Studies have shown that a romantic breakup can feel just as bad as a physical injury, and be just as hard to get over as an addiction, says Guy Winch, author of the new book “How to Fix a Broken Heart” (Simon & Schuster). Here, Winch, a therapist with a practice in the Flatiron District, shares his tips for getting over someone.
Remember the bad times
Keep a list of bad memories handy for when the happy ones pop up. “For every smile, remember a frown,” Winch says. “You have to insert forcefully the balanced picture.”
Go on a ‘reminder purge’
About a month or so after the breakup, start allowing yourself to go to the places that might remind you of your ex. Make new associations with them; take a good friend to your favorite date spots. “Every time you say, ‘No, I’m not going there,’ you’re reinforcing that association and giving more power to the heartbreak in that sense,” he says.
Sit in a peaceful place and focus on your breath. If unpleasant thoughts about your ex enter your mind, acknowledge them, and then refocus on your breath. “You’re training your mind to be less emotionally reactive,” Winch says.
Don’t overthink it
Even if you’re not clear why someone dumped you, closure will come much faster if you’re not creating conspiracies about the reasons why. “You have to be able to say to yourself repeatedly, ‘It doesn’t matter, we’re broken up,’” he says. By doing so, you “assert control over [your] recovery.”