This is the best way to get over a break up

According to researchers, there's a sure fire way to mend your broken heart.
Bridget Jones

Bridget Jones

Bridget Jones

It’s hard to know how to cope when you go through a break up. Should you wallow in your own misery, eating a tub of ice cream a night and pretending you’re Bridget Jones? Or get back out there and start playing the field?

Researchers have now revealed that, whether you like it or not, pretending you’re OK is actually the most effective way to fast track your romantic recovery.

A study from the University of Colorado looked at a group of 40 volunteers, all of whom had experienced an ‘unwanted romantic break-up’ in the last six months.

As part of the research, participants were shown images of their exes and asked to recall the break-up, and were then immediately shown pictures of their friends (which was meant to be comforting) while being subjected to physical discomfort.

Participants had to rate their physical pain on a scale, while their brain activity was monitored.

What scientists noted was that emotional and physical pain carried a very similar reaction in the brain.

In the second round, half the participants were given a nasal spray that they were told helped reduce emotional pain, while half the group were told it was just a saline solution.

The group who had been told the spray would help them feel less pain genuinely did go onto feel less emotional, and found it easier to discuss the break-up without such a heightened neuro response.

But what does all this mean?

Scientists involved in the study surmised that just thinking you’re doing something that can help you actually does ease the pain you’re feeling. So pretending you’re better eventually will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The key takeaway is this: if you’re going through a hard break-up, the best thing you can do is believe you are nurturing and healing yourself from the pain, and soon enough – you will be healed.

That said, if you are really struggling to recover from an emotional event or are feeling more depressed than usual, there are people who can help.

Talk to your GP about counselling or treatment options, or give one of these a call:

**Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 (to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions) – includes The Journal online help service – online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed.**

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