New research has found that you can actually “trick yourself” into believing that you are over someone. It’s basically a placebo effect—like when people are given a pill they are told is a drug, but in fact, it is just sugar. Yet they feel better because they believe the pill helped them.
Researchers at the University of Colorado concluded that getting over one’s ex can be as simple as convincing themselves that they really are. Hummm, does this mean all those hours of crying, pouring your heart out to family and friends, drinking too much, not sleeping enough, overeating, not eating, eating the wrong things—can all be avoided??? According to this study, the answer is yes.
Apparently what we BELIEVE can become our reality—mind over matter. It’s long been believed in some cultures that there is truth to this, and now science is finding proof that there is. Endorphins are natural painkillers that our body releases when we have happier thoughts, believe something positive is coming, and even when we push ourselves physically through a sport or activity. Endorphins make us feel good, they give us a high—and now it appears that we can help our brains release these by just believing something positive.
This latest study included a group of 40 participants who had had an unwanted break-up in the last 6 months. Using photos of both their exes and same sex good friends, along with being administered physical pain through a heat source on their arm, it was found that regions of the brain activated during both physical and emotional pain were similar.
Then researchers told half of the participants that a nasal spray they were to be administered would be a powerful pain reducer when they viewed photos of their exes, and the other half were told they were being administered only a saline solution with no pain killing effect. The results were that those who believed they were given a pain control spray had scans that revealed strong activity in an area of the brain that regulates emotions, and the area of the brain linked to rejection showed less activity. The other group did not have these positive effects because they had not been told they would feel a decrease in pain.
Heartache is not just in our heads, it is physical as well—yet this physical pain can be helped through the belief that you can and will feel better and that maybe you are better off without this person. So if you have suffered a recent break-up, instead of remembering all the great stuff, focus on everything that wasn’t good. In fact, meditate on every nasty thing they ever said or did, every moment of disappointment, hurt, resentment, everything that always bugged you about them. Believing you are better off without him or her will make you so.