You can’t be a human being without experiencing heartbreak. It’s part of the human condition and it’s part of our experience from the very beginning of our lives. The challenge then becomes how to heal from heartbreak and accept that heartbreak is a temporary condition. We have the power to change this part of our life experience by understanding that there are 7 costs of heartbreak and how we can regain our happy self.
We tend to hang on to our heartbreaks as if they are our currency for having painful experiences. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. But when we hang on to them and let them define our lives, what we’re really doing is letting them slowly degrade our sense of self.
Knowledge is power. And when you discover the costs to hanging on to these heartbreak stories you can quickly start to make the adjustments and start to gain control of your emotions and your life.
Heartbreak losses and gains
From the time, we are born to the time we die we have experiences, disappointments, traumas that add to the underlying theme of heartbreak. A parent forgets to pick you up at school, your goldfish dies, your friends exclude you from playing, to the death of a loved one, betrayal and abandonment of a lover and finally a romantic break up or divorce.
These life experiences can’t be avoided but they can be managed and overcome more quickly than you think when you choose to let go and do the work to manage your recovery. And to get back to your happy fulfilled self, we must first understand how much your heartbreak is actually costing with the 7 costs of heartbreak.
- Long term therapy for keeping your depression and trauma under control. According to one study, those who’ve experienced a grey divorce have a higher rate of depression than those whose spouses have died.
- Heartbreak can actually cause heart attack-like symptoms, known as the Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. This syndrome can cause strong chest, arm or shoulder pains, shortness of breath, dizziness, loss of consciousness, nausea and vomiting.
- Sadness if not resolved can get lodged in your body and create a compromised immune system possibly lead to an autoimmune disease. One study suggested that the stress of divorce was one reason for increased risk of breast cancer.
- Self-soothing behavior can result in bad food and eating choices and behavior resulting in hormonal imbalance, weight gain, diabetes and more. According to a study on social construction and women, they found that “self-silencing of needs and voice, the suppression of the outward expression of anger, and the internalization of the objectified gaze toward one’s own body were found” with women with disordered eating patterns. And a Harvard Medical School study confirms that 3 out of 4 women have disordered eating patterns.
- Increased retail therapy for a quick rush of artificial pleasure. It becomes an issue or labelled Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD), not the oil, when the behavior is linked to feelings of worthlessness in addition to a lack of power. Especially when you see your cc bill at the end of the month!
- Lost wages or career as a result of depression and lack of desire to engage and function in your life with enthusiasm. According to an article in Gateway to Mental Health Services“, depression can impact the way you perform at work, your level of concentration, thus productivity.
- Can cause strain on your relationships when you rely on friends and family to make you feel better.
Community is important and although this is our strength as women, when it comes to supporting each other, but looking to get relief from grief and heartbreak will only put a strain on our relationships. Expect people to naturally fall away. It’s normal when you make these life altering shifts. The upside is that, it opens up space for your truly supportive friends who understand what you’re going through.
When we take these costs into consideration, we can see how staying in heartbreak is affecting our lives on many levels.
These are strong motivating factors to help you understand that although heartbreak is part of our human experience we can manage how we experience it. And when we see the devastating effects it has on our lives from the point of view of what it costs us, then we can get working on reframing and rebuilding our resilience and sense of self-worth.