Emily McDonald is a Neuroscientist, Coach, and Consultant who focuses on mindset, neuroplasticity, and spirituality.
Being in love isn’t just an affair of the heart. It’s a full-body experience that hijacks our brain’s circuitry, influencing our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Our brains get used to the feel-good neurochemicals of being in love, so much so that we become dependent on them. This is why going through a breakup feels like a shock to our system and leaves us feeling out of control.
The key to getting through a breakup is to rewire your brain and rediscover the most important love of all: self-love.
Below are 5 steps to do just that.
Both love and drugs act on the reward centers of the brain. Breakups are like being in withdrawal. If you’re trying to quit an addictive drug, you need to let it leave your system before your brain can get back into balance. No contact allows your brain to get back into balance without the drug that is your ex.
We tend to romanticize past relationships after they’re gone, and it doesn’t help that our photo album is filled with cute selfies and mementos of all the happy times.
Not only do these photos make us romanticize the past, they also act as cues that lead to craving. Just like how watching cooking shows makes you hungry, looking at cute photos of you and your ex makes you want them back.
Clean out your photo album the same way you clean out your closet to make room for new clothes. 😉
3. Make negative and positive lists.
The brain is wired to associate thoughts of your ex with missing them—and maybe even wanting them back. Create the following lists and read them like they’re your Bible to retake control and rewire your brain.
- Negatives: List everything you didn’t like about your relationship. What was it lacking? Why were they not the right person for you? Why are you glad it’s over? Feel free to list things you didn’t like about your ex as well.
- Positives: List all of the things you love about yourself. Everything you have to offer. Everything that makes you the unique and amazing person that you are.
Make these lists as long as possible and read them often.
Serotonin stabilizes our mood and reduces anxiety. Activities that boost serotonin can have a huge impact on our post-breakup journey. Some examples include practicing daily gratitude, social connection, sunlight exposure, exercise, and cacao lattes.
5. Get working on your post-breakup glow up.
ou’re going to have more free time now that you’re single, but that doesn’t mean you need to feel lonely. This is an opportunity for you to finally start that Pilates class or learn how to cook a new dish. Think about all the things you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had the time to or didn’t do because of your relationship. Write them down and start doing them!
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