Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 18th 2015 Contents A28
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, July 18, 2015
You have just broken up with someone. What
should you do to make yourself feel better?
Exercise---at least if you believe minor celebri-
ties, yoga gurus and the Royal College of Psychi-
atrists, all of whom claim it reduces feelings of
sadness and anger.
If the breakup is minor, stop reading now---you
should be resilient enough to shrug it off.
But if you are feeling that peculiarly intense
pain of rejection, then exercise can help you to
sleep and raise your mood and self-esteem.
The endorphins released during exercise are
nature's own brand of pain relief.
The amount of exercise suggested by the Mental
Health Foundation (generally, not specifically for
breakups) is 30 minutes five times a week. Less
will still help.
But is there anything else you can do, if you
don't fancy sweating over your ex?
The research into the mental-health benefits
of exercise is actually quite weak---partly because
there are not enough high-quality studies. So
other things are worth trying.
For a start, you should stop looking at your ex
A study of 464 people, mostly students (80
per cent women), found that those who monitored
an ex's Facebook page took longer to recover emo-
tionally and to move on from their relationship.
This concurs with research on offline contact,
which suggests that the best way to get over an
ex is to have no exposure to them.
There is evidence, though, that rehashing your
heartache is helpful.
A study of 210 young adults who had recently
separated, published in Social Psychology and
Personality Science, found that those who com-
pleted tasks that asked them to reflect on their
relationships (including speaking about them pri-
vately into a voice recorder four times over nine
weeks) recovered better than those who were just
given a questionnaire and no activities.
The author of the study, Grace Larson, said
that regaining a sense of self was particularly
helpful. (Guardian, UK)
Drawbacks of online dating
The upside of online dating is obvious: It's
an easy way to meet a bunch of potential dates
whenever you want.
But does all of that quantity and convenience
equal quality? Not always.
There's now a whole body of scientific research
to give some perspective.
These sites and apps may have come a long
way since Match.com kicked off online dating in
1995, but studies are showing that there's still
plenty of reasons to look away from your smart-
phones and try to meet people the old-fashioned
Here, we've rounded up a few kew drawbacks
of online dating that might make you want to
put more effort into meeting someone IRL.
1. All of that scrolling and swiping might make
you look at people as commodities. In that sit-
uation, it's pretty easy for people to become overly
2. Unlimited options means you may have a
hard time finding someone who's willing to com-
Three words: paradox of choice. Having an
unlimited pool of potential dates can lead people
to freeze up and not make a choice at all.
3. Communicating online before meeting IRL
can cause you to build up unrealistic expectations.
One study suggests that chatting online longer
than 17 days before meeting face-to-face can lead
to major disappointment, since people
tend to fill in gaps of information about
a potential partner with qualities they'd
like them to possess.
4. Curated profiles don't provide
ineffable information about who
potential dates are as people.
If you want to find out which singles
are generous or have your sense of
humour, then you'll likely have to suss
that out in person.
And a 2013 Pew Research Center
poll found that 54 per cent of online
daters have felt that "someone else
seriously misrepresented themselves
in their profile."
5. Did we mention
trolls? Trolls lurk in all
corners of the Internet,
and online dating sites are
Pew found that 28 per cent
of online daters have been con-
tacted on these sites or apps in
ways that "made them feel harassed
When they narrowed that down by
gender, they found that a whopping
42 per cent of women who online date
had been harassed.
How do you mend a broken heart?
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
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