What Does It Mean To Have An Emotional Hangover?
If you have recently come out of a traumatic relationship or a really nasty divorce, you are very likely experiencing what psychologists now call an Emotional Hangover. But, what is it and how can one deal with it?
What Exactly Is An Emotional Hangover?
According to Lila Davachi, PhD, associate professor in NYU’s Department of Psychology and Centre for Neural Science and senior author of a study that supports the theory of Emotional Hangover, people who come from a strong emotional experience will discover that their body finds it hard to forget about it.
Apparently, your brain tells your body to be on alert for quite some time after a bad emotional experience (such as a breakup) so as to be on guard in case more trauma comes too. So, in essence, an Emotional Hangover is your body’s defense mechanism against emotional hurt.
In the study conducted by professor Davachi, it was found that our brain retains hurtful memories much more vividly than neutral ones – which might explain why you remember every little detail of your arguments with your ex so well even after a few months have passed.
This Is How You Overcome An Emotional Hangover
The way to overcome Emotional Hangover is pretty much the same as you do a regular hangover after a crazy night out: you live with it and give it time to heal itself. When you know what to expect from your mind and body, you can deal with things much more consciously and better than when you don’t know what to expect from your own self.
Accept the feeling of hurt, process it in your mind and know deep inside that it will pass. Like your stomach churning and your head spinning after a boozy night out, your heart may be aching now and the memories still float in your mind, but it will get better in time.
And like the promise never to go out again that you make when you’re hangover but never keep, when you are experiencing emotional hangover you may promise yourself never to love again, but you will because it is so worth it.
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