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  • Almost everyone experiences romantic love in their lifetime.

  • And although it comes with happiness, euphoria, and increased life satisfaction, break-ups are associated with depression, mood swings, and anxiety.

  • So, are there any scientific strategies for moving past a break-up?

  • How can you get over your ex?

  • The first thing you might wanna do?

  • Stop creeping them on social media.

  • Although we might think it's harmless Facebook monitoring a former partner, (it) has been shown to lead to greater feelings of sexual desire and longing for an ex, as well as a decreased level of personal growth.

  • This is similar to research of real life contact with an ex.

  • That is, people who continue to see their ex after a break-up report greater sadness and love, ultimately decreasing their ability to move on.

  • Similarly, for the 30-50% young adults in on-again, off-again relationships, habitually breaking-up and getting back together is associated with increased anxiety and depressive symptoms as well as poorer communication and commitment.

  • Other studies have shown that people who Facebook stalk or subtweet at their former partners' are six times more likely to participate in a relational intrusion in real life.

  • Behaviors like showing up at the ex-partner's classroom or workplace.

  • All this may be related to the fact that sensory areas of the brain associated with physical pain become activated when shown a picture of an ex.

  • In short, break-ups and social rejection can physically hurt.

  • So overall, it's probably best to cut the digital, and real life cord with your old flame.

  • If that fails, perhaps a dose of tylenol.

  • A study of undergraduates found that

  • taking acetaminophen, the common pain killer, during a period of social rejection decreased self-reported levels of social pain

  • and also decreased brain activity in regions associated with social rejection and physical pain.

  • Tylenol also seems to decrease areas of the brain responsible for aggression, which may help mitigate, say, any desire to carve your name into a leather seat.

  • Keeping a burn book?

  • You might actually benefit from focusing on the bad parts of your ex to get over them.

  • One study had people look at photos of their ex and immediately used a strategy called Negative Reappraisal, which involves thinking about the negative qualities of a former partner, or imagining negative future scenarios with them.

  • This is actually similar to a strategy used for people who are alcohol dependent.

  • Thinking about the negative consequences of repeated alcohol consumption can decrease craving significantly.

  • Some participants used a distraction strategy.

  • When given a photo of their ex they were asked unrelated question to distract them.

  • The results?

  • Negative Reappraisal, decreased love feelings for the ex but caused a short term unpleasant feeling whereas distraction increased pleasantness but did not decrease love feelings.

  • In other words thinking poorly about an ex may put you in a bad mood for a short period of time, but will be beneficial in the long run by decreasing your feelings for them.

  • While distraction may boost your mood for a bit but not help you get over an ex in the long run.

  • Based on this research, one researcher suggests writing a list of as many negative qualities about your ex that you can think of at least once a day, until you feel better.

  • All in all, break-ups are tough.

  • Psychologists described one of the most important challenges is to regain a sense of self separate from a former partner.

  • So it may be best to unplug and reconnect with old friends and old hobbies, in order to heal and move on to the next one.

  • So we made this video because we broke up...

  • Joking! But we probably should've called it something like "we broke up" because that would've gone more viral.

  • Our newest podcast is now up on YouTube.

  • It's about vlogging where we debate it. I love it.

  • - I hate it. - Let us know who won.

  • We take controversial subjects, then we tell stories about and then we debate them, all while splicing in the science throughout.

  • You can subscribe to SideNote on YouTube, but we'll also see you back here next Thursday for another science video.

  • - Bye! - Peace.

Almost everyone experiences romantic love in their lifetime.

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How To Get Over Your Ex

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    Vivian Chen posted on 2019/03/26
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