What Would You Do If You Knew There Was A Science Behind Moving On?

Wanna hear some sad story? I’ll tell you two.

When I was young… about 19 or 20, I fell in love hard with an American boy who was my best friend in the whole world. He later became my husband.t

We liked playing guitars together, sharing stupid inside jokes and him trying all the weird Tagalog words he wanted to learn.

We’d wake up mornings next to each other full of love and smiles.

Many people were hesitant of our decision saying we were young and naive but we knew that what we felt was real and strong.

And thus we swore to spend the rest of our lives with each other. We were serious about having a family together.

For someone like me, I never liked commitment or marriage. But for some reason, when I looked at him, I saw grey hairs and rocking chairs. This made me change my mind.

But 2 years after we got married, things turned 360. We talked less and less and we would argue about even the most mundane of things. It was like, we were driving each other crazy.

What hurt the most was not the burnt out romance, but the ashes of my best friend who used to be there.

When you face an end with your lover and best friend, it isn’t the relationship you’re mourning over. It’s the friendship that died with it.

And that pain cripples you knowing a good friend won’t be there in your life anymore.

My point is, even the love you thought you knew could be so different in a blink of an eye.


Two years after that, I met the father of my child. It wasn’t an ideal relationship but we tried to make it work.

He was a Muslim and I was a Catholic. And much to the chagrin of my parents, I still pursued it even if we were on two different paths – I was a designer, he was a football athlete playing for a famous Philippine team.

Our meeting was like that from a romantic movie: guy bumps into the girl by fate (ours was amidst a city street), story goes and they fall in love.

I wish I knew then what I knew now. And I should have listened to my parents.

But then you know, you will never ever know it’s a mistake unless you make it. Because no matter how true the things people say, the only person who will believe that mistake is you.

This is why you have to go through the hard stuff yourself.


But let me tell you if you don’t know it yet: Relationships are tricky.

The only thing you will ever realize is that you’ll only think straight from the standpoint when it’s all over. Also called the loveless/sober phase.

And from what I have learned, you need to be secured before jumping into anything.

Emotions are beautiful but they are not everything.


Which leads me to this: Heartbreaks are the worst.

Whether you are in a relationship or not, it’s just one of those things that linger in your body and mind and you can’t turn the fucking thing off.

But it’s not entirely just the worst. Pain is also a catalyst for growth; and heartbreaks, whether you were amicable with it or not, allow you to do some self-introspecting and development.

If you’re asking yourself: “how do I get over from this situation?”, I’m terribly sorry but you can’t. The harsh truth and the only way to move on is “through”.

To understand this better, we’ll have to break down the types of heartbreaks there are so you know which solution is applicable for you.

Heartbreaks are also a huge indicator of the type of relationship you have with that person and to yourself so pay attention. You will pick up some stuff (most likely the red flags) that you missed at the initial phases of your relationship.

READ: The Different Types Of Heartbreak. Which one was yours?


When You Can’t Deal With Heartbreak, Let Science Help You Heal The Pain

When I had a draft of this article in my Evernote, I started digging up some research on break-ups.

I fiddled with the concept: “If heartbreak causes pain in the emotions, and those two things are a by-product of our biological process… then there must be some science behind it that I never knew?”

And that’s when it hit me to make this guide.

People would be mindblown if they find out some sort of “hack” or closure where it did not directly involve begging it from their past lovers.

It took me 14 days to finally get down in writing this.

I came across a blog post on NPR that cited a research in the journal called Social Psychological and Personality Science. In it, the study discovered that while indulging yourself in the sorrow and aftermath of your breakup is not a good choice, rehashing can actually speed up your recovery.

Reflection over a failed pursuit is a good thing.

I was impressed by the information done by that research. It was led by a Northwestern University social psychology grad student whose name was Grace Larson.

Grace had been studying heartbreak for years and one of her curiosities was, if she asked research participants to recall the painful memories of their relationships, would it hinder their recovery?

This was because the first half found that the consistent evaluation of their painful experience led them to process and mourn the loss.

So what she did was call up 210 young volunteers who went through a heartbreak recently. Half of those (the 1st batch) attended the lab evaluation on a consistent period, answering questions over their breakup for the period of 9 weeks.

The other half of the 210 (2nd batch), just did two simple surveys. One in the beginning and one at the end of the study.

