How to get over a broken heart, according to science

Broken heart cake from the Divorce collection. (Carline Jean/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/MCT)

Salted caramel ice cream. Pomegranate mojitos. Endless crying jags in front of your crew. The traditional treatment for getting over a broken heart has its ups and downs. Now scientists are coming to the aid of the lovelorn with real evidence on how to recover from a break up.

You know that BFF who immediately starts trashing your ex? She deserves her spot in your inner circle. A small new study, conducted by the University of Missouri – St. Louis and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, shows that letting go of your intense feelings of love is the key to healing your heart and moving on.

Scientists gathered a group of 24 heartbroken people, ages 20-37, who had been in a long-term relationship for an average of 2.5 years. Some had been dumped (ouch!) while others had pulled the plug on the relationship themselves, but all of them were pretty torn up about it and most still loved their exes. In a series of prompts, the scientists coached them on how to move on, using three specific cognitive strategies that may come in handy for everyone at some point.

Broken heart cake from the Divorce collection. (Carline Jean/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/MCT)

Strategy #1 is catty catharsis. Here you “negatively reappraise” your ex. Think about all the stuff they did that drove you crazy and let yourself steep in the irritation. You could even make a list, or a spreadsheet. Use this exercise to vent yourself into a state of maximum ugh.

Strategy #2 is about getting Zen and rising above the mountains of Kleenex. Participants were told to accept their feelings of love toward their ex-partners, without judgement. They were encouraged to read and believe statements such as: “It’s ok to love someone I’m no longer with.”

Strategy #3 is distraction. The …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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