As the average age to start dating gets younger and younger, some people have begun to realise the down side of young teenagers getting into relationships. While it may be cute and fun at first, as crushes turn into dates and dates morph into a full fledged relationship, young adults cannot be expected to deal maturely with a breakup or heartbreak. And breakups are never easy, no matter how old you are. While it’s just as easy to fall in and out of love, it is important to ensure that both parties come out of a relationship intact, with lessons learnt.
Dealing with a breakup can be hard, even if it isn’t the first time. Letting go of someone you’ve loved and shared special moments with can seem impossible sometimes. Often, feelings of helplessness and despair take over, and one might feel like it’s impossible to survive alone. It may feel like the most trying of times, but the key thing to keep in mind is that things don’t always work out the way we plan. Keeping an open mind and knowing that we all have within us the inner strength to survive is a valuable coping strategy. Just by having faith and believing that things happen for the best can often be the best way to deal with things.
There are several stages to relationship recovery: denial, anger, depression, acceptance and, finally, recovery. Each stage is a milestone on the road to recovery, and is part of the healing process. Denial is when we refuse to accept that a relationship has ended simply because we cannot imagine living without the person we loved. It is hard to deal with the sudden feelings of loneliness, and the mind decides to ignore facts and reality and refuses to believe the truth. Eventually this stage passes, and as we accept the truth and face it, it leads to the second stage – Anger. Getting angry and upset over the breakup is quite natural. All the feelings of hurt and betrayal turn into anger, and can be quite emotionally overwhelming. The key here is to find a healthy release for this anger, because venting and talking it out is essential to let go of all the negative energy that builds up. Keeping things locked up inside can only lead to bitterness and even more sadness.
Depression, the next stage, is frequently the one that is hardest to get over. The sadness at the end of a relationship is bound to cause some pain. The important thing is to remember the good times and try not to focus so much on the pain. Concentrating on other areas of life like work and family will help take your mind off these feelings of sadness, and even cheer you up. Learn to let go and believe that things happen for the best. Acceptance is the penultimate stage, and probably the most important. Once you accept that things have ended and that you need to move on, you can take things slow and let time heal things. After this comes the final stage of recovery, when you realise that life does go on, and you can keep hoping to find true love!
Psychotherapist and pyschological counselor, Dr Rohini Naidu, gave us some advice about dealing with a break up. “Talking to a counselor or a third party is one of the best ways to resolve emotional issues. A third party can offer an unbiased opinion and words of advice that a friend might not be able to give. Talking to someone with a little more insight into life, and someone who you know will not judge you is sure to help,” she says.
So the best way to deal with a breakup is to talk things through, let your feelings out and clear your mind of any bitterness or sadness. It is also important to take care of your body since stress on the mind shows on the body, too.
Some tips to keep your mind and body in shape during a stressful breakup!
• Work It Out – exercise is proven to release endorphins that make you feel positive, so try and get some exercise. It’s sure to help you feel better!
• Clear Things Up – literally cleaning up things in your environment, like your room or workspace, will help you get rid of old feelings and emotions!
• Try Something New – learning something new like a new dance form or music lessons you’ve always wanted to take is a great way to keep your mind busy.
• Let It Out – if you feel like crying, don’t stop yourself. Letting yourself cry is a good way to heal things within.
• Indulge A Little – indulging in some things that make you happy is a great way to feel better. Whether it’s a soothing massage, some retail therapy or a long-awaited trip, it’s okay to indulge. But don’t go overboard!
• Try Meditation – a great way to distress yourself is to learn to meditate. So sign up for classes, and you’re bound to see a change!