Here’s some interesting advice: If you are looking to get over a broken heart and can’t seem to get your ex out of your mind, keep thinking about them! It sounds counterintuitive but in a recent study, participants found relief from incessant thoughts about their ex by consciously thinking about them.

In a recent article published in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy, Uri Wernik, a researcher from Israel, suggests that the broken-hearted can find relief by coming up with six different but typical thoughts that occupy their mind during the time they are experiencing ruminating thoughts about their ex (thoughts they can’t stop thinking about—over and over again). Examples of the thoughts are:

-How could s/he do this to me?
-I can’t bear this terrible suffering!
-I’ll never find someone like them again!
-Should I call him/her?
-Did s/he cheat on me?
-Are they with someone else now?
-What is wrong with me that s/he doesn’t want me anymore?
-If only…

Next, the participants assigned a number to six of their most prevalent thoughts. For example, “How could s/he do this to me” would be assigned the number 1, then “I can’t bear this terrible suffering!” was assigned number 2, etc., up to number 6. Then, they would roll a die and depending upon the number, would think as hard as they could about that particular thought assigned to the number. And guess what!? It worked! The participants found significant relief from their dis-empowering thoughts after less than a week.

It should be noted that before the participants began the study, they underwent therapy so they could begin to work through their heartache with the help of a professional. All of them were taught the difference between the concepts of attachment and love. As Wernik explained in the article, attachment to another person is an age-old process that incorporates an older part of our brain. This part of our brain allowed us to form bonds with our mates. The attachment process probably helped with our survival thousands of years ago. However in modern times, for some people it may create an intense experience when their partner breaks up with them. Wernik points out that love feels good, attachment does not. Some people think that because they hurt so much after a break-up, that it must be love. More than likely, it is attachment.

The next time you find yourself inundated by thoughts of how heartbroken you are over your ex, roll the die and see what comes up. Of course, if you are experiencing any severe symptoms or can’t find relief, please consult a professional.

The reason why I think this study was successful was because the participants learned they had the power to change their thoughts. This is a powerful feeling, and once mastered is a wonderful skill to have in life.

As with all self-help measures, find the one that works for you. Everyone is different and not all methods work on all people. I got over the pain of my divorce by focusing on empowering myself. I did this by going back to school, reading self-help books, running, and going to therapy. These activities changed my behavior which in turn also changed my thought process. The more I succeeded, the more powerful I felt. The more work I did on myself, the better I felt. By changing just one thought to a more positive thought leads to changing another, and little by little you will be consciously choosing what you think. This will change your life!

Rolling the dice might not work for everyone. Find a solution that works for you so that you won’t be using your valuable time and energy looking to the past instead of focusing on the future and being here in the present. Life is too short to be caught up in dis-empowering thoughts; it is meant to be lived passionately, without regrets, and to be experienced for all of its glory.

References:
Wernik, U. (2011) Mending broken hearts with a throw of the dice. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 26(1), 103 — 110.

Author's Bio: 

Nicole Nenninger is the author of "Transforming Divorce - How to Get Back on Track and Create a Life You Love" and the "Transforming Divorce Workbook - How to Make Divorce the Best Thing that Ever Happened to You." She is currently finishing her advanced degree in psychology and spends her day writing and researching topics such as parenting, divorce, relationships, depression, and motivation. She is a also a competitive runner. Nicole is the founder of nicolenenninger.com and co-founder of mydailymotivator.com. She contributes to donnenninger.com and runninglongisland.com. She and her new husband live in New York with their 4 children, 2 dogs, and cat.