Taking care of your heart has become a major talking point over the last few years, especially here in India, where the risk of heart disease is higher than many other countries. By now, we all know that we should be eating healthier and exercising more, but there’s one other kind of heart we don’t talk about enough – taking care of your heart after a breakup.

It may sound silly, but there’s conclusive proof that heartbreak can cause as much long-term damage to health as cardiac arrest. Shouldn’t it make sense then that we learn to protect ourselves from heartache? Here’s what science says is the healthy way to recover from a breakup

Don’t Hold It All In

It may seem like the “strong” thing to do, but suppressing your emotions immediately after a breakup could do you more harm than good. However, if the emotions are so intense that you believe they would embarrass you in public, take some time out for yourself, go somewhere private and let it all out. Scream, sob, do whatever it takes to get that release you so badly need. It’s completely normal.

Turn Up the Adele

This may sound like the most cliched thing to do after a breakup but there’s a very good reason that so many people swear by it. Listening to sad songs may bring up some painful memories in the short term, but it helps you normalise what you’re experiencing because you realise that other people have felt this way before and you’re not alone in this awful feeling.

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Find Support

Your friends and family are your support system when you’re going through a though time. They hear you out, remind you of your worth and help you heal, but be aware of their limitations, too. Sometimes, it’s best to approach a professional for therapy if the damage is severe. This could prove to be more effective in the long term, by providing a neutral perspective.

Normalise, Normalise, Normalise

Read books that talk about what you’re going through. Stepping through the pages into the mind of someone who’s lived through this could help you come to terms with what just happened to you. Breakups can be intensely emotions, so reading someone’s well-phrased work could help kick-start the logic centres in your brain that were flooded over by the wave of emotion. Learn to accept that this is something everyone goes through and that this, too, shall pass.

Treat Yourself

Now that you can finally take some time out for yourself, use that time to pamper yourself with all the self-care rituals that will bring you back to the living – go shopping, hit the spa for a massage, get a makeover. Do whatever it takes to boosts your sense of self.

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Set Boundaries for Your Ex

Often, the breakup isn’t certain. Like so many others, you, too, could end up stuck in a limbo relationship, which just worsens the heartache you’re already going through. Solve this by limiting contact with your ex no matter how difficult that seems. There will be a tough withdrawal period, but keep going with the detoxification of your life. It will help you move on and heal eventually.

Eat, Sleep, Exercise, Repeat

Yes, yes, we know you’ve heard it a million times, but it’s important that you take care of your cardiac health in the traditional sense, too. Like we said earlier, your heart is already under quite a bit of strain from the breakup, so it makes sense to not put any more strain on it with an unhealthy lifestyle. Sleep as much as you normally would, get that appetite back up to scratch and hit the gym to release some of that anger and emotion you’ve been holding in. You’ll come out of it feeling better.

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