Break-ups can be devastating and leave you stagnating in your life. Once you have come to terms that the break-up happened, you can heal yourself.

Gamification has been used for exercise and learning, so why not try it for self-development. The technique uses similar mechanics to games with achievement and reward systems. Gamification has been shown to increase dopamine (the feel-good hormone) when you achieve your goal and get your reward. Both of these elements are beneficial when you are recovering from a breakup.

One of the strengths of gamification is the storyline. Engagement in stories can increase oxytocin. This is the same hormone (the love hormone) that helps you bond with a partner. A reward system can also aid serotonin release (general good mood).

This all sounds great! A whole bunch of natural feel-good hormones racing around. Now how do we apply this to a breakup?

Actions – Write down a list of actions or emotions that you want to have. Have a shower, take a walk, laugh at a movie, chat with friends. Use activities that are part of your normal life, but are not associated with your ex-partner. Make it meaningful to you and use time appropriate actions depending on how you are feeling.

Rewards – Write down a list of rewards that would make you feel good. Take a walk, buy ice cream, have a long bath, sightsee in a different city. Make these rewards meaningful to you. Pick things that would make you feel better or things you would like to do.

Start out slow, depending on how you are feeling. When you do an item on your action list, note it down. Start with one action a week, when you accomplish that action, you will get a reward at the end of the week. Add as many or few actions as it takes for you to start focusing on positive actions.

Charting progress
This can be as simple or complex as you wish. Keep your progress in a notebook, make a large chart for your wall, chart it on a calendar. Any way that helps you see that life is carrying on, and you are doing actions that are beneficial to you.

Breakups are hard. There is a mourning period for what you had. Be easy on yourself, and keep moving forward.