The result was staggering: The 1st batch had a better response than the 2nd batch.

This was because the first half found that the consistent evaluation of their painful experience led them to process and mourn the loss.

No wonder why trauma victims undergo debriefing.

This is pretty much the same concept.


Breakups & Moving On Are Part Of Our Evolutionary Process

Apparently, heartaches and separations are not purely just emotional and psychological processes. They’re also biological.

It was studied that the key to our survival was finding a prime mate, even if it means leaving the former one.

Because reproduction, whether we intend for it or not to happen, is engraved in our brain. How we behave is inclined to the years of biological shifts that gravitate towards reproduction.

Okay, so blame your buckets of tears on the survival instinct yeah?

Well, back in the day it was essential to ensuring that our species survived. Researchers even had a clinical term for this.

You ready for it?

 They call falling out of love the “primary mate ejection” and entering a new relationship, “secondary mate ejection”

 

And the harsh part uncovered about this study is that while humans are biologically serial monogamists, they can’t mate for life with just one partner.

So consider your grandparents rare, kids.


The Fixes

Now that you’ve understood and processed how and why a heartbreak happens, it’s time to finally swab a cotton and some oxygen peroxide over your heart and plaster a band-aid on it.

Here are my tried-and-tested fixes for a broken heart:

  • Time
  • Productivity
  • Support Group
  • Healthy Living & Mindfulness

 

Time

All of my heartaches felt like I was being skinned alive, and I thought they’d never end. But what I found was, I only had to give it time.

This is perhaps the hardest thing to accept, but it is a fact.

Time almost always heals everything.

Productivity

Along with many other people I have interviewed, we all agreed that productivity is an essential thing when moving on.

Immerse yourself in projects that bring out your best. Do work that fulfills you. This is my secret.

When you’ve got your mind and body busy, you will start to retrain your focus to look at your bubble alone.

At first this will be hard, but practice takes time and the mind will need some of it to adjust to your brand-new self-love habits.

Support Group

Finding your tribe is a major factor in your capacity to move on.

The more time that you replenish your social meter, the quicker you are able to feel that you are wanted again.

The thing with heartaches is that, social rejection is a huge nick on our egos. And as we know, egos are responsible for our self-worth.

Even APA (American Psychological Association) has found that “a broken heart may not be so different from a broken arm”.

Upon comparison with people who played it that were included, the excluded players showed that rejection increased activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate and anterior insula. These two brain regions are used to show and tell the signs in response to physical pain.

The article states that we rely heavily on social groups for survival. So much for the “no man is an island” fluff, eh? It is as basic as our any other biological need – hunger, thirst, shelter, you name it.

In fact, Naomi Eisenberger, PhD from University of California, Los Angeles USA together with Kipling Williams, PhD at Purdue University and their colleagues, have uncovered that rejection activates many brain region groups that are connected to physical pain.

They used a technique called Cyberball with an fMRI scanner.

The Cyberball simulates an online game of frisbee catch with two other players, eventually excluding the main person playing.

Upon comparison with people who played it that were included, the excluded players showed that rejection increased activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate and anterior insula. These two brain regions are used to show and tell the signs in response to physical pain.

So as you can see by science, recovering from heartbreak needs a huge amount of social interaction.

Tip: Even if you feel forced for the first time, try as hard as you can to initiate human contact. If you’re not feeling it and you have pets, try practicing interaction with them. After a couple of tries, you will start to get a feel of things.

Healthy Living & Mindfulness

Heartbreak can take a toll on your self-confidence.

As with rejection, it creates body stressors that temporarily disable you (and yet, can feel like permanent during it happens!).

It’s important to take care of yourself during this period.

Here are some simple and actioanble activities you can do while going through a tough time:

    • Get enough sleep. This may be difficult to achieve during your first days in heartbreak but you have to eventually get at least 5-8 hours. This is very important and non-negotiable. Your sleep largely contributes to your overall mood and your disposition in doing your other productive activities.
    • Exercise
    • Eat healthy
    • Practice meditation and/or yoga
    • Breathe

RECOMMENDED: For more ideas, read this ultimate guide on how to get over a bad phase.


Dealing with heartbreaks is a very difficult time for any human being, but with the right help, a little nudging and sprinkles of self-love, you too can get back on track.

