Dealing with a broken heart can be awful. Bess Myerson once wrote that “to fall in love is awfully simple, but to fall out of love is simply awful.” Every woman on the planet going through a transition knows this. It does not matter if the cause of the heart break was a break-up or death, the pain is the same. Learning how to get beyond the pain is the real trick.
The first and most important thing you can do is to work through it and not go around it. We have to experience the pain completely to learn and grow from it. If we try to avoid the pain by drinking or rebound dating; we only postpone the inevitable. Sooner or later the issues will reappear. Going through the pain will make you stronger and allow you to love deeper. Henri Nouwen, states it beautifully when he says “when those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful.”
Feel the pain and allow yourself to cry. Research has shown that emotional crying serves several biochemical purposes, such as relieving stress and releasing toxins from the body. Perhaps that is why people often feel so much better after a good cry. When you cry, you let go of sadness and other emotions that have been causing you pain.
Make sure you have a shoulder you can cry on. A trusted friend or loved one can provide the social support necessary. In fact, sometimes crying brings people closer together. The bond of sharing the anguish and providing support forges a stronger relationship.
Let it out after you have figured it out. Crying in the midst of a problem with no foreseeable resolution may not be the best idea. Usually, the most benefit is derived from crying after a solution has been reached. Sounds counterintuitive I know, but it does make sense. Crying about something we have no resolution to can often make us feel worse. Crying after we have solved the problem can be a release and make us feel much better.
Above all, make sure you are crying in appropriate places. Crying in public places, or around certain people, or under the influence of alcohol will often exacerbate the situation. Choose the right place to release your tension and pain and likely the result will be an improvement in your mood. Now that can be tricky as emotional tears are almost always involuntary. Once someone feels a strong emotion and starts crying, it can be very difficult if not impossible to stop crying. If you can feel it coming, you can leave the room or get to a more appropriate place.
The best way to deal with a broken heart is to work through it. Cry, write, talk with friends and cry some more. Just be sure to take care of yourself – do it in a safe and appropriate place with people you trust. Allow yourself to feel the pain and know that it will subside and you will love again – this time probably more deeply because you allowed yourself to work through this pain.