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The Effects of Heartbreak on the Body

Posted in General Health 23 Apr, 2015

All those late nights up texting, those lovely dates when you gazed into each other's eyes lovingly, those takeaway movie marathons. Everything, gone in a flash. No one likes a break up, and you might probably feel no one understands exactly how you're feeling at that exact moment in time. That may be very true, but we've drawn up a list of psychological and physiological effects of a break up and how it can leave you feeling physically and mentally drained.

There are various signs or signals that can occur when someone is heartbroken; these include depression, anxiety, physical pain, and lack of overall concentration. It can seem like one of the most stressful moments in a person's life, and many may need to find therapies to help them cope and move on with their lives. Heartbreak usually lasts only a few weeks to a couple of months. If this is stretching further to half or year or even over a year, it could indicate a more harmful mental breakdown. So what are the physical and mental indications of heartbreak.

Crash in the immune system

A recent heartbreak can sometimes make you more susceptible to ailments such as the flu, or common cold. The acute stress your body experiences means that the body produces more cortisol than normal. High levels of this hormone in the blood can wear down the immune system, making it harder for your body to fight and expel simple viral infections or bacteria.

Actual Physical Pain

Believe it or not, physical pain has been said to be experienced when going through a heartbreak situation. From stomach aches, to chest pains, you may truly feel that your heart is 'breaking'. A recent study suggested that being rejected by your other half can trigger the same responses in the brain as being physically hurt. Knowing that it is normal to feel physically hurt when going through your break up can help in finding relief and moving on from it.

Stress and Anxiety

Your body may go into a state of restlessness or anxiety after a break up. You may start asking yourself questions like -Am I not good enough?, Will I find someone else?, Who will love me again? Etc. These thought speed up your heart rate and metabolism, and you are more likely to be jittery and nervous. Your concentration levels are lower than usual and you may get increased sweating, headaches, body tensions and even nausea. Find a method to relax and relieve this tension is essential to getting back to your old self.

So how can you get over heartbreak?

Here are some quick tips that can help in getting over that heart breaker sooner rather than later

  • Surround yourself with loved ones, and cry if you want. You are human and it is okay to cry and show emotion when you are emotionally hurt. Having those you love around you can go a long way in relieving emotional heartache and tension.
  • Go out with friends and watch a movie, go bowling, or go to the park.Try various methods of getting your mind off the heartbreak; some enjoyable activities that bring a smile to your face can really help you get back to a good place. Most of all, resist that call you might want to make to your ex.
  • Take it all in and breathe.You are not superhuman and taking each day as it counts is essential when looking to get over such an episodic event.
  • Assess everything that has happened and rationalise the whole experience.What have you learnt about yourself, what have you learnt about others and what positive elements of both can you take on board going forward. Finding time to try something new, a new hobby or even a new career can do a world of good of getting you back on the right track.
  • Go on a date- as strange as it may sound, finding someone that you get along with, even if initially just as good friends can show you that your heart is still warm and open to the idea of love again.
  • If the symptoms of the heartbreak are increasing or getting too much for you to deal with, then you may want to see a psychiatrist. Conditions such as depression or anxiety can occur and can be detrimental if not dealt with for a long period. Having someone to consult and confide in can certainly help in getting your mind to a good place again.

See our infographic below that highlights the physical symptoms you can experience after a heartbreak.

Effects of Heartbreak on body

You can add this infographic to your website/blog by grabbing the code below

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