Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit"
Healing from heartache is something many never want to experience. Yet, it’s a natural part of life. There will be things that occur that break our hearts. Navigating the loss of a friendship, relationship, or loved-one are a few examples of what can cause heartache.
Healing takes time. The society we live in doesn’t promote time to allow for ‘healing’. We live in a time that everything must happen NOW. Which can cause one to suppress the emotions that arise when heartache comes. Yet, we must MAKE time to allow ourselves to go through the ‘PROCESS’ of healing.
This process can be painful and slow, but it will pass, and time will help you recover. In the meantime, harness the opportunity to learn more about your wants and needs. This will help in developing and/or strengthening healthy coping skills.
What Is a Heartache?
The phrase has two meanings: 1) A painful, depressed emotional state resulting from an upsetting event such as a breakup, death of a loved one, or the loss or change in the dynamics of friendship; and 2) acute stress-induced cardiomyopathy, a temporary physical condition characterized by chest pain, shortness of breath, and/or abnormal heart rhythm brought on by stress, intense emotion, serious illness, or surgery. In this instance the first meaning applies.
Signs of a Heartache
If your heart is broken, you might feel symptoms common to depression:
Reduced or increased appetite
Sleeping too little or too much
Lack of interest in your usual activities
If you feel as if your physical heart hurts, you're not imagining it: The flood of stress hormones your body is releasing in response to your emotions can trigger Heartache syndrome, aka stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Symptoms of this physical condition include an erratic heartbeat, chest pain, and shortness of breath. You might even feel as though you're having a heart attack.
Causes of a Heartache
Any loss can cause a Heartache. Whether it's the end of a relationship, the death of a pet, family upset, personal failure, or other negative event, separation from someone or something we value can cause heartbreak.
How Long a Heartache Lasts
There's no getting around it: This is going to take some time and effort. In the immediate aftermath of a breakup, you don’t need to jump into problem-solving mode. In fact, doing so when you haven’t allowed yourself to fully work through your feelings may make the process more protracted and difficult.
As time passes, don't compare yourself to characters in movies and books who bounce back with tidy endings in two hours. Every person and relationship are different and dealing with heartbreak is not the same process for everyone or every time. Give yourself permission to take the time you need.
Within the space of each day, try to limit how long you allow yourself to ruminate on what's happened. For example, you might set aside 30 minutes a day to think about what you're going through; that can help you push such thoughts away outside of that time.
If you feel as though you're not recovering as you should or you just can't endure the pain alone, consider counseling or therapy.
Ways to Mend a Heartache
In the early days, try to resist the urge to isolate yourself. Sadness, guilt, confusion, and other intense feelings can be overwhelming. Reach out to the people who care about you. To come to terms with the changes in your life, you’ll need the support of your family and friends.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
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