Getting over a broken heart is never easy. In fact, recent research suggests that romantic rejection can cause physical pain and symptoms like inflammation in a way that no other negative emotion – not even anger or fear – can.

It's helpful to face these difficult feelings rather than run away from them, relationship experts contend. Take these steps, more or less in this order, to live well and emerge stronger and happier from those unwanted waves of grief:

"Grief after the breakup of a serious relationship can be one of the most painful experiences we endure in life," says Anita Gadhia-Smith, a psychotherapist who practices in the District of Columbia and suburban Maryland. "It can excruciating and debilitating. Not only do we have to work through the pain of the loss of a recent love, but current losses can trigger old grief issues and stored pain and trauma from past losses, as well as childhood abandonment, trauma and loss," explains Gadhia-Smith, author of "How to Heal Emotional Trauma: 7 Keys to Finding Freedom and Self-Worth."

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