Ways to get over your Ex according to science
What methods do you use to fall out of love after a breakup? You might think that what you're doing is unique, but as it turns out we all pretty much do the same things to help us through the struggle of getting over someone you once (or still) loved.
I recently read an interesting article by Dr. Romeo Vitelli in Psychology Today called "The Science of Falling Out of Love" where he examines a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. In the study, Dr. Sandra Langeslag and Michelle Sanchez look at three coping strategies that people use when dealing with a breakup.
1. Negative reappraisal of your Ex: Thinking about your Ex in terms of what was wrong with them - i.e. "yelled at me a lot", "never wanted to cuddle", "had a dead end job".
2. Reappraising of the love feelings: Accepting that being sad, mad, or still in love with your Ex is simply part of a breakup and that it's going to take time for you to move past those feelings
3. Distraction: Putting your Ex out of your mind by occupying your time and thoughts with other activities and people.
The researchers connected the study participants to electroencephalographs (EEG) in order to study their brainwaves while they asked the participants different questions that related to the three different coping strategies. "What is something mean your ex said?" or It's okay to love someone you're no longer with", or "What's your favorite song?". Researchers then showed the participants photos of their Exes while under EEG in order to measure their reactions.
They found that Negative reappraisal seemed to work best in helping the participants to get over their Ex. This falls right in line with what we at KeepUntil have found to be a major problem with holding on to photos of your Ex while you're still hurting and/or in love with them. All too often we look at single snapshots in time and remember and romanticize the good times that surrounded them. When we're constantly looking at photos of our Ex we aren't engaging in any of the three coping strategies that the researchers examined.
While getting over your Ex, strive to embrace what really happened with your relationship and where your heart is at that moment. Think about the negative things that they did to you or what you didn't like about them. Understand what you're really feeling and that this too shall pass. Lastly, distract yourself with friends, family, hobbies or even work. By getting the photos of your Ex out of your hands you will be able to better engage in each of these coping strategies, deal with a breakup, and give heart mind time to heal.