What's going on in your head when you're heartbroken? Confusion, shock, anger and loneliness, to name a few feelings. Specifically, the happy hormones – dopamine, serotonin, oxycytocin, and adrenaline that are produced when you're in love start to decrease, leaving you feeling "hung over" from love. The result is, your mood plunges from ecstatic levels to rock-bottom lows. Since the same chemicals are secreted when you do certain drugs, going through a breakup can feel a bit like kicking a drug addiction.
So, it might feel totally terrible, but "heartbreak" is really just a mood, triggered by your brain chemicals changing. Don't give in to the urge to say screw everything and skip town, succumb to nihilistic binge drinking, or send a bunch of drunk texts. Instead, take charge of your life. Be proactive about your heartache. Here's how.
Let your heart break
Ok, all that said, a proper wallowing period is important at first. If you don't admit to yourself you're really heartbroken, you're just dragging out the heartache. Allow yourself to feel like crap. Watch sad movies (or these awesome makeover movies) with your friends, sob, drink, whatever. You have to go through it, not around it, if you really want to get over it and bounce back afterward.
Commit to yourself
Get yourself feeling good again. Use exercise to pump up your endorphins. Go for a run, walk, or a bike ride with a friend and listen to some of your favourite (throwback 90's) power jams. Listening to your favourite music releases dopamine in your brain, FYI. Purge your life of your partner – looking at photographs of an ex can stimulate your brain's reward systems, which secrete dopamine too, at the sight of your ex.
Being mindful is all about detaching yourself from your feelings and thoughts. Although you're feeling like crap right now, your mood doesn't have the power to really hurt you. Just because the chemicals in your brain are changing doesn't mean your whole life is doomed. They can make you feel that way though. You will be happy again. You will. The loneliness, sadness, and happiness are all just moods. All just states of mind.
Give up a grudge
Quit telling yourself the story of your breakup, or any negative story about your ex that's circulating in your head. It's just going to zap your energy and keep you from moving on. Any time you think of your ex, send him your best wishes and then move on with your life.