Remember, you will not be the same as you once were prior to this painful experience. But you will come out stronger, more aware, self-loving and you will know your standards deeply as you should.

Never settle for any less than you feel like you deserve.

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Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World

Ahhh… tea. The Brits love it. The Chinese love it. It’s an impeccable drink that has been around the world for centuries. And did you know it’s even the cheapest drink next to water?

If you’re a casual drinker looking to deepen your love for tea or a beginner wanting to satiate your curiosity on what the hype is all about, this guide is definitely for you. more “Your Ultimate Guide To Tea And The 18 Finest Kinds In The World”

You Will Reconsider The Way You Drink Coffee When You Read This

Last week on my Instagram, I spoke about coffee and knowing your daily healthy caffeine limit.

For most people, this is the one food they cannot absolutely give up. And be honest, I know you’re guilty of this because I used to be too, we simply just drink it whenever we want.

Even CNN wrote a statistics-based article on just how much Filipinos love their coffee.

But do you know how many cups of coffee you consume daily and how much it amounts to?

more “You Will Reconsider The Way You Drink Coffee When You Read This”

Coming Out: On Having Bipolar Disorder

To my friends and family who might frown upon reading this… this is not for you. This is for the lives that are about to be reaped if the stigma of mental health continues. This is me doing my part for the world.

For more information on Bipolar Disorder, click here: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-disorder-signs-and-symptoms.htm


The day I decided to be myself again was the day I first sat down on my psychiatrist’s chair.

more “Coming Out: On Having Bipolar Disorder”

Take A Break: 12 Ideas To Deal With Your Day Off + 5 Energizing Habits To Get Over That Slump

What do you do on your day off? Does work pour over and spill on your supposed leisure time? Are you unaware of how to spend your free time?

I know, some days you just don’t feel like doing anything and you’d call it a day. If you’re remotely like me, sometimes it could even extend to a week. It’s a hiatus that’s hard to deal and break.

And I’ll tell you that’s okay. Don’t feel guilty at all!

Because after weeks of hard work and constant movement, our body will eventually say, “Yo, I need a break. Can we stop and catch up for a while?”

But oops, if this “break” is too long and you feel you’re in a rut, what to do?

 

➡️ Just a heads up: The following post contains some affiliate and promotional links. However, I recommend them fully because I really love them and find them extremely valuable. ☺️

1. Watch and binge!

You’ve heard of “Netflix and chill” right?
Or iFlix. Or Google Movies.

via GIPHY

Whatever your provider is, you get the point.

This one may be a cliché but the first thing I do when I’m exhausted is enjoy some visual entertainment. I go on an adventure with a movie like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, be swept away by romance like City of Angels, Little Manhattan or Chasing Liberty, or ride on the thriller train with Stranger Things and Lord of The Rings.

Binge for 3 days to a week if your body is really needing a wind down. Listen to it and it will tell you how much time you need.

After that, the negativity you’re feeling is out of your system.

It’s a decent purge, I tell ya.

 

2. Catch up on what you saved

Saving too many bookmarks full of blog posts, articles and videos that you thought you’ll ever watch but never got around to? Me too.

Since I use Pomello, a little Pomodoro timer when I’m working, the pockets of 5-10 minute breaks are then my chance to catch up on some of them.

You can do this too and set aside a minimal of 20-30 minutes. And if you’re ever more vacant than that, go for an hour or three.

 

3. See the sun and feel the outdoors

So much immersion plugged all day to the internet can wear you down. Break the cycle for a bit by enjoying the outdoors and the sunshine.

You’d be surprised at what 20 minutes of walking or playing outside can do to your mood.

As a mama, this part is inserted in my weekly routine when Avis insists on going outside to the clubhouse grounds. It’s really hard to say no to that kid you know? Especially if she’s been cooped up and busy with Youtube or indoor playing for days. Yikes.

If you’re totally busy like my daughter, you could maybe get the chance by walking when you’re doing your daily commute instead of conveniently riding to a near destination.

Another idea is to bike your way around if you have one. It’s effortless, laid back but nonetheless a good exercise.

Or ya know, just put the damn smartphone and go out in your yard or the curb of your street! Stand there and breathe the air, smell the earth and feel the sun. ☀️🌱🍃

 

4. Do short minute exercises

Feeling sluggish lately?

