Want to feel better after a breakup? Concentrate on finding positive things to think about that have nothing to do with the ex. Don’t spend time dwelling on the past partner’s bad qualities, since that will only make you feel worse even though it will help you fall out of love. That’s advice from researchers who studied 24 people who had broken up and said they still loved their former partners. Study participants ranged in age from 20 to 37.
Some were asked to distract themselves by thinking positively about things that did not involve their ex. Others were directed to accept their feelings with statements such as: ‘It’s okay to love someone I’m no longer with.’ Another group was asked to think negatively about their ex, while a fourth control group was asked not to change their thinking habits.
Researchers then gauged the intensity of participants’ emotions by recording their brain activity when shown photos of their former partners. Participants also answered a questionnaire about their feelings.
Distraction made people happier even though it did not kill their feelings for the ex, the study revealed. Results also suggest accepting emotions has no effect on people’s happiness or feelings towards their ex.