Separation Anxiety Causes, Definition and Solutions
Separation Anxiety Causes, Definition and Solutions

When a relationship ends, a type of anxiety appears instinctively and immediately that is separation anxiety. After a romantic breakup, many biological and circumstantial emotional processes are involved.

Causes Of Separation Anxiety

Causes Of Separation Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural defense mechanism associated with the emotion of fear. It appears when our brain notices a possibility of danger or we simply step out of our comfort zone. We subconsciously create a physical and emotional zone where we can allow ourselves to let go of control.

This sense of control is a deceptive state of our mind to be able to deactivate our inner alarm. The purpose of this is to satisfy our need for security and trust that is something basic in the human being. Human beings need to feel safe for their own survival as a species.

Without realizing it, we create a series of habits in which we disconnect from control in  order to develop other capacities that are also necessary in our evolution.

While we are in that state of control and the alarm system is activated , our logical capacities are also diminished. At that moment, our most emotional and instinctive part takes over When a romantic relationship ends, we leave that safety zone that we had created and re-enter the state of uncontrol, favoring the appearance of separation anxiety.

You Can Read this article How to Handle Relationship Anxiety For More Information about dealing with this situation .

How do we feel about separation anxiety?

woman feel fear about separation anxiety

The predominant emotion is fear . There is no anxiety process that is not associated with this emotion. For this reason the need to flee or to fight appears.

If we decide to fight, our mind will turn to anger towards our former partner. Our mind will provide us with memories of the worst moments. From there we will obtain the energy to overcome it and turn the page.

Some studies show that when the breakup has been caused by infidelity or through no fault of our own, we connect better with anger and get over it sooner. However, it takes longer to get over it if we are the ones who decide to end the relationship.

Many times we know that the relationship has no solution. However,  we avoid putting an end to it so as not to feel separation anxiety. Sometimes we can end up obsessing trying to solve it to return again to the same starting point. We become neurotic and do not advance.

To move forward, we need to be willing to feel fear. We must live the grieving process until we finish overcoming it. If we don’t, we   will always be left in another kind of   pain. A pain that we control but that does not advance and has no end.

Most of us have the skills to  get through these bad times. We can use our internal resources and rely on other motivations.

You Can Read more About this feeling in this article Why It Hurts to Be Away from Your Partner .

What happens in your body when you feel separation anxiety?

anxiety affects in body

When fear appears, the autonomic nervous system (non-conscious) is activated ,  and the hormonal (endocrine) response by the amygdala occurs .


When we have anxiety, the nervous system stimulates the release of catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline). Increased blood levels of catecholamines  activate our defense system. At that moment we are prepared to flee or fight in a situation that is beyond our control.


The amygdala activates the corticotropic axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis)  as a consequence of a hormonal response.  The release of corticotropin-releasing hormone  stimulates  the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).

This release produces an increase in cortisol which in turn fuels and enhances the release of adrenaline and norepinephrine.

As a consequence of all of the above, we experience a series of very unpleasant physical sensations associated with the emotion of fear. A complex and painful process, which we can overcome if we use the right tools.

The main thing to get out of this state is to create a new routine. Neuroscientific studies support that it takes 21 days to create a new neural network. Therefore, this is the time it will take to incorporate a new habit into your life.

I invite you to take the opportunity to turn your emotional breakup into an opportunity for a positive change in your life.

As an example, you can integrate a new way of living into your day-to-day life, through a fitness lifestyle. Fitness will help you improve your emotional state and will also promote a notable rise in self-esteem thanks to physical changes.

Having healthy lifestyle habits and developing willpower and self-discipline will lead you to grow emotionally and lead a more positive life. You will obtain values that you can extrapolate to any of your other vital plots. Little by little you will fill that void that the departure of that person has generated in your life.

Tips to start a fitness lifestyle after a separation

Schedule a healthy diet

woman has a healthy diet

This will lead you to put order at a time in your life where there will be a lot of disorder. Eating disorder is enhanced when there are separations.

Food anxiety or loss of appetite may appear. I recommend that you design a diet and put it in your refrigerator, so you will only limit yourself to following it.

Get physical exercise daily

woman do physical exercise daily

I recommend combining strength exercise (weights, CrossFit, Pilates) with cardiovascular (fast walking, running, cycling ..)

It is very important to strengthen your muscles to prevent bone diseases and to oxygenate your blood. Cardiovascular exercise will help you slow down oxidative damage to your cells. It will produce an improvement in the distribution of nutrients and consequently a better release of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine .

Rest 7 or 8 hours a day


If you order your diet and do physical exercise, you will undoubtedly gain quality at rest. A good rest helps to stabilize the central nervous system, which is easily destabilized when we go through emotional crises.

In my book «Emotional Fitness», by editions B, you will find a complete personal coaching manual, where you can learn a lot about your limiting beliefs. They are beliefs that prevent you from moving towards a better version of yourself.  You will also learn to manage your recurring negative thoughts . To have more willpower, overcome laziness and stop procrastinating (do not start on Monday)

You can take advantage of the chance of loss to get better at all levels. Both physical and emotional.

Only by recovering your happiness will you be able to offer others the best of yourself. You can always be a better you and after a separation there is a good opportunity for it

Leaving home and meeting people outside your problems in the gym or sports center will help you get out of that mental world in which you find yourself when you suffer from separation anxiety.

Organize your new life according to your new needs. It is an  opportunity to start over and build the life of your dreams.

If you are going through a sentimental breakup, put on some sneakers, tie those laces  well and step hard because you have the greatest conquest at your feet: yourself.

Related Articles:

Toxic relationships and how to get out of them

Relationship Advices to be more flexible With Your Partner



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