Going past the breakup stage is hard for many of us. While it may seem impossible at first, science has it that it can be done. Here are some strategies to help you finally get over your ex. Published by Hypnosis in London on 08 February 2016, written by Malminder Gill.
At 1 AM, you find yourself Facebook stalking again your ex. You know too well that it isn’t helping you but it seems like you can’t keep yourself from doing so. It’s as if your willpower has failed you for the nth time now. And when you’re not in your computer, you’re in constant battle on whether to call your ex or not.
Breakups are never that easy. It sends your brain in an overdrive. Sometimes, it makes you think that you’re going crazy. But it’s normal; science can back it up.
The Science Behind Falling in Love
Falling in love is more than just about emotions; it’s a complex system involving brain chemicals that greatly affect our mood and the way we behave.
One of the brain chemicals to blame for when we fall in love is dopamine. When dopamine is released, we feel excited and happy. It’s also the brain chemical responsible for arousal.
Aside from the dopamine, norepinephrine and phenylethylamine (PEA) are also released, leading to focused attention and feelings of giddiness. The release of these neurotransmitters affect the reward system of the brain. In an MRI study, it shows that when individuals are shown with photos of their lovers, the reward system is activated.
The mechanisms involved when we fall in love are the same mechanisms activated when we’re addicted to drugs. Unfortunately, this addiction in relationship doesn’t end in breakups.
In a study where individuals were shown photos of their ex-lovers, the same reward system is activated, which goes to show that the addiction can still last even if the relationship is over. This also explains why stalking one’s ex is hard to quit especially if seeing him/her (or their photos) can be the source of ‘reward.’
Strategies To Help You Get Over Your Ex
Obsessing over your ex can drain out your energy, making you dysfunction at school, work, or society as a whole; it’s not healthy.
Even if the obsession can be blamed partly to your neurotransmitters, this doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it. So stop obsessing over your ex. Here are some helpful ways to do it:
Deal with your obsessive thoughts proactively
Instead of constantly checking your ex whereabouts whenever you think of him/her and your breakup, deal with it instead more proactively by writing down your thoughts and emotions on paper. It doesn’t matter if it’s a negative or positive thought or feeling; the idea is to simply put everything in your head on paper. Research suggests that expressive writing can help reduce stress level and contribute to overall health.
Distract yourself from the obsessive thoughts
There’s a reason why ‘stop thinking about him/her’ doesn’t work. In psychology, it’s called the White Bear Effect. The more you refrain yourself from thinking about something, the more you end up thinking about it.
A healthier way to address obsessive thoughts is not force yourself to stop thinking about your ex or your past relationship. A better way is to find something that can distract you.
You may want to enroll in a class, develop a new hobby, or do anything that’s fun and rewarding. The key is to find something that creates a positive chemistry in your brain.
Mindfulness is the state of being focused on the present. By focusing on the present, you will notice the difference between what is actually happening now and what you are thinking about.
There are several ways to practice mindfulness and one of which is hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is an effective way of addressing several issues including anxiety, stress, addiction, and even negative thinking.
I’m a love hypnotherapist in London and for years, I’ve helped clients from different backgrounds deal with their relationship issues through hypnotherapy. If you feel ‘trapped’ in your obsessive thoughts with your ex, then hypnosis may help you deal with it more effectively. For free consultation, you can contact me in this page.