8 Proven Tips for Moving On After a Breakup
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Suddenly Single1 of 9
By Paige Brettingen
We don't need an expert to tell us that breakups are emotionally grueling. But thanks to the latest research, we can discover ways to speed up the recovery process. Here's a look at the latest breakup-related studies, plus tips for how to really move on. Let the healing begin!
On the Rebound2 of 9
The very thought of getting into another relationship may seem impossible right now but going on a date could be the best thing for you. In a new study from Queens University and the University of Illinois, those who had a rebound relationship right after a breakup "were more confident in their desirability and had more resolution over their ex-partner." Translation: Strap on those killer heels and get yourself back out there.
Talk It Out3 of 9
Good friends will let you vent, and when they offer, don't be shy to take them up on it. A UCLA study found that putting your feelings into words makes the sadness and anger less intense (not to mention being a far healthier alternative to keying his car). Just be aware that once the conversation starts to feel like it's on a repetitive loop, it's time to put it to rest.
Skip Town4 of 9
What do Eat Pray Love, Under the Tuscan Sun and Forgetting Sarah Marshall have in common? A change of scenery proved to be the best remedy post-breakup. While some may see this as an attempt to escape the problem, science says otherwise: A study from UCLA found that switching your environment to one that's calming and restorative helps you heal faster following chronic stress (which you're bound to have after the nonstop fights and lack of sleep). Bali/Italy/Hawaii, here you come.
Stay Busy5 of 9
While each person's recovery timetable is different, research suggests that ten weeks is the average time it takes to feel like you're successfully moving on. In the interim, tackle an extra work project, fill up your social calendar or join an intramural soccer league. A study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology found that those getting over their ex confessed to spending 85 percent of their waking time thinking about him/her. The takeaway? Staying busy is your best bet to keep from wallowing or, worse, obsessing.
Think Positive6 of 9
As counterintuitive as it may seem, thinking fondly about your ex has its benefits. Authors of a study in The Journal of Positive Psychology had participants write for 15 to 30 minutes for three consecutive days, with one group focusing on the positive aspects of past relationships while the other group focused on the negative. The result? The positive group reported feeling more empowered, energetic, thankful and satisfied than their negative-thinking counterparts. If anything, it's an opportunity to see that the time you spent together wasn't for nothing.
Write It Off7 of 9
Once you've completed the positive-thinking exercise, put the pen down. A study published in Clinical Psychological Science found that of the 90 recently divorced or separated participants, those who wrote in a journal for 20 minutes a day and "were judged to be actively engaged in the search for meaning" had the toughest time moving on. Writing about the past when the wounds are still fresh will only prolong the misery.
Out of Sight8 of 9
It's probably not news to you that refreshing your former flame's Facebook page every five minutes isn't going to help you move on, but in case you had any doubts, science confirms it: A study in the Journal of Neurophysiology found that seeing pics of one's ex stimulated the areas of the brain that controls motivation and reward, as well as craving and addiction. So if you feel zero willpower when trying to resist digital checkups on your ex, it's understandable. The fix: Block all of his social media. Better yet, take a break from social media for a few weeks (or ten).
Make a Change9 of 9
Ever feel the urge to cut your hair after a breakup? Here's the reason: According to researchers from Northwestern University, relationships change the way we think about ourselves with breakups often "clouding our sense of self." The best way to counteract this includes finding ways to differentiate your new, single self from your "old self"—the person you were with your ex. A few suggestions include making new friends who have never met your ex, finding a new hobby in lieu of the ones you used to do together or maybe just trying out bangs for the first time.
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