THE BLOG
06/24/2014 12:36 pm ET Updated Aug 24, 2014

The Healing Power of Heartbreak: Why We Should All Have This Painful Experience

2014-06-23-sHEARTBREAKsmall.jpg

Heartbreak. It's one of the biggest issues that comes up in my private practice. Love gone awry equals deep emotional pain, a spike in insecurity and a temporary desire to retreat from the world, at least from the dating world. Nothing can rock one's life more than suffering from a broken heart.

Scientists have gotten very good at identifying the areas of the brain that are responsible for this undeniable despair. The neuroscience behind heartbreak seems to suggest love is not only an emotion, but also functions as an action. Love is actually goal-oriented. When people are in love, their only motivation is to get and keep the object of their desires. The part of the brain devoted to the breakup
has thousands of neural circuits devoted to this person, so it takes the brain some time to realize, come to terms with and ultimately recover from the harsh reality that this person is no longer there; hence, the reason why we feel this profound pain.

But what if this pain, this heartbreak, was actually good for you? Hard to imagine, right? But this is exactly what I told my heartbroken girlfriend: "Your heartbreak is good for you!" Sounds like a heartless response, doesn't it? But it actually wasn't. At least it wasn't meant to be.

You're supposed to feel badly after a breakup. It's the body's way of communicating its pain. And if managed correctly, this heartbreak can lead you to a better, more creative and much stronger emotional place.

There are many potentially positive effects of experiencing and working through one's heartbreak. It's not easy work, that's for sure, but if you put in the time, the benefits can be huge!

Strength Comes From Your Resilience

After the dust settles, there is strength one can gain on the other side of heartbreak. You learn that you're absolutely able to bounce back from the tremendous sadness and grief the demise of this relationship has caused.

Important Lessons Can Be Learned

When a relationship ends, new questions get asked. Self-awareness can increase. Figuring out what you have learned from this situation, and how it has served as a stepping stone for your future relationships is invaluable information for you to have.

Figure Out What Changes Need to Be Made

This may be the perfect time to look at your own shortcomings, as few as they might be (wink, wink). When we modify our own behavior and learn how to create positive personal adjustments, this creates a tremendous sense of empowerment and hope. This shift in thinking can also help our next relationship to be more rewarding and successful.

And Finally We Develop a Deep Sense of Gratitude

It's not uncommon for people post-heartbreak to look back on their past and ill-fated relationship with a sense of gratitude. They feel happy they are no longer with this person, yet equally grateful this person was a part of their love journey history. They feel thankful this experience helped shape them into being the person they are today.

So you see, heartbreak can provide a lot of positive psychological benefits. And It can ultimately pave the way for having something bigger, better and more beautiful come your way. And if none of the above strategies work for you, remember: Living well is always the best revenge!