How Meditation Can Help You Heal From Heartbreak
*“Hearts can break. Yes, hearts can break. Sometimes I think it would be better if we died when they did, but we don’t.”
Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis
It’s said that it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. And while that may be true, the pain of a broken relationship can leave you shattered, confused and unable to move forward. If you have ever suffered, or are presently suffering, from Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (yes, there is even a scientific term for broken heart syndrome), you know exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s called heartbreak for a good reason. The physiological reaction to intense emotional pain can physically hurt and weaken your body. When you are heartbroken or painfully rejected, your body begins an emotional storm, creating a dangerous cocktail of toxic hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine.
As Dr. Ronald Stram, founder of the Stram Center for Integrative Medicine in Albany, says: “There’s an immediate adrenal stress response. The adrenal gland releases adrenaline. Your cortisol levels go up. Your gut shuts down, your heart rate goes up, blood pressure rises. The emotional wounds of rejection literally hurt. From the perspective of our brain and our body, the emotional distress of heartbreak is the same as severe physical trauma!”
It’s true that time can heal our wounds, but sometimes we want to accelerate the process and get on with our lives. It’s important to heal properly because we could permanently re-wire our brain for sorrow and misery with repetitive negative thoughts (this is known as Hebb’s Law by neuropsychologists).
Meditation can be one effective way for quickly healing and moving on.
Meditation brings you into a relaxing light trance, known as the alpha state. In this pleasant state, you can visualize yourself happy, joyful and loving again. Whilst in this state, you can use mental rehearsal to trick your brain. While you are in the alpha state, your frontal lobe does not recognize the difference between fantasy and reality, which allows you to reverse the physiological effects of your painful heartbreak. Additionally, whilst in the alpha state, your normally locked subconscious mind opens, allowing you to reprogram it by intentionally replacing repetitive negative thoughts with healing and loving ones.
Meditation combined with visualization (mental rehearsal) can help you to rid yourself of toxic emotions, and reopen the possibility for love and joy once again.
Visualization for Healing After Heartbreak
With your eyes closed in a light trance, visualize yourself healed and happy. Picture negative emotions leaving your body and drifting away in a cloud. Visualize yourself embracing and thanking your ex-partner for the lessons learned together. Release your former partner and wish them well. Picture your heart opening and creating space to allow love back into your life again. Feel yourself comforted by the infinite universal love and nurturing that is always around you.
This simple visualization will help you to move through the grieving process more quickly so that you can begin healing; opening your heart to love again.
Additionally, you can enhance and accelerate your healing by taking good care of yourself by committing to your yoga practice, eating a healthy sugar-free diet and surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones.
Join the Internal Selfie Revolution
Have you joined the selfie revolution? Since Robert Cornelius took the first selfie in 1839, humans have been fascinated, if not obsessed, with snapping images of themselves. People now take selfies for many reasons, such as telling a story and capturing memories.
Did you know that people have been taking internal selfies since time immemorial, well at least several thousand BCE? It’s called meditation! It’s nothing mysterious or fancy. All you have to do is turn your camera inward and snap a picture of your current state of mind: What do you see?
Some early forms of meditative introspection included ritual dance, reciting mantra, and sitting crossed-legged under a Bodhi tree. Today, the meditation movement has captured the world’s attention. We are learning to turn our minds inward everywhere from the gym, yoga and tai chi class, the office and at our desks, in the classroom, and the boardroom.
Ready to begin your own mindfulness journey? It’s easy. Get your camera and join the Internal Selfie Revolution! Here’s how to start your practice today.
The Psychology of the Selfie
Why do we retake our image multiple times in order to get it just right before hitting send? On a superficial level, a selfie is casual, easy way to communicate a snapshot of yourself in-the-moment. It may be used as verification or to document change. However, a selfie also give us valuable information. From a selfie we can assess our:
How to Take an Internal Selfie: The Basics
Now try turning your camera inside. Take a peek into your own brain. Let your Internal Selfie develop into an image or sensation – it might have a distinct shape, specific texture, or even a splash of color. Examine your internal snapshot as it manifests: try not to judge, reject, embrace or explain it. Just look at it directly and be curious!