It’s usually because of lack of exercise, just ask my friend Coach Sofia.

Lack of exercise can make you stagnant, which seems reasonable because low levels of vitamin D can lead to fatigue and depression.

To help you out, try Sofia’s 15 minute workout here.

A little bit of movement can go a long way.

Personally I like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and plyometrics for 10-20 minutes each round. It challenges my body to rely on weight and intensity to work out my muscles especially my legs and core.

Here are other tips for you to boot:

The Prayer Pose from Anverelle.com

 

5. Go through your social calendar

Just cause you’re working or you’re busy with a project or a client doesn’t mean you can ignore your social needs.

Check your social calendar to see if you have upcoming events.

Hmm. Probably none? I hear you.

Use this time to catch up with friends and relatives. Like they say, “No man is an island”.

Each week you can rotate with different friends, sorting them by proximity or how close their location is.

Budget constraints or don’t feel like going out? No problem.

Allot one day to a particular friend you’ve been dying to catch up all year long and do just that. Choose from Facebook, Viber, Snapchat, Hangouts or Twitter. Even Instagram nowadays is picking up their game on messaging. But yo one word of advice, phone calls and video calls are so much better than typing.

 

6. Write your to-do’s for the upcoming day or week

I know this might sound counter-intuitive, but trust me, there’s nothing like a freed up schedule.

I use Evernote (get your FREE account here!) to jot down my thoughts, notes, to-do’s and plans. It’s very useful and I highly recommend it.

Another free service I use is Trello. It’s like a virtual corkboard where you can organize your tasks. They have apps for the web, the iPhone, iPad, and Android models too so you can bring it anywhere you go.

For now these are my top two, but I promise to write an ultimate list of productivity and management apps and software I use!

To get first news, sign up on my newsletter and I’ll let you know when it’s published!

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7. Unplug and meditate

Go on a technology detox and shut off your interaction from any gadget during your day off. It’s good for the soul while it lets you reflect on your overall being.

I do yoga and pilates on my spare time, and on days where I play with my daughter or I feel down, I refrain from checking my social media.

It’s hard to keep up when you’re back but hey it’s worth it.

No confusing notifications and headaches for a while!

 

8. Attend an event

Empty days like the weekends can be repetitive. Shake it up for a change by participating in a local event like a conference, a meetup or a bazaar.

💡 Tip: Use the Facebook events feature, Eventbrite and Meetup.com to discover events near you.

 

9. Date yourself

When was the last time you went on a date?

Isn’t there something magical and romantic in it, don’t you think? While your romantic relationship may or may not exist, it’s still very important to nurture the one with ourselves.

💡 Here are some ideas:

  • Set up a cozy fine shrine for you, complete with your vision board, dreams and cut out clippings for your future better self.
  • Treat yourself to a nice hearty homemade meal – candlelights recommended.
  • Go to a place where you can be quiet and alone with your soul, like a park or a graveyard (yep! It’s not that spooky in my opinion! Famous writers do it!)
  • Buy flowers and address it to yourself, or pick some from the local flower shop. You can also buy a potted plant and grow it on your own.

 

10. Write yourself a letter

When you’re not having your best week, writing yourself a letter can be therapeutic.

There are 3 forms for this:

  1. Letter of forgiveness. Forgive yourself for feeling guilty and down. There are best days and worst ones, and from my experience, you just have to roll with life to thrive and survive. Forgive yourself for working too hard or too little, because that’s okay. Your days will vary and know that the only pressure you feel is from you.
  2. Letter of appreciation. Gratitude, they say, is the best medicine to a really bad day. Thank yourself for who you are, what you’re capable of, and how far you’ve come can uplift you.
  3. Letter to your future self. Time capsule, anyone? I was watching Peppa Pig with my two-year-old daughter and in one episode they decide to make a time capsule. It’s a really neat idea to have something from the past uncovered in the future. My best bet is you write something that you’d want to read later on. It could be like a dialogue or a discussion of your goals and see years from now if it will happen. Now, that’s magic folks!

 

11. Join a community

It’s a great feeling to belong somewhere. Whether it be online or offline, finding a group where you share common interests is fun, engaging and enlightening.

A sense of belonging is one of the cornerstones in achieving your greater self.

Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Yep. That one.

