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What are the signs of a broken heart?

photo of Laura
by Laura
What are the signs of a broken heart?

Most of us have experienced the pain of a broken heart – and those lucky few who haven’t might just have one lurking on the horizon. In the world of online dating and relationships, some heartache is almost inevitable. You put your heart in the hands of someone else and trust them to be gentle with it. Sometimes this works out, sometimes they turn out to be a different person to who you hoped for, and sometimes people make mistakes.

Whatever the cause of your broken heart, the pain is real and can even show up as physical symptoms. In fact, there’s a rare condition known as “Broken Heart Syndrome” which causes sufferers to experience chest pain similar to a heart attack after emotional stress, which can include a break-up or rejection.

So what are the symptoms of a broken heart?

Emotional:

  • Depressiondepression can strike at any time, but the emotional trauma of a broken heart can provoke it, even if you’ve never suffered from depression before. You’re might feel down for long periods of time, experience low self-esteem and struggle to get up in the morning. Depression is serious, so if you feel like you’re not getting better, visit a healthcare professional.
  • Griefgrief is the feeling of loss of a loved one and is something almost everyone goes through after a breakup. In contrast to depression, people suffering from grief can be comforted by the company of other loved ones. The feeling of grief also fades over time  – although at varying rates depending on individual circumstances
  • AnxietyA breakup and resulting broken heart affects your self-esteem, making you feel anxious about yourself and what your ex might be getting up to. Anxiety can be the root cause of many other symptoms, both physical and emotional – look out for excess sweating and heart palpitations amongst others.

Physical:

  • InsomniaMany people mull over their deepest thoughts when they’re in bed before falling asleep. If you have a broken heart, your mind’s going to be racing more than normal and this is likely to prevent you having a restful night’s sleep. When you do manage to drift off, you might also experience disturbed dreams which will leave you exhausted in the morning.
  • Weight lossSome find that the stress caused by a broken heart suppresses their appetite and even causes nausea, both of which make the thought of tucking into a big meal really unappealing. This in turn leads to lower energy levels and less inclination to go out and try to get over the breakup – something of a vicious circle.
  • Weight gainWe all react to things in different ways, and some find that heartbreak leads to stress eating as a comfort mechanism. If you’re spending a lot of time at home on your own, you might end up snacking more than usual simply out of boredom.
  • HeadachesIf you’re prone to stress-induced headaches, you’ll be suffering more than normal when you’re broken-hearted. If your break up involves administrative nightmares like working out what to do with a mortgage, stress headaches are even more likely to be on the cards.

And how do you fix a broken heart?

We’re sad to report that there’s no miracle cure for a broken heart. More than anything, the healing process takes time. We agree: it’s frustrating to be told this, as you just want a quick fix to make you feel instantly better. However, there are some things you can do to try and speed up the process. Here are our top 6 tips for healing a broken heart in record time:

1. Focus on the great things in your life

It’s easy to allow a broken heart to affect all areas of your life. Whether it’s causing you to under-perform at work or snap at your closest friends, these side effects will make the healing process harder and more lengthy. Instead of allowing a broken heart to consume the full spectrum of your life, focus on what’s going well for you and channel all your energy into it. This is the perfect distraction and should allow you to adopt a more positive attitude in the face of heartbreak.

2. Get away

A holiday with your best pals might be the perfect remedy! A getaway will allow you to relax, have fun and connect with your nearest and dearest rather than moping around the house for days on end. Your closest friends will be on hand for any wobbles you have, as well as being able to ply you with all the advice you could need. We’re always looking for an excuse to go on holiday, so grab the bull by the horns and book those flights!

3. Live more healthily

For many people, a broken heart can result in eating all the wrong things and getting into the habit of staying at home more than normal. Focusing on eating healthily and exercising will make you feel infinitely better. Start small by making sure to eat your 5 portions of fruit and veg a day or taking up yoga. Even simple things like this can change your outlook. You’ll soon find yourself in a consistently better mood and with a clearer head.

4. Take off those rose-tinted specs

If you’re spending all your time pining over the highs of your former relationship, take a step back and acknowledge the lows, too. There’s a reason it ended and it can’t have been all sunshine and rainbows. The sooner you admit that you’re better off out of the relationship, the more quickly your heart can heal.

5. Don’t compare yourself to anyone (especially not your ex)

Everyone heals at different rates, so don’t compare yourself to others. Your best friend might have got over their broken heart within a matter of days, but that won’t necessarily be the case for you. Most importantly, don’t compare your healing process to your ex’s. If it seems like they’re moving on quickly, don’t push yourself to start dating again before you’re ready. Take things at your own pace. Stop checking up on what your ex is doing and focus on your journey.

6. Get involved in online dating with Match

Online dating is the perfect way to ease yourself back into dating when you feel it’s the right time . You can take things at your own pace and chat to as many singles as you want. There’s no pressure to meet up until you feel ready – just enjoy the process of getting to know new people. Match allows you to search by the attributes that are most important to you so you can find the kind of person you’re looking for more quickly. So, when you’re ready, sign up for free and you could find someone to help fix that broken heart.

For more guidance, read our article on how long it takes to get over someone, or find out how to get back into dating after a break up.