When Gary (Vince Vaughn) and Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) watched their live-in relationship decay in the movie “The Breakup,” they got it half-right: Each one spent time reflecting on what happened, kvetched to their friends, and thought about where they were headed as single people.
The half that was wrong? They both insisted on remaining in the apartment they owned together, not wanting the other person to get it.
A new University of Arizona study points out that in real life, such behavior interferes with the “self-concept reorganization” people have to go through to separate from an ex and move on from a relationship.
Breakups are difficult and take a toll both physically and emotionally. For most folks, they trigger an serious stress response.
Brain centers that respond to physical pain are activated when you feel heartbreak. And “broken heart syndrome" is a condition than can cause physical chest pain and shortness of breath that seem like a heart attack. But it isn't.
That's why if you're dealing with a breakup, you should acknowledge what's lousy and hurts. But take the opportunity to manage the stress and start fresh.
Make an effort to spend more time with friends and family. Do one adventurous act a week, volunteer at a soup kitchen, take a class (pottery? history? Italian?).
Go for a new look: Get a new hairstyle, grow a beard (guys). Expect to feel sad sometimes, but don't let it define you.
Remember YOU are the captain of your life ship. Right the bow and full speed ahead!
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