How To Most Effectively Avoid Heartbreak Without Numbing Yourself In The Process

If you’re a living, breathing human being, chances are you’ve experienced heartbreak at some point in your life. To some degree, you’ve had your heart broken by someone or something and you’ve felt the deep pain that coincides with heartbreak. Heartbreak is, well, heartbreaking.

What Does Heartbreak Feel Like?

Heartbreak is an experience that cuts extremely deeply and you feel the emotions to your core. You feel as though the pain will never end; you’ll always feel a strong sadness and deep anguish you’re experiencing, and those feelings will never go away.

Heartbreak is something that we all carry with us. Whether it be from our childhood years with a crush who didn’t return the feeling, our teenage years where we were cheated on by our boyfriend or girlfriend, or our adult years where a marriage ends in divorce or a relationship takes a turn for the worst, heartbreak can come in many different shapes and sizes.

How Does Heartbreak Happen?

Heartbreak can be a result of a break-up, a death in the family, a loss of a job, a broken friendship, or any other situation and circumstance that brings you great pain and turmoil. 

Think back for a moment to a time in your life when you experienced heartbreak personally. Why did this happen? What events lead up to the heartbreak? Did you see it coming or was it completely unexpected, out of the blue? What was your thought process around the event? Who or what broke your heart? Did you give it to them to break?

These are some difficult questions to answer. When we’re in the midst of heartbreak, all we feel is intense sadness, regret, anger, resentment, and a slew of other painful and hard-to-handle emotions.

How Long Does Heartbreak Last?

Furthermore, we feel as though these emotions will last forever. When you’re stuck in your heartbreak, it’s hard to separate yourself from the moment and see the light at the end of the tunnel. You feel the all-consuming darkness from the tunnel and allow yourself to become a part of it.

However, from experience, we all know heartbreak doesn’t last forever.

With time, effort, and care, we are able to pull ourselves out of the pit we’ve been sucked into and we move on with our lives, but the memory of the heartbreak is always with us.

How Do We Protect Our Hearts?

This is how walls are built; we often build high protective barriers around our hearts after something breaks them. These walls keep our hearts safe from harm and pain, and we believe guarding our hearts with barricades will prevent any future heartbreak.

This, however, is not the case. Heartbreak is imminent, to varying degrees. We may still face heartbreaking situations in our lives, even with walls built up around us, because that’s just the way of the world. If you have these walls you may seemingly avoid heartbreak, and keeping your heart locked up absolutely keeps pain from getting in. It also keeps a lot of pain from getting out.

When your heart is barricaded, you have numbed yourself from feeling emotions. You’ve constructed a protective fence around your heart, but in the process, you’ve shut yourself out from feeling any emotions, either positive or negative. This is not the desired result you sought out when building your walls. You didn’t intend to shut out all emotions, you simply wanted to avoid getting your heart broken again.

Things don’t have to be so black and white. You don’t have to wear your heart on your sleeve at all times, but you also don’t have to go to the opposite extreme of locking your heart in an emotionless prison.

Your heart was designed to feel things. It wasn’t built for a life strictly of pain, and it wasn’t built for a life strictly of fun and happiness. Your heart was created to feel all the things, all the good and all the bad. You just have to learn how to walk the middle path.

The best way you can most effectively avoid heartbreak without numbing yourself in the process is by using your wise mind.

Wise mind is a concept primarily found in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Wise mind is the middle path between your emotional mind and your reasonable mind. You make decisions and react to situations and circumstances with either your emotional mind, reasonable mind, or wise mind.

What Is An Emotional Mind?

When using emotional mind, you make decisions and react to things based on your emotions. You let your heart fully take charge and lead the way, neglecting to listen to the reasonable and rational side of yourself. Emotional mind is a breeding ground for impulsive decisions, regret, shame, and embarrassment.

Emotional mind is not always a negative thing. Sometimes you make a risky decision that you wouldn’t make if you were strictly listening to your reasonable mind and the outcome is fun, beautiful, and life-changing in all the best possible ways. But often, leading with your emotional mind is what brings you into situations that result in heartbreak.

What Is A Reasonable Mind?

When using reasonable mind, you react to situations and make decisions based on fact. Your brain takes the lead and doesn’t take your heart into account. Emotions are pushed aside, and facts take the front seat, guiding decisions and actions.

Reasonable mind reaps rationality, level-headedness, and responsibility, but it has no room for fun, adventure, and risk, qualities that add spice to life. Reasonable mind keeps the heart out of the picture, locked away behind protective walls, which often prevents heartbreak. In addition, it prevents emotions from surfacing.

What Is A Wise Mind?

Wise mind takes aspects from both emotional and reasonable minds and combines the two in the healthiest way possible.

Instead of making a risky decision based on your feelings and emotions, you take other factors into consideration. Instead of making a sound decision based on fact and fact alone, you allow your emotions to come into play and make a more well-rounded decision.

How Does Wise Mind Help?

When decisions are rooted in wise mind, you feel level-headed, but you still feel. You are able to think clearly and rationally without letting your emotions take the lead, and you are able to feel the full spectrum of emotions without acting on them. If you are actively trying to make decisions based on a wise mind, you may not prevent heartbreak from happening, but you may be better equipped to handle it when it comes.

Using wise mind can prevent heartbreak from happening on some occasion. Instead of leaping on an impulse, you may be able to step back and view the situation more rationally, and take a different path than the one you originally intended. If you are rational, you may be able to preemptively see heartbreak coming and make decisions that will better allow you to avoid heartbreak all together.

In conclusion, we know that heartbreak is, more often than not, inevitable. Something or someone will hurt us in ways we don’t always see coming. Life is life, and we can’t always foresee pain and heartache coming our way. However, using our wise mind supports us in making sound decisions and taking the middle path between emotion and reason, cultivating a life of balance.

Balance gives us the opportunity to experience rationality and emotion at the same time, and this ability to feel while still thinking clearly can offer us the upper hand when it comes to predicting an oncoming heartbreak. When we’re equipped with both reason and emotion, we are able to live our lives more safely, more freely, and wiser, leading to less heartbreak and more balance.

Heartbroken woman
Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels
Eden is a 26-year-old Aries who loves learning and exploring mental health, self-love, self-care, and eating disorder recovery.

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