Having a broken heart isn’t too different from a broken bone or any other visceral pain — even science says so. You’re not crazy or a dramatic crybaby; the feelings really register as bad as you think they do. Even if you ended on good terms, it’s perfectly normal to feel the burn. Like any other injury, it takes time to heal. But you can help get things rolling in the right direction by getting physical. No, we’re not talking about rebounding — we mean seeking adventure. Unlike wearing a cast or having the flu, heartbreak doesn’t knock you down for the count (although it could sure as heck feel like it), and movement may just be the ticket to accelerating the healing process. You know that awesome sense that comes over your when you conquer a fear or rock out a challenge? We want you to tap into that empowering vibe.
It may sound a bit Eat, Pray, Love, but there are few better ways to make a fresh start than by impressing yourself. Plus, that rush of excitement will give your brain a dopamine boost that lifts your spirits — and then leaves you searching for more novelty and new experiences (ahem, not your same ol’ ex). So go ahead: Cry, vent, pout… and then pick yourself up and go for it. We’ve come up with handful of our favorite totally safe ways to power through the pain.
1. Travel alone. The solo travel movement has been going strong for a few years with good reason: When you hit the road on your own, you open yourself up to a ton of experiences you wouldn’t have if you were with someone else. You may meet new people, discover things you like, follow fascinating detours. Sure, there will be moments when you’ll feel those pangs of loneliness, but then you know you’re in a new place with plenty to discover and no reason to sit around and sulk.
2. Hit the mountains. If you’ve ever hung off the side of the cliff while rock climbing or trekked miles up a rocky mountain, you know there’s not much room to think of anything else but what’s in front of you and what your body needs. That sort of awareness offers a goldmine of opportunity to realize you’re exactly where you need to be.
3. Seek the sea. There’s something about the majesty of the ocean and the rhythmic movement of the waves that reminds us things are going to be okay. Whether you’re conquering claustrophobic fears by tackling scuba diving, learning to drive a boat, or standing up on a surfboard for the first time, mastering the water gives you the best sense of control.
4. Go up high. Maybe skydiving and bungee jumping are too next-level; but there are other options like zip lining, riding in a helicopter, or even taking trapeze classes that allow you to fly high above life’s troubles and see the world from a new perspective. Even if you’re not intimidated by heights, you can’t deny the rush that comes when you’re way up there. Allow those nerves to get you through the moment and out the other side.
5. Try a physical, technical sport. Mountain biking, snowboarding, skateboarding, and whitewater rafting are just some of the activities that will require you to develop new skills and get your heart racing. The intense focus and physical exhaustion will do you good all around.
What have you done to get over a broken heart? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)