Here’s psychology’s answer for getting over pesky break-ups

We've all been there; giving yourself lactose intolerance from the sheer volume of Ben & Jerry's eaten, tear-stained pillow cases and drowning our sorrows in tequila.

Nope, that's not just our weekend plans…we're referring to the age old reality of break-ups.

You can rant about your ex for weeks, chant self-love quotes from Queer Eye to yourself for the rest of your days and get involved in the rebound game- but it's hard to deny how hard it is to go through heartbreak.

Psychologist Guy Winch, who wrote How to Fix a Broken Heart, helps us out by debunking some common myths surrounding heartbreak

He explains how the pain of heartbreak lingers only as long as you allow it to. Sounds absurd? Let's take a look at his tips for handling break-ups. We need 'em.

“Functional MRI Brain scan studies have shown that the withdrawal of romantic love activates the same mechanisms in the brain as get activated when addicts go through withdrawal from substances like cocaine or opioids,” the TED speaker told The Independent.

"In other words, love is addictive and heartbreak causes us to go through powerful withdrawal," he continues. Love is a drug? This explains why we can obsess over our former loves almost like a deprived craving.

Winch emphasises that this is why it can be so difficult to move on to someone else. We tend to idealise our exes, and our rose-tinted glasses distort out memories of them. This convinces us that our romanticised vision of them is the reality.

“You have to make sure that any thoughts you have about an ex are realistic and balanced,” Winch insists.

“If your mind conjures up images of your happiest weekend together, you need to add in the images from the weekend that drove you crazy and upset you tremendously," he advises. He's like a mind ninja.

“If you find yourself longing for their sweet embrace, you should remember the nights they rejected our advances and slept on the far edge of the bed," Winch elaborates.

Another suggestion of his is to write down a list of reasons why the relationship failed, to keep you grounded. Acceptance of the notion of "being dumped" can also be tough, and usually leads to self-pity.

It seems like your ex is out there living their best single life, but actually they've been emotionally disengaged from the relationship for a long time. “By the time the break-up happens, they are essentially over the relationship,” Winch said.

“However, the person who got dumped is just finding out and is in the most initial stages of grief and loss." It's an imbalance, essentially.

Winch has some stellar advice for avoiding the common traps that people fall into, the main one being; NEVER check their social media. Your ex will only become more present in your mind, and this means it's even harder to quit fantasising about them.

He also advises to avoid creating mysteries about why the break-ups occurred, as this makes your ex even more prominent in your thoughts. Downgrade them, basically. Stick with the facts at all times, and try to uphold your self-esteem.

They were possibly unwilling to commit, they drifted emotionally or else they just weren't the person you thought they were; in any case, it's over and you need to move on. List out all the compromises you had to make in that relationship that you wouldn't do again.

Keep doing the fun things that made you feel like you. Don't lapse on your own enjoyment of activities, and your daily life. Going through the motions signals to yourself that life goes on and time heals all wounds.

Reach out to your pals and embrace their support. Heartbreak is ubiquitous and you can use all the advice you can get. You'll learn a lot from other people's experiences.

Take the reminders of the relationship out of your routine, such as texts or old photos from your phone. Delete their number, any kind of reminder will most likely cause you distress and pain.

We have to say; Winch is one wise man. Psychology can teach us a lot about love and break-ups; our mind is just as important as our hearts when it comes to moving on.

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