Can a Broken Heart Lead to a Mental Health Condition?
Almost everyone experiences a breakup at least once in a lifetime. Some can easily handle a broken heart and move on to find their next love. Others have a hard time dealing with the heartbreak. They would often find it hard to function like before. But is a broken heart enough to cause a mental health condition?
According to a study, people often experience at least two heartbreaks before finding true love. For some people, this meant more than just having to get over the person who broke you. It can also mean grieving as you would after a death of a loved one in real life.
People deal with breakups in different ways. Some feel anxious, angry, or bitter. But for others, they end up in a long cycle of crying, feeling anxious, intense panic, distress, or even depression. But is a heartbreak powerful enough to trigger a mental illness?
What Heartbreaks Can Do to Your Mental Health
A broken heart can be extremely painful. The negative feelings can cloud your judgment and make you want to do things you will regret later on. How this can impact your mental health actually depends on your ability to cope with such a stressful event.
Experts have a theory called the diathesis-stress model or vulnerability stress model. This refers to the link between one’s genetic or biological factors and environmental stress triggers. As a result, an individual can develop a mental or physical disorder.
Diathesis refers to your vulnerability or predisposition to a physical or mental condition. Diathesis can be hereditary, caused by environmental stress, or an interaction between the two. The higher your vulnerability is, the easier it will be for stress to cause a mental condition.
Heartbreak is an example of an environmental stress trigger. If a person fails to cope with such a massive amount of stress, this can be enough to cause depression, anxiety, or an adjustment disorder.
Self-Care Tips After a Broken Heart
Self-care may not be enough to heal your heartbreak. But taking care of your mind and body is one good way to start your road to recovery. Note that self-care can involve numerous adjustments to especially if the experience hit you hard.
Start With a Healthier Lifestyle
Living a healthier life can be a daunting task. You will need to focus on improving your eating and drinking habits and engage in a more active lifestyle while trying to get enough rest and sleep. But all these can be enough to take your focus and energy on things that will benefit you in the future.
So, make sure you start living a lifestyle that is a lot healthier than before. Reduce your cravings for comfort food and vices by eating nutritious foods on time. Increase your physical activity, sleep more, keep yourself hydrated, and get at least eight hours of sleep daily.
Smile More Often
There’s this notion that you can fake your happiness until you make it. Smiling more may not instantly make you happy and have a positive outlook on life. But it can help you boost your mood and trick your mind into thinking you are truly happy.
So, don’t be afraid to show off those pearly whites. If your smile is something you are often insecure about, then consider visiting your dentist and ask what your options are. They may recommend a dental cleaning, placing a denture, braces, or veneers depending on your case.
Having a bright smile will help boost your confidence. This makes meeting more people and getting out of your comfort zone easier. You can then use this opportunity to show off at work, meet new friends, or simply give yourself more reasons to smile and be happy.
Different things can cause you to feel unpleasant feelings, thoughts, and sensations. The more mindful you get, the easier it will be to let go. You can try different things to practice mindfulness, like the following.
- be grateful
- enjoy every bite of your food
- find joy in the smallest things
- try different relaxing techniques
- set an intention after you wake up
- treat yourself as you would a dear friend
- slow down and pay attention to the things happening around you
Take a break from social media
Such platforms can only trigger old memories and new intense feelings. You will be tempted to stalk your ex and see how he is doing after you break up. If you don’t like what you see, you can end up being bitter and your intense feelings will multiply.
Even if you block your ex and manages to stop yourself from looking at his social media, many things can trigger negative emotions. Your friend’s good life or your relative announcing their marriage can be enough to affect your mental state. As much as possible, take a break from social media and focus on yourself during these trying times.
There is no easy to recover from heartbreak. The choice of moving on lies in your hands. But there is no point in living in the past when great days are waiting ahead of you. There is a thin line between taking your time to heal and grief versus doing things to yourself that will only worsen your mental health. Remember that only you hold the key to your mental wellness.