“All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.”
Many people agree with The Beatles on this one, and with the happiness that love can bring it is no surprise that the pain we feel when a relationship comes to an end can be agonizing. Feelings may surface of confusion, hurt, loneliness, rejection, regret, vulnerability, anger, melancholy, or lowered self-esteem (internal link to self-esteem article). Not only are you experiencing loss of love, but also the loss of friendship and daily routine.
When love is everything you need, it can feel as though the end of a relationship is the end of everything you have known. You do only need love. However, the love that needs emphasizing is self-love.
Who Is My True Self?
Studies have found that people experience a loss of sense of self following a breakup, according to an NBC News article. When someone becomes a significant part of your life, it is natural that your life will be connected to their life in some areas and the way you think about yourself will be affected by them. When these types of relationships end, the resulting life change can bring on stress from losing that understanding you’ve come to know of yourself. Take the time after a breakup to remember what makes you a unique individual and rediscover your passions.
A Breakup Takes a Physical Toll on the Body
It is important to pay attention to yourself and understand what your body is physically going through after a breakup. A breakup is a high stress situation. According to an article in Psychology Today, the stress caused by the end of a relationship can lead to a weaker immune system, which leaves us more susceptible to illness. Additionally, the same area of the brain that is stimulated by a breakup is also one of the areas that is stimulated when we are physically hurt. We are actually having bodily pain. Lastly, women who had not yet recovered from a breakup after 16 weeks experienced brain changes. Decreased brain activity was found in the areas associated with drive, focus and emotion.
Understanding Your Reactions Can Help
Realizing that it is normal to feel stress, trouble concentrating and confusion about oneself following a breakup could be beneficial to our well-being. When a person is already overwhelmed by a slew of emotions due to separating from a partner in the first place, these additional feelings might leave a feeling of further inadequacy when it comes to coping. Understanding that you are not alone in these feelings, and that there are physiological reasons behind them, may help you increase your resolve to move on and continue living the life you deserve. Once we understand why we are feeling a certain way, we can take the necessary steps to move on and recover. For some suggestions, look please see my next blog, How to Cope After a Breakup (coming soon!).