There's no getting around it: breakups are the worst. When you're in the middle of one, all you want is to stop hurting.
As much as people will give you different advice about finding a rebound or getting a new hobby, it's pretty much common knowledge that the only thing that will really make you feel better is time.
According to a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience, however, there is one thing that is proven to help: the placebo effect. Professor Leonie Kobie and his team followed a group of 40 volunteers who had been broken up within the past six months.
All of the volunteers were given a nasal spray. Half were told it was a "powerful analgesic effective in reducing emotional pain," while half were told it was just a saline spray. Volunteers were then exposed to photos of their ex while their brain activity was monitered by an fMRI.
Researchers found that the placebo actually had a powerful effect on feelings of heartache. Participants showed an increase in areas of the brain involved in regulating emotions. Meanwhile, areas of the brain linked to rejection showed less activity.
So what does all this mean? Pretty much, fake it til you make it. As much as possible, convince yourself that you are moving on and are doing okay. Act as if you're feeling better, even if you're not. Hope, as well as a positive attitude, are key to making progress in your recovery.