4 ways to not definitely, but more likely prevent a broken hear - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

4 ways to not definitely, but more likely prevent a broken heart

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This week, WTVM News Leader 9 featured a web poll that asked viewers to complete the phrase, "Valentine's Day is..."

While many viewers chose answers along the lines of love and affection, the most popular answer, at nearly 30 percent of the total votes, was: "Another corporate gimmick to make money off of sentimental people."

Why all the cynicism surrounding such a romantic holiday?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that so many people experience broken hearts, and have a hard time bouncing back.

While there is no sure way to avoid a broken heart, experts say there are ways to help prevent heart break from devastating our lives. George Gibbs, a clinical counselor at Ohio State University's Harding Hospital, offers these four suggestions for building stronger, loving relationships:

Focus on the positive. Practice verbal and non-verbal expressions of affection and keep shared interests and activities a priority.

Practice forgiveness. Even the best relationships include disappointments and hurt. Forgiveness entails the ability to acknowledge the pain, talk about it, and in time, to make an active decision to no longer dwell on the anger and disappointment, so that you can return to a more positive relationship.

Take personal responsibility. Recognize that your own behavior can contribute to relational health or injury. Blaming your partner when you are unhappy in a relationship is the 'common cold' of relational conflict. Such blame becomes contagious and keeps relationships stuck. We have no direct control over the other person's choices and behavior, which is why we become vulnerable in love. We do have control over our own choices and behaviors that can improve the emotional environment of the relationship and keep our mental health in balance.

Stay Focused. Good mental health, just like fitness and physical health, requires a conscious effort and putting healthy habits into practice. Together, physical and mental wellness can add to greater enjoyment of life for us and our loved ones.

As the classic rock band Nazareth once said, "Love hurts." But why do we keep singing about it? Because as it is so eloquently stated in the movie Moulin Rouge, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

According to Gibbs, following these tips will help get you there.

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