Published On By Rachel Nall

Anxiety After Breakup

A breakup could often bring in a pool of emotions and challenges, with anxiety emerging as a common occurrence during this period of emotional upheaval.

Though it may seem natural to associate breakups with sadness and anger, anxiety can also play a significant role in post-breakup experiences.

After a breakup, people may grapple with a range of anxious feelings, including constant rumination on past events and the breakup itself.

The uncertainty following a breakup and the loss of a significant relationship could create a breeding ground for anxious thoughts and emotions. Intrusive thoughts could worsen anxiety after a breakup, causing irritability with people around you.

It is in these moments of emotional vulnerability that anxiety can take hold, contributing to a sense of unease and apprehension about what they could have done differently or the signs that they missed. Breakup anxiety may feel draining, but there is hope.

You are not alone in feeling afraid after separation from a loved one. With some simple coping techniques, you can address your breakup anxiety issues.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is characterized by feelings of tension, worrisome thoughts, and physical symptoms like elevated heart rate and sweating. It can manifest before specific events or persist continuously, affecting daily functioning. Though a certain level of anxiety can be motivating, overwhelming anxiety can be debilitating.

Those with anxiety disorders may experience intrusive thoughts, avoidance behaviors, and various physical symptoms like dizziness and shortness of breath. Anxiety can disrupt relationships, work, and overall quality of life if left unaddressed.

Causes of Anxiety After Breakup

Research indicates that uncertainty about the future can lead to anxiety as it hinders preparation for what lies ahead. After a breakup, the sudden disruption of plans and expectations for the future can create a sense of unease and anxious feelings.

For instance, if a person had envisioned a long-term future with their partner and made plans accordingly, the dissolution of the relationship leaves them facing an uncertain and unpredictable future, contributing to anxiety.

Studies have shown that partners can influence each other's anxiety levels. In some cases, people in a relationship may have relied on their partner to alleviate their anxiety.

Consequently, the absence of that supportive presence post-breakup can result in heightened anxiety levels.

The loss of a significant source of comfort and reassurance can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and distress during this vulnerable period.

Understanding these dynamics could provide insight into the multifaceted causes of breakup anxiety and the complexity of emotions involved in the aftermath of a relationship ending.

Symptoms Of Anxiety After Breakup

  • Fatigue
  • Racing thoughts
  • Low-self confidence
  • Panic attacks
  • Headache
  • Troubled concentrating
  • Losing temper at trivial matters
  • Appetite change
  • Inflammation
  • Consistent worry
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Urge to run or hide
  • Rapid breathing
  • Nervousness

However, it could be normal to experience such symptoms after a breakup. It is serious if you feel this way years after your breakup, as it could be a sign of chronic anxiety requiring medical help.

Best Coping Techniques

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT)

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy that may help people recognize and modify behaviors that contribute to heightened anxiety levels. It provides the ability to talk through breakup distress in a supportive and non-judgmental environment.

    CBT may allow you to discuss your thoughts with a therapist, gain insights into your emotional responses, process the breakup experience, and explore ways to cope effectively.

    It may offer a safe space to explore what you value in relationships, helping you navigate future connections with clarity and self-awareness.

    CBT can help you build resilience, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and enhance your emotional well-being post-breakup.

  2. Practice Mindfulness

    Mindfulness exercises like controlled breathing exercises can help alleviate anxious thoughts. Engaging in deep, intentional breathing exercises can help center yourself in the present moment and calm your mind.

    Here are four steps to follow to practice mindfulness:

    • Focus on different parts of your body, noticing any tension or discomfort, and then release it, promoting relaxation.
    • Observe your surroundings with all your senses, grounding yourself in the present and fostering a sense of peace.
    • Acknowledge and accept your feelings without judgment, allowing them to flow through you instead of resisting them.
    • Cultivate gratitude for the small moments of joy in your day, shifting your focus towards positivity and abundance.
  3. Engage In Favorite Activities

    Activities you enjoy can offer a positive distraction from intrusive thoughts. Taking your mind off unwanted thoughts is essential when battling anxiety. However, it is also crucial not to deny those emotions completely.

    Since anxiety could make it difficult to focus, hobbies could help you deal with those moments when settling on a particular task feels impossible. You can enjoy your favorite comedy show, read a good book, or walk through your famous park.

