Real heartbreak is unmistakable. We think of nothing else. We feel nothing else. We care about nothing else. Yet while we wouldn’t expect someone to return to daily activities immediately after suffering a broken limb, heartbroken people are expected to function normally in their lives, despite the emotional pain they feel. Now psychologist Guy Winch imagines how different things would be if we paid more attention to this unique emotion—if only we can understand how heartbreak works, we can begin to fix it.
Through compelling research and new scientific studies, Winch reveals how and why heartbreak impacts our brain and our behavior in dramatic and unexpected ways, regardless of our age. Emotional pain lowers our ability to reason, to think creatively, to problem solve, and to function at our best. In How to Fix a Broken Heart he focuses on two types of emotional pain—romantic heartbreak and the heartbreak that results from the loss of a cherished pet. These experiences are both accompanied by severe grief responses, yet they are not deemed as important as, for example, a formal divorce or the loss of a close relative. As a result, we are often deprived of the recognition, support, and compassion afforded to those whose heartbreak is considered more significant.
Our heart might be broken, but we do not have to break with it. Winch reveals that recovering from heartbreak always starts with a decision, a determination to move on when our mind is fighting to keep us stuck. We can take control of our lives and our minds and put ourselves on the path to healing. Winch offers a toolkit on how to handle and cope with a broken heart and how to, eventually, move on.
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How to Fix a Broken Heart
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 How the Brokenhearted Are Abandoned 9
Chapter 2 When Hearts Break, Brains and Bodies Break Too 35
Chapter 3 The Many Mistakes That Set Us Back 36
Chapter 4 Healing Starts in the Mind 77
Chapter 5 Making Emotional Pain Visible 100