What is a broken heart?

A broken heart is described as having a feeling of great sadness, especially when someone you love dies or does not love you. It can be an enormous loss; many feel the symptoms of bereavement.

A breakup or other traumatic emotional stressor can be enough to cause physical damage to the heart, a syndrome known variously as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, stress-induced cardiomyopathy, or “broken heart syndrome.”

The ways in which we cope with loss can vary. We can feel all manner of emotions which can drive us into the depths of despair, denial, anger, helplessness, and also depression before we learn to accept the loss. There are five stages we go through when we experience the loss of a loved one from a bereavement:

  • Denial – not being able to come to terms with the loss.
  • Anger – feeling cheated, hard done by and guilty.
  • Bargaining – thinking if we’d done things differently life would be the same can lead us into the world of bargaining to regain control;
  • Depression – feelings of helplessness and hopelessness;
  • Acceptance – accepting the loss.

A broken heart can raise questions about our own meaning and importance; it can undermine our security. For some it can be a wake-up call to take charge of our lives and live life to the full, appreciating each moment we have. The process of letting go can be the making of us.

Healing from a broken heart can lead to a more exciting, happier fulfilled life.

People tend to make drastic changes at the end of a relationship by changing their style or becoming more adventurous in their approach. This is all part of the process of acceptance and adjustment to a new beginning.

Dealing with loss

No matter how hard the loss, there are things you can do to help you deal with a broken heart and move on:

  • Seek urgent professional medical help if you feel your heart has been affected physically or if you suffer extreme moods.
  • Get counselling to help deal with the five stages of loss. Agencies such as Cruse Bereavement, the Samaritans and Relate are trained to help people deal with the loss of a loved one.
  • Get healing therapy with a professionally accredited practitioner (such as hypnotherapy, acupuncture, reflexology) – this can help to manage and calm emotions.
  • Have an aromatherapy massage – the use of essential oils in massage such as eucalyptus, roman chamomile, bergamot and frankincense have all been used to help ease the symptoms of a broken heart.
  • Homeopathy treatment or using flower remedies for sudden shock and for healing emotions.
  • Talking to a close trusted friend. Being around those who love you and can provide emotional and social support can help.
  • Focussing on activities that make you happy and distract you from loss and low mood.
  • Gentle exercise such as yoga, swimming, and tai chi.
  • Prayer and meditation.
  • Rest and/or taking a holiday.

All is not lost when we suffer from a broken heart. It can be an ending but also a new beginning for many. It can bring new hope when all hope was lost, and it can inspire us to be more responsible for our own happiness. By taking the journey to self-love for some, is the greatest gain of all.

About the Author :- Neelam is an experienced writer and coach on the topics of loss, wellbeing and self-empowerment. She works as a Counsellor, Psychic Medium, Astrologer and Numerologist and lives in Hertfordshire, England with her children.