The Science of Heartache

The vast majority of us will at some point have experienced a break-up. Well if you could have sworn blind that you had tense muscles a cold, loss of appetite and stomach issues then you probably weren’t just being over dramatic.

When we suffer a rejection, the brain signals to the body that being dumped is physically painful. For instance, being hopelessly in love means your brain is swimming in happy hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin, causing feelings of pleasure and excitement. Once these happy hormones have disappeared with your previous partner, your brain becomes far more susceptible to stress hormones

During a stressful experience our brains release stress hormones, which are actually intended to protect us. In an emergency, for example if a car pulled out in front of you, these stress hormones help you to react quickly. However, our bodies often find it difficult to distinguish a short term issue from a long one, meaning your often left feeling tense with a stiff neck, headaches, swollen muscles and a squeezing sensation in the chest.

In addition to this, those with a sensitive stomach could experience break up cramps, loss of appetite or diarrhoea. Those with asthma could find themselves using their inhalers more often and those with an addictive personality may feel shaky.

It does all sound pretty horrible but there are some clever solutions to keep you on the straight and narrow. Medication from the chemist can easily deal with a headache and or a queasy stomach and getting yourself into gear ready for some exercise will also help the stress hormones and releases endorphins.

Gary Lewandoski, Ph.D is a professor of psychology as Monmonth university and has advised people getting back into some of your favourite past times and activities because doing anything enjoyable can help rev your brain’s dopamine system. If you can’t disassociate your old passions from moments spent with your ex, take it as an opportunity to try something completely new,

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Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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