Broken Heart, how to heal? 10 effective strategies

We lose something. Someone. We are betrayed. We collapse. Even if we never would have said it. It is a metaphor, of course. It’s not about heart attacks. But … But … Sometimes they look a lot like him.

In acute moments of crisis there is even a medical case history of symptoms similar to heart attack referable to psychic causes: Shortness of breath, chest pain and worried people who come to the emergency room.

A real ” Broken Heart Syndrome “, even if the blood continues to flow regularly.

This can happen, for example, after a person is notified of the sudden death of a partner. But also in less dramatic “objectively” circumstances, such as the failure of a work project or the discovery of a betrayal.

Broken heart Trieste

Even without these strong symptoms, people in these cases often report the experience of a part of themselves that breaks.

“I felt at that precise moment that I would never be back as before”;

“It was as if a part of me that I had been carrying around since I was born had instantly disappeared forever”; “A certain way of understanding love was gone, and I knew it would never come back”; “The me child died in that precise moment”.

In technical, psychological terms, we are talking about symptoms of traumatic grief.

For a shorter or longer but shocking moment, our mind map of the world and the world no longer match.

Sure, we knew it could happen with the mind, but the heart wasn’t really prepared. Our heart, our deep mind, must quickly rewrite a usable world map, at the cost of being crude.

These are moments in which the organism does not go too far for the subtle , but uses psycho-explosives and breakers.

If you’ve seen the Disney-Pixar movie “Inside out” and you remember the so-called personality islands of the protagonist, you’ll remember that at some point they literally collapse. And later, after a lot of work, they are replaced by others.

Is it good, a growth phenomenon?

On this point I would be very careful.

I wouldn’t do cheap Buddhism. Human affectivity is made up of attachments, values, experiences and behaviors that become part of our very identity, of who we are. The watchwords in dealing with a broken heart should be three:

Respect Respect Respect

Pain is totally subjective.

It is not something to be discounted. Neither to play down with those who are going through it, especially if we haven’t been through it ourselves.

Why does a heart break?

It depends on many factors . The moment of life, the level of stress, how much time and energy we have devoted to a project or a relationship, rightly or wrongly, intelligently or foolishly.

The most frequent reasons why the heart breaks are grief, being left or betrayed (or both) by the people we love, the failures of large projects and personal enterprises, transfers (even if chosen), suffering large economic fraud and permanent injuries and physical deficits.

Can a broken heart be healed?

When we are heartbroken, these phrases only have the effect of making us feel alone and misunderstood.

And even if somewhere we imagine that the pain will end (and this is not always the case) this is of no consolation.

For the ancient brain, time does not exist.

Using the concept of “in one or two years you will be much better off” is just as useful as explaining to a one and a half year old “next week”. Foolish.

Nor does the aforementioned “cheap Buddhism” seem effective to me , if you suffer it is because you are not yet an enlightened person who relates to the world with polite detachment.

Thanks a lot, really a great practical help. What then do you know so many about Buddhas, even among those who preach non-attachment?


In these cases, then another thing that is served to us are the psychologists on narcissism and childhood wounds.

You suffer from the neglected wound of when you were 7 years old. What then may well be eh, the echo of ancient wounds acts as an amplifier of the current ones and makes us react and act with dysfunctional patterns to stressful and / or dramatic events.

However, the unquestionable fact remains that if the heart loves with passion and takes a strong blow right there, it hurts an executioner.

And that sometimes that blow generates a real fracture that, although psychic, you can really feel.

It is not so rare that after our heart breaks our physical heart also becomes ill, even seriously.

People die after failing their company, after retiring, after permanent disability, after being left by the love of life.

The heart breaks, with all due respect to positive psychology.

And with all due respect to non-attachment ( by the way: attachment is not a “habit” of a few weak human beings, but a precise biological necessity. )

What changes between infantile and adult attachment is the possibility, often (but not always), of changing the object of attachment.

No, this possibility does not always exist, not even for adults.

A couple who have loved each other for 50 years may not survive one without the other. Call it addiction, but it doesn’t convince me.

