Broken heart: how to heal and overcome the pain

Reading time 6 minutes
Broken heart: how to heal and overcome the pain

Whether it's heartbreak, death or another serious loss, there are many reasons for a broken heart. But did you know that this expression is not just an empty phrase, but that your heart really can break with grief in the medical sense? We explain how you can recognize this and how a broken heart can be healed.

A broken heart: more than just a saying

For a long time, it was believed that a broken heart was merely a theatrical expression from books and films. Broken heart syndrome has only been known since the 1990s. If you experience an exceptional physical or emotional situation, the stress hormone adrenaline is released. In excessive quantities, the stress hormone can attack the heart muscle.

In medicine, this is referred to as cardiomyopathy. The symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack. Cardiac ultrasound shows an enlarged left apex of the heart, which reduces the heart's pumping capacity. In contrast to a real heart attack, however, the coronary arteries are not blocked. Nevertheless, broken heart syndrome can lead to death if left untreated, even if only in a few cases.

Interesting to know: Broken heart syndrome is also known as Tako-Tsubo cardiomyopathy. Japanese researchers, who first described the disease, named it after a squid trap (Tako-Tsubo) commonly used in Japan.

What does a broken heart feel like?

Anyone who has ever Heartbreak or had to mourn the death of a loved one knows how unspeakably painful a broken heart can feel. You feel an extreme tightness in your chest, your throat seems to be constricted and you find it difficult to breathe. You may also suffer from stabbing headaches or back pain and have trouble sleeping.

A broken heart is also accompanied by great hopelessness. You can't imagine ever being happy again. Life suddenly seems to have lost its color. Your thoughts are constantly revolving around the loss you have suffered.

In addition, a broken heart not only manifests itself through all kinds of negative emotional feelings and thoughts, but also through physical symptoms. These can include

  • Tightness in the chest
  • Dizziness
  • Dyspnea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tachycardia
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Cold sweat
  • Pallor

Why am I always getting my heart broken? Recognizing causes and patterns

Maybe this isn't the first time you've had a broken heart and you're wondering why it keeps happening to you? In this case, it makes sense to take a closer look at your own relationship patterns and behavior. Perhaps you always choose the same type of partner, e.g. men or women who can't allow closeness? In this case your unconscious Fear be caused by proximity.

Or you may be suffering from a lack of Self-esteem and only feel valuable when you're in a relationship. However, another person can never fill your emotional hole or even fill your Inferiority complexes compensate. If this person's support suddenly disappears, you feel emotionally lost and react with a broken heart.

Broken heart sayings: words that comfort and make you understand

People who are heartbroken often find sayings that reflect their grief very comforting and healing. We have put together the most beautiful sayings and quotes for you:

  1. "I wish I was a little girl again because knocked knees are easier to treat than a broken heart." Julia Roberts
  2. "Don't cry when the sun is gone, because you can't see the stars through the tears." Violeta Parra
  3. "A broken heart is a necessary growing pain so that you can love more fully when the real thing comes your way." J.S.B. Morse
  4. "Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to wake us up and show us that we are worth so much more than what we've resigned ourselves to." Mandy Hale
  5. "I would rather love a million times and have my heart broken every time than have a permanently empty heart forever." H.C. Paye
  6. "Never go back to what broke you." Author unknown.
  7. "It's strange how many times a heart has to be broken before the years can make it wise." Sara Teasdale
  8. "One day you'll remember me and how much I loved you ... then you'll hate yourself for letting me go." Aubrey Drake Graham
heart broken

5 steps to healing a broken heart

Step 1: Gain distance from the situation

This Tip is fundamental, especially in the case of a broken heart due to heartbreak. Every contact potentially stirs up new Hopewhich prolongs or even prevents your inner healing. So break off all contact with your ex-partner - at least temporarily - and banish everything that reminds you of him or her.

Step 2: Deal with and understand the stages of grief

Whether it's a death or a separation from your partner: In both cases you go through a Grieving processwhich can be divided into five phases:

  • Denial
  • Rage
  • Negotiate
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Take a look at the individual phases to understand where you are at the moment and what could help you best.

Step 3: Self-care

Especially in a difficult phase of life, it is important not to lose sight of your own needs. Do things that you enjoy or that you have always wanted to try. Make sure you get enough sleep and healthy eating.

Step 4: Live in the present

The (painful) past cannot be changed by constantly ruminating on it and reproaching yourself. This will only waste precious energy that you need to heal your broken heart. Instead, focus on the present and make plans for the future.

Step 5: Let new people into your life

As important as your ex-partner was to you, new people will come along who can enrich your life. Be open to getting to know these people! The same applies to bereavement. It may be understandable to isolate yourself at first, but at some point it will do you good to interact with people again.

Why did you break my heart? Processing and acceptance

A broken heart is not only accompanied by sorrow, but after a while also by anger or even hatred. You become angry at the person who has caused you this great suffering. You don't want the situation accept and demand an explanation. In fact, a debate can Helpful to understand and process. However, such a debate is not always possible.

If you don't have the opportunity to have a liberating and final conversation, you will need to find another way to work through your heartache. This may be more difficult, but there are ways. For example, you can vent your feelings in a letter, which you then symbolically burn.

You won't always be able to understand why this was done to you. However, realize that life is simply not fair - not to anyone. Accepting this fact will help you immensely so that you don't get caught up in your resentment.

Can you die of a broken heart? The science behind heartbreak

As unbelievable as it may sound, you can actually die of a broken heart. You are no doubt familiar with the phenomenon that when one spouse dies in an older couple, the other spouse soon follows. What sounds like a cliché was actually the subject of scientific research by two well-known scientists Nicholas A. Christakis and Felix Elwert.

As part of their research, they compiled data from 373,189 older married couples and found that men whose wives died first increased their own probability of dying by a full 18 %. For women, the probability of sudden death increases by 16 %.

However, a distinction must be made between the sudden loss of a partner and death after years of illness. In the latter scenario, the probability of death increases not significant. The moment of shock is therefore an important factor in the development of broken heart syndrome.

The role of coaching in healing a broken heart

A broken heart is an enormous psychological emergency. It is not always possible to cope with this situation without outside help. In this case, a professional coach can help you to reflect on your thoughts and find out how you can make your grieving process more healing.

From heartbreak to rediscovered love: a journey

A broken heart is painful, but it can heal! Otherwise, no one who has ever suffered from heartbreak could ever fall in love again. But that's exactly what happens every day, especially when you don't expect it.

However, it is important that you continue your grieving process for your old Dear have completed your relationship. Only then will you be open to a new partnership. You can find the inspiring story of Matthias and Nicole, who found new love again after a painful loss, here here.

Conclusion: A new chapter after a broken heart

A broken heart is extremely painful. However, most people suffer from it at least once in their lives and recover from it. You can and will do the same! The painful experience also offers you the opportunity to grow internally and find out what you want from a partnership.

If you are currently in doubt as to whether you are still happy in your current partnership, we would like to share our Free relationship test to your heart. It is designed to uncover toxic dynamics in your relationship. In less than four minutes, you will receive your personal result, which can provide you with valuable guidance.


Is your relationship healthy?

Find out, Whether your relationship is toxic! Our free relationship quiz will help you see if you're in a harmful relationship - or if everything is in the green.
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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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