Find one of the strongest pursuits in your field of interests (say, fitness, blogging or cosmetics) and search a community for it. Chances are, there’s already an existing one waiting to be found.

RELATED: How to Find Your Tribe, Wellness & Empowerment

 

 

12. Do something good

Research shows doing something good makes you feel good. So why not do a little nice activity today?

[excerpt] They found that the more people participated in meaningful activities, the happier they were and the more purposeful their lives felt.

Doing good for the world or for someone increases your happiness and fulfillment. Not to mention it’s a double jackpot too!

How’s that for a change?

💡 Some ideas include:

  • Volunteering for a non-profit on your weekend
  • Visiting a local charity or orphanage on a Saturday
  • Offer to take up household chores for your family
  • Type someone’s paper
  • Buy someone a subscription to a service they use, like Spotify, Evernote, Trello
  • Bake cookies and send them in bags around your neighborhood
  • Thank the regular blue collar people who come by your house like the newspaper guy, the post man, the street vendor or even the security guard at your favorite establishments and tell them you’re grateful for their service
  • Send an e-card randomly to a friend
  • Put together a playlist

 

And if you’re still feeling a little low and can’t get over the hump, here are 5 energizing habits you can DEFINITELY do any day:

  1. Brush your teeth. 
    It sounds mundane but there’s this wonder of having clean teeth and minty breath to rejuvenate you!

    When I’m demotivated, it’s surprising how I break the funk once I brush my teeth. Turns out, I’m just annoyed by not having clean teeth. Maybe this’ll work for you too! 🙂

  2. Take a bath.

    Cold baths are for when you need a jolt and warm baths are for lazy, long sluggish days.

    Choosing the right kind of bath is like a make or break. Because hey, if you’re feeling lazy and you so unknowingly jump into cold shower… guess what? It’ll put your mood off even more. It’s like drinking black coffee when you’re really thirsty.You’re not getting what your body needs.

    Rather, take a warm bath to soothe your senses, open up your pores and enjoy a relaxing and healing magic of water.

    On the other hand, don’t get a warm bath when you need to hurry!
    Got it? Good.

  3. Inspire yourself. 
    Successful and goal-oriented people surround themselves with inspiration.

    It could be people or things, places or quotes you find on BrainyQuotes (don’t you just loooove the many quotes there?!).I, myself, use a Chrome extension called Momentum to get my day started. It’s my substitute for coffee (I quit 10 months ago) and it gives me a glimpse of the time, an inspirational quote, my to-do’s, the weather and my favorite bookmarks. It’s become my essential for the day.

    And no, this isn’t a sponsored post mwahaha. I wish! But Momentum is cool as a polar bear that I would absolutely suggest having on your Chrome browser. Sorry Safari and Microsoft Edge users. They’re not available for you yet.

    You can inspire yourself too, by talking to a living inspiration. Have you always wanted to chat with that artist or maker you admire?

    Go ahead and message them!
    You never know, they might just reply! It’ll definitely make your day.

    And while you’re at it, thank them for their talent and go ask them useful questions like what do they do when they’re down, how do they find inspiration in what they do and why they do it.

  4. Have a planner.

    I’ve heard of people who are not much of planners and all I can say is, even if you’re one of the crowd, there’s always room for a little planning.

    Life just calls for it if you haven’t noticed.If you don’t like the idea of dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s then think of it as a rough preparation.Planning makes your thoughts tangible, and that’s what makes it so powerful to help you get over the slump.

    I recommend one with a monthly/yearly calendar and ample spaces to write appointments as well as blank spaces for your mini and macro goals.

    A perfect example would be my GYFS workbook – did I mention it’s only 5 pages?

    You’ll love it once you get it!
    Sign up below to get it free straight to your inbox 🙂 yas, it’s fuh-reeee!

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  5. Laugh and get a hug.

    Watch a comedy movie – I recommend anything Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler and Jason Segel.

    Crack a joke and chuckle at yourself for being corny.Get a hug from someone you love, or even a friendly stranger. Yes, your pets count too!Because it’s true, laughter and hugs are the best medicine.

 

There you go! I hope these tips sincerely help you.

Let me know what worked and what didn’t in the comments below. I would love to hear your feedback!

Need help? Want to start goal-setting or figuring out your life path but don’t know how?
Contact me here and I’ll respond to you as fast as I can. 🙂

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