  4. Connect With Supportive People

    It's essential to lean on your social circle for comfort and understanding. Friends may offer an opportunity to be heard, allowing you to express your feelings without judgment.

    Building and maintaining connections with your close ones can fight feelings of isolation, encouraging a sense of belonging and support.

    Sharing your experiences with friends can validate your feelings, making you feel heard and understood during this tumultuous time.

  5. Self-care

    Engaging in self-care practices is essential for promoting emotional well-being and managing post-breakup anxiety effectively.

    To prioritize physical well-being:

    • Aim for daily physical activity
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Maintain a balanced diet
    • Limit alcohol intake
    • Ensure sufficient sleep

    Emotional self-care is equally important in managing post-breakup anxiety:

    • A daily journal
    • Listening to music
    • Setting aside relaxation time
    • Allowing yourself to grieve
  6. Meditation

    Meditation could allow you to find inner peace and build resilience during this challenging time. It may cultivate compassion for yourself and others, fostering healing and acceptance.

    Picturing a peaceful place or a positive outcome may help you soothe anxious thoughts while repeating affirming phrases shifts your mindset and promotes positivity.

    Through regular meditation practice, you could cultivate a sense of clarity and emotional balance, allowing you to confront anxiety with a more grounded perspective.

  7. Quality Sleep

    Research indicates a strong link between poor sleep quality and increased anxiety levels.

    Sleeping seven hours or more each night is recommended to support overall health.

    Sticking to a sleep schedule could synchronize your body's sleep patterns, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally.

    Coffee, tea, and certain sodas can interfere with falling asleep and reduce sleep quality. You could promote better sleep patterns by avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and evening.

    Regular physical activity during the day could help regulate your sleep-wake cycle and encourage deeper sleep at night.

Also Check:

Is It Common to Have Anxiety after a Breakup?

Experiencing anxiety after a breakup is a common and understandable reaction to the emotional turmoil that follows the end of a significant relationship. The loss of a partner, along with the changes in routine, living arrangements, and emotional support, can trigger feelings of insecurity and fear. This can lead to symptoms like intrusive thoughts, trouble sleeping, and restlessness.

It is natural for the nervous system to be on high alert during such times of transition, causing physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue.

These manifestations of anxiety can hinder daily functioning and make it challenging to cope with the aftermath of a breakup.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How Can Past Traumas Contribute to Heightened Anxiety Levels After a Breakup?
    Past traumas may exacerbate anxiety post-breakup as unresolved issues resurface, magnifying emotional distress. By acknowledging these traumas, seeking therapy, and practicing self-care, people can address underlying triggers, fostering healing and growth.
  2. What Role Does Self-Esteem Play in Managing Anxiety Post-Breakup?
    Self-esteem is pivotal in post-breakup anxiety management. It could influence self-worth, resilience, and coping mechanisms. Building self-esteem through self-compassion, positive affirmations, and seeking support fosters emotional strength and healing during challenging times.
  3. Can Unresolved Issues From Previous Relationships Impact Anxiety in a New Relationship?
    Previous relationship trauma may influence anxiety in new relationships. It may cause mood swings, fear, anger, or showing highly defensive behavior. Seek therapy or counseling to navigate past traumas, promote self-awareness, and foster healthier dynamics in new relationships.
  4. How Does Social Media Usage Influence Anxiety Levels During a Breakup?
    Social media usage can intensify anxiety post-breakup by exposing one to triggers like seeing ex-partners online, comparing lives, or receiving hurtful messages. Limiting exposure, unfollowing, or taking breaks can safeguard mental health during this vulnerable period.
  5. What Impact Does Lack of Closure in a Breakup Have on Anxiety Levels?
    The lack of closure in a breakup can heighten anxiety levels, leading to unresolved emotions and lingering questions. Seeking closure through self-reflection, communication, or therapy can help people navigate the distress and find emotional resolution.


Post-breakup anxiety is a common experience. It could be a severe condition that may sometimes lead to a depression-like state if left unaddressed.

However, it can be managed through mindfulness, engaging in favorite activities, spending time with friends, and prioritizing self-care.

Recovering from instances like breakup takes time; therefore, it's important to remember that healing is a process that requires patience, self-reflection, and a commitment to self-care.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • Consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before following health tips or instructions.

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