Feeling bad about feeling bad

Heartbreak is universal and everyone will experience it in some form during their lives. But acknowledging this pain is often seen as a weakness, and we’re told that the ‘best’ treatment is to ignore it. Right? Wrong.

Studies have shown that our brains process relationship breakups the same way we do physical pain (in the anterior cingulate cortex, in case you were wondering). When we’re heartbroken we experience the loss of an important social relationship and this impacts on our bodies in several ways. It causes our brains to increase the production of cortisol and decrease norepinephrine, which can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. 

Emotionally, we can go through all the usual stages of grief from denial to acceptance. The compulsion to “soldier on” and the infamous British stiff upper lip, can stop us from acknowledging how we truly feel and that it’s OK to have those feelings. 

So what should we do instead? 

Give yourself a break. You are not going to wake up two days later suddenly fully recovered and back to your jolly self. It’s simply not possible and more importantly, not advisable. Facing your feelings and working through them frees you from emotional baggage and mess. You may not be on top form for a few weeks, but generally speaking, your friends, family and colleagues will be fine with this. Which leads us to… 

Get support. You’ve just lost a major social link, and it’s crucial to try and fill that gap. Resist the urge to hide away and try to spend some time with others. Make yourself get out and about. Speak to close friends and family, and perhaps someone supportive at work, and admit to feeling vulnerable. 

Let it go. Grief doesn’t only relate to the feelings experienced when someone dies it applies to any major loss. And a significant break up is a major loss. Thinking of it less as “heartbreak” and more as a “loss” may help you accept your feelings. The aim isn’t to wallow in the sadness, but to get through to the other side, when you can start to feel like yourself again.

twitter icon facebook icon youtube icon linkedin icon googleplus icon

Contact us - We would love to hear from you

New members

Send us a message

Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8001 * (Lines open 8am-5pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

Existing members

Send us a message

Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8100 * (Lines open 8am - 8pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

Please note that your call may be recorded for our mutual security and also for training and quality purposes.

Health cash plans

Policies beginning with BEN1
Benenden Health Cash Plan (Bupa)
Anchorage 3, Anchorage Quays
Salford Quays
Manchester
M50 3XL
0800 970 6517*

Lines are open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am - 1pm Saturday.

Policies beginning with BEN2
Benenden Health Cash Plan (BHSF)
2 Darnley Road,
Birmingham,
B16 8TE
0800 414 8071

Lines are open 8.45am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

Self-pay orthopaedic surgery

Send us a message

Benenden Hospital Trust
Goddard's Green Road
Benenden
Cranbrook
Kent
TN17 4AX
01580 242 521 (Lines open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Health assessments

Send us a message

Health assessments
Unit 1, Cameron Court
Cameron Street
Hillington Park
Glasgow
G52 4JH
0800 414 8486*

Travel insurance

Send us a message

Travel insurance
2nd Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8301*

Lines open for Sales
9am-8pm Monday to Friday 
9am-5pm Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday

Lines open for Customer Services
9am-8pm Monday to Friday
9am-5pm Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday

Benenden business healthcare

Send us a message

Benenden Business Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8179* (Lines open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Home insurance

Send us a message

Benenden Home Insurance
1st Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend on Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8556* (Lines open Monday to Friday 9am – 7pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm, excludes Bank Holidays)

Home Emergency
0800 294 2851* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

Legal Expenses
0330 100 9618* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

Charitable trust

Send us a message

Find out more

Charitable Trust
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8450* (Lines open 8am - 4pm Mon-Fri)