What to do with lovesickness? Talk about!

What to do with lovesickness? Talk about!

What to do with lovesickness? Talk about!

There is probably no one who has never suffered from lovesickness in his life. Friends and acquaintances often have quick advice on what to do about the "broken heart": going out, distracting, looking for new partners. But many sufferers only want to talk about their grief. And that's a good thing, as psychologists think. Because that helps best to get over the loss of the partner.

Many separations during the Christmas season women and men, young and old: Hardly anyone is immune from suffering from a "broken heart" after a separation. Not only mental, but also physical complaints then make those affected. Restlessness, sleep disorders, fatigue, exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, nausea and abdominal pain are typical symptoms that can occur. Most of the time, heartache and heartache come in winter, as the "Welt" reports in a recent article. Accordingly, the statistics show that a third of all separations happen during the Christmas season. Friends and acquaintances then usually have advice ready: getting to know new people, going out, distracting. But newly separated people often only want to talk about their lovesickness. And that's a good thing, as scientists think.

Talking and thinking about it According to researchers, talking and thinking about it the best way to get over the loss of a partner. Even if no one is listening, lovesickness can be cured with autotherapy. This is the conclusion reached by psychologist Grace M. Larson from Northwestern University in Evanston, USA, and her colleague David A. Sbarra from the University of Arizona in Tucson. The scientists had asked 210 newly separated people to the laboratory to investigate what helps against lovesickness. The test subjects were divided into two groups, one part of which had to be filled in short questionnaires on the separation and the other should reflect the relationship history and the separation as precisely as possible. They did this by recording their own voice in a room alone.

Less lonely and less frequent outbursts of emotion "At first glance, you might think that it is not so good to keep reminding those affected of the separation by asking them to describe it," said Larson. However, the results now published in the journal "Social Psychological and Personality Science" show exactly the opposite. Those participants who were supposed to keep talking about their separation were significantly better off after the nine weeks than those who had only ticked a few crosses in the questionnaires. They felt less lonely and were less likely to experience outbursts of emotion.

Changing the self-concept The change in the self-concept played an important role. According to a study published in 2010, this usually gets completely mixed up after a separation. At the time, the researchers wrote in their study "Who am I without you" that the concept of one's own identity was closely linked to the identity of the partner, especially in a longer relationship . When the relationship ends, the image of one's own identity begins to falter. Various studies have shown that the self-concept changes slowly after a separation and that this change in addition to the actual pain of separation encourages negative feelings. Reflection on the history of the separation can therefore help to quickly create and stabilize a new self-concept, “Welt” writes that you feel independent of your partner and still feel complete. Or “to develop a better understanding of who you are as a single,” as Larson puts it.

Hardly anyone feels independent of their partner Since the early 1990s, scientists have been concerned with the flexibility of the self-concept. Back in a study, the American psychologist Arthur Aron from Stony Brook University found that most of the subjects felt that the partner was a more or less large part of them. Hardly anyone stated that they felt completely independent of their partner. This perceived overlap of the partners was called “Inclusion of other in the self” by researchers. According to later studies, this not only exists “felt”, but even personality traits over time in partners that have been together for a long time. Sometimes this overlap becomes so strong that the lost "independence" becomes a problem for the relationship and sometimes even the cause of the separation.

Repeated reflection on the separation, according to Larson, is very painful to resolve a completely normal overlap of personalities after a separation. The expert suspects that the repeated reflection on the separation helps here, because it gradually enables the person concerned to distance themselves from what happened. So far, the principle of working up by reflection was primarily known for writing. As the “Welt” reports, psychologist James W. Pennebaker from the University of Texas at Austin has been using reflexive writing as a therapeutic technique for over 20 years. If you write down what whirls you up inside four days in a row for about a quarter of an hour, then this not only relaxes you in these turbulent times, but also leads to better sleep and improved immune function.

Good strategy after painful separation The psychologist wrote on his website: "Emotional upheavals affect every part of life". It continues: “You don't just lose a job or get a divorce. These things touch all aspects of what you are - the financial situation, the relationship with others, the view of yourself. Writing helps us to focus and sort the experience. ”The reflection, whether in the head or on paper is a good strategy after a painful breakup. Larson advises that you should write or speak about the breakup as if you were telling a stranger. This is most helpful in building emotional distance and detaching yourself from the events. Those who have rearranged their self-concept are also open to a new relationship. (ad)

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