Getting over an ex can be hard, especially if you still loved them at the end of your relationship. It can take months to stop thinking about them when certain songs play, or when you visit old date spots.
Luckily, there are three cognitive strategies that have been proven to reduce the effect of sadness after a bad breakup. The strategies include distraction, negative reappraisal of the relationship and reappraisal of your love.
Remaining feelings of love for an ex are the reason why breakups hurt and can take so long to overcome. The best way to reduce these lingering feelings is by employing the three strategies above.
Distraction from breakup
One of the simplest ways to get over an ex is to distract yourself from the constant thoughts and reminders of them. Keep busy with friends, go to events, occupy yourself with a hobby or work. These will keep your mind off your ex and allow you to focus on what you are currently doing.
This technique works with any type of heartache – be it a breakup, a death or homesickness. Having fun, laughing and enjoying time with friends is the best way to distract your mind from its sadness.
This technique is quick and effective but it sadly doesn’t last long. It’s not a long-term solution for heartache. It’s more about tackling the negative emotions head-on and avoiding the current feeling of loss.
Negative reappraisal of the relationship
This technique can be a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it works really well with getting over your feelings towards your ex, but on the other hand, it can make you feel like a bad person.
Basically, you just need to look for the negative aspects of your ex’s personality and character traits that bothered you. Focusing on the negatives of their traits, and of the relationship, can show you that the breakup was for the best.
You can always remind yourself how it used to grind your gears when your ex did something in particular, or how you used to argue over certain silly little things. This strategy can reinforce the decision to break up and can allow you to move on more quickly.
Reappraisal of your love
Once you’ve started to get over your ex, you can begin to ask whether you still love them or if you just miss their company. There is a big difference. Although asking yourself this question won’t help you accept the breakup, it can be the first step to acknowledging that your feelings are changing.
Once you reach that first step, the healing process can begin and your journey back into the single life will speed up. You’ll stop thinking of your ex all the time and start looking to the future.
The best way to deal with a breakup is to use a combination of these three techniques. They’ll take care of your short- and long-term feelings towards an ex and will make the breakup less painful.
Remember that everyone deals with breakups in their own unique way – there is no formula to drowning your sorrows and hopping on the fast train to happiness again. Do what you need to do, but use some of these strategies to help you along the way.
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