Going through a serious heartbreak is a feeling no one can describe to someone that hasn’t already experienced it. It feels like a giant hole has ripped itself open in your chest, it’s agony and so concentrated, you think it could just be the end of the world.
While everyone around you is telling you there’s plenty more fish in the sea, and that it’s all in your head, the truth is, a serious heartbreak could be very bad for your health. Here are a few scientific and physical things that happen to your body when you’re suffering from a broken heart…
Your brain will tell you you’re physically in pain
An assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Naomi Eisenbuerger, told the world that when we’re in pain, a certain area of the brain lights up – it also lights up when we suffer from severe social rejection, which is why we feel that horrible aching pain in our chests during times of severe emotional pain such as a breakup. So when someone says the breakup was painful, they could mean that emotionally and physically.
You’ll get withdrawal pains
People aren’t joking when they say love is addictive, we can quite literally become dependent and addicted to a person. And when that person suddenly leaves our life, the same areas of our brain light up as those going through withdrawals to actual drugs. You’ll feel tense, anxious, and possibly feel real pain. But luckily, just like normal withdrawal, the symptoms will eventually pass as you adjust to your new life as a single… It always gets better.
Your weight will likely change
A stressful and emotionally traumatic event in our lives can have some of us reaching for more food; some people may use it as a distraction from the pain they are feeling which can obviously lead to weight gain. On the other hand, some people feel so anxious and distraught that they can’t even bare the thought of eating; digestion becomes impossible and they may feel they don’t have the time or energy to even think about food. This can lead to serious weight loss.
You’ll be swamped in stress hormones
When we’re all loved up and in a strong relationship, our brain releases chemicals called oxytocin and dopamine which make us feel content and happy. But the second the relationship comes to an end, so does the production of these chemicals. They are practically washed away and replaced with something else; cortisol and epinephrine aka stress hormones. Overproduction of these chemicals causes tense muscles, headaches, a tight chest, and a stiff neck.
So what’s the verdict here? Well, it’s that heartbreak is one of the most emotionally traumatic and painful experiences life throws at us, but no matter how terrible it might feel at the time, we will always bounce back and move onto far better things. So don’t feel bad for feeling bad – the end of something means the start of something else.