive dissonance. It’s a mental distress and discomfort experienced when we simultaneously hold two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas or values. So instead of making ourselves mental, maybe the solution is to simply accept what IS, instead of dreaming of what isn’t or what we think “should be.”
Since you can’t change what’s happened you should instead try just accepting it. Most of the mental pain we feel is actually the friction of us resisting reality. Resisting the truth. Wishing things were different. Face the horrible truth. It’s still horrible, but you’ll feel better.
2) Avoiding Isolation.
When we’re hurt we make the horrible mistake of being alone… it’s probably an instinct we have… to avoid embarrassment as men, cause nobody wants to cry in front of their guy friends… and feeling sorry for ourselves kinda feels nice, and we can’t do that if we’re around friends.
This is one aspect that women really have figured out. When they breakup with a guy they gather their girlfriends for support.
And this works.
You see, isolation breads what I call “Belief Inbreeding.” This is when we might hold a false belief, and then instead of talking things over with friends (who have different perspectives and ideas) we blindly accept that what we’re thinking is accurate and true.
And over time, especially if we’re in an emotional state, our beliefs and ideas inbreed and spawn worse ideas and beliefs (because they’re not being challenged by friends) and we completely lose perspective.
Like a photocopy of a photocopy, the tiny imperfections become exaggerated and eventually our thoughts becomes distorted to match how we feel. I’m basically explaining how depression works. We lose perspective, our negative feelings distort our thoughts, and our thoughts reinforce our negative feelings, and we create a destructive feedback loop, like when a microphone on stage screams when it’s too close to a speaker.
The cure, of course, is to ignore how we feel and force ourselves to hang out with friends and family. People who hopefully have healthy beliefs and values and who want to support us.
This is why it’s so integral to keep strong bonds with friends, and groups of people, especially when we’re in a serious relationship. Because in times of need they’re there for us. Basically I’m saying get out of your house, and interact with people. Use empathy to FEEL how others are FEELING.
It’ll get you out of your head, and will help you regain perspective. Nothing will help you feel better faster than helping out another friend in need. Being a support for someone else will remind you how strong you are. I will say one caveat to this idea of being with friends… It’s okay to give yourself some time alone… it’s healthy to pout and feel self pity in order to experience the loss.
It’s just not healthy to live in that space. Accept the loss and accept the pain, but only in brief time periods, like a weekend. And then get out and embrace friends. And then, on occasion, if you need to feel shitty again, just do it. Isolation but in short amounts.
3) Feelings aren’t facts.
Our brain has an ancient foundation built to keep us alive, not to keep us happy. We have survived this long because we’re weary and naturally nervous… that’s how our ancestors avoided extinction.
They were built to pay attention to little noises in the forrest, otherwise they would have been killed by the endless predators. But today we have far less danger, but our brains and bodies don’t really understand this.
And so we’re built to focus on the negative. It takes EFFORT to recognize this, and to catch ourselves doing it. But it’s possible. Realize that how you FEEL doesn’t necessarily dictate reality. You might feel lonely and like you’ve got this great loss in your life… but it’s less true than it feels. You’re not alone. And anything you’ve lost you can find again with someone new. I’ve seen it over and over and over. Trust me, the world has an endless supply of women in all shapes and sizes and preferences and personalities.
We barely live long enough to meet even a few of the millions we’d be compatible with. Basically you’re like a drunk guy who can’t see straight. Don’t trust how you feel. Accept how you feel, and in accepting it you’ll find that it fades. Accept how you feel, and then let it go. For example… it makes sense that you still love her.
But loving her doesn’t mean you have be wit her. That’s the common mistake we guys make… we rationalize our feelings… “Oh, if I love her then I need to be with her!” while completely ignoring the bad relationshp, or how badly we were treated, or that she doesn’t want to be with us. Ignoring the facts is the problem.
Feelings aren’t facts.
If you must love her, then love her from a distance, and let her Go.. Love her in a way that allows you to understand that she deserves to be happy too.
4) There’s nothing as good at helping us forget a woman as meeting someone new worth getting to know.
Basically, when you’re sure you’re not going to be needy or desperate, go out and talk to women. You don’t have to try to date them… just force yourself to engage with women again. Women have this magical ability to heal us with their energy.
Their intuitive nature to nurture us. Women are the best. Okay, I’ve rambled here… but I think you get it.
Accept it, hang out with friends, and don’t trust your feelings. Because when you’re feeling great again you’re going to look back confused at how you even got so worked up about her.
Got more questions? Just email at firstname.lastname@example.org