It is usually more of a love problem. And it gets serious, because love is serious .

Little can be done by an attitude of superiors, of holy men or of doctors.

On the other hand, an authentic and participatory presence in the first person can do a lot by getting your hands dirty. In certain situations, feeling understood and recognized, giving human dignity to pain, is a ray of light in the dark .

And even if it does not repair (because sometimes the heart is not repairable) it heats up a lot.

In any case, the breaking heart is not a mechanism to be repaired, but one of the topical experiences of a lifetime.

Or you get back on your feet, different from before, as in a new (not necessarily better) life… Or? It remains underneath.

You die, you get sick, or your heart atrophies.

Here are the strategies and attitudes I use that work in helping people who ask for my help (and myself) to heal a broken heart.

1. Don’t judge

Is it really that bad? Is the person with a broken heart weak or strong, and what should they do? What would we do instead of him? All in all, can you live worse? Irrelevant. The broken heart needs first of all to feel understood in its being broken. It hurts as hell. Point.

2. Don’t give advice

Of course, there are effective psychological techniques to treat bereavement and trauma. But a “Now I’ll explain what you have to do” approach risks making the person feel even more alone.

With a broken heart at the beginning you can’t do great things, just as you can’t run a hundred meters with a broken leg.

And the only result we get with the advice is to make the person feel helpless. “I would like to do as you say, but I can’t do it …”

3. Welcoming and understanding

What is truly useful is to just listen, with presence, suspending judgment, with human understanding of the human drama.

An attitude to the “ Cazzo che botta. I’m really sorry . ” You have nothing to do with pietism. And if you’ve been there, you know it well.

4. Valuing love

Broken heart Trieste

Whatever the event that generated the experience of loss and pain, it helps those who have suffered it to notice that behind it there was a great love, a great passion, a fullness, a hope, the energy of desire. .

And this has had value in itself, despite the price that is now being paid. Of course, perhaps knowing it one would have avoided it .. but you can’t know before.

5. Relieve the pain

Forgive the crappy comparison, but the pain is like pus from a wound. Useful . Sometimes it must be endured, then drained, vented, cleaned. There are times.

But expressing is fine . You can’t cry forever. But some of those serious tears need to be shed. To exhaustion.

6. Acknowledge the protest and gently accompany you towards despair

When the times are ripe, people must be accompanied by what was and what could be to what they choose and what will be .

7. Be patient and don’t take anything for granted: sometimes it doesn’t heal

The breaking of the heart is not a real psychopathology; it is more often an existential drama . Existence has dramas. Some hold up, some don’t, some take years. And sometimes the soul has changed forever, and you just have to start a new life. Like when you burn a piece of skin. There is no more sensitivity, and only partial recovery is possible. The bulk of recovery occurs by compensating with other parts of the body.

8. Understanding fear

As mentioned, Buddhism banned from the stall. The fear of losing the things and people we are attached to is not a fact that has exclusively to do with strength or weakness. It has to do with survival.

Everyone is good at handling the fear of losing when they are quiet and not losing . But then a minimal activation of the amygdala is enough and we collapse like skittles. Fear of loss is one of the most ancestral fears.

9. Avoid comparisons.

“That time it happened to me …” Vade retro.

You can use your experiences to make a person feel understood or to exchange on a deep emotional level, but with the awareness that within everyone the pain is unique .

10. If you are a psychologist forget it.

The breaking heart is not a disease. It is an expression of the miracle of love and beauty and at the same time of the cruelty of existence.

Doing something with it is an artistic and craft work to be co-built over time, making a journey together as human beings.

We can look for the introjects and negative beliefs about ourselves related to the breaking of our hearts, heal the wounds and separate pain and love.

But there is no protocol, resign yourself. It needs to be fixed differently each time.

Going and returning several times. If a wife is jealous and asks her husband why she cheated on her, she may be asking for it after two years even at a good time when everything seems out of date. It is a psychic pendulum movement.

The heart does not repair itself the way a car repairs itself.

It works a bit like the Japanese Kintsugi works. If the vase breaks, instead of wanting to return it as before, the fractures are filled with gold.