Are you in the throes of an excruciating breakup? Do you feel like someone is driving a sliver through your heart? Your eyes are brimming with tears and you can hardly eat and sleep. Calm down and take a deep breath, you’re not alone. I’ve been there and so were millions of brokenhearted people around the world.
If you’re categorized under this situation, continue reading to know what happens to your body after a breakup. This way, you could learn how to get over someone quickly and be whole again. There’s nothing to be ashamed of because people naturally grieve when they lost someone they love. Thus, you’re entitled to your time of mourning.
So, What Happens to Your Body after a Breakup?
Role of the Brain
First, you have to understand that the center of the Central Nervous System is the brain; more specifically the hypothalamus. According to Dr. Donald F. Calbreath, it’s in your hypothalamus that the hormones can be released or inhibited. These hormones are responsible for various processes occurring in your organs.
You can understand this more if you think of the brain as the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer. Nothing works if this part of the ‘computer’ in your body is damaged.
During depression after your breakup, this “message” is sent to your hypothalamus and the stress hormones are increased in secretion. They are then released into the bloodstream to initiate the corresponding physical symptoms that you are experiencing.
Effects of Emotional Pain
Hence, when you think that your heart is aching – even without a pathological cause – it will, indeed, ache because your brain believes so. Studies show that emotional pain triggers the same symptoms as physical pain because the brain responds the same way it does to both stimuli. That’s why the symptoms of a broken heart are real. One can actually die of a broken heart. Let’s go into the details.
What happens to your heart after a breakup?
The primary organ affected by this unhappy occurrence is your heart. You would be experiencing what doctors call the “Broken Heart Syndrome”. Because you have unconsciously or subconsciously ‘told’ the brain that you’re heartbroken; the brain will recognize it as an “emergency situation”.
This will trigger the brain to release the appropriate hormones, such as dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol into the bloodstream. These hormones have various physiological actions in the body that include hyperventilation, increased heart rate, and sometimes dyspnea (difficulty in breathing).
You will also experience chest pain, lethargy, depression, anxiety, insomnia, stomachache, and difficulty in focusing on mental activities. The symptoms are typically dependent on your frame of mind. If you think you couldn’t move a muscle, then you won’t be able to.
In studies conducted by Fisher et al about rejection in love, the results showed that “romantic rejection is a specific form of addiction”, and that cocaine craving and romantic rejection have the same neural pathways.
What happens to your other body parts?
Inevitably, your eyes would be swollen due to crying. Because of insomnia, you may look like a panda too, with dark circles under your eyes. But for the time being, cry all you want because crying has some benefits. You would be eliminating toxic substances from your body; thereby, alleviating stress and tension.
Nevertheless, after a good cry, you have to stand up and live life again. Letting go is the only option for you to keep going.
Because of depression, you would end up lethargic and weak. Also, your movements may be uncoordinated. This is an effect of your loss of appetite and insufficient sleep. You simply don’t have the energy required to perform physical activities. Depending on your state of mind, this muscle weakness could occur rapidly or could go on for days. Remember that it’s your mind that’s orchestrating all the reactions in your body.
When you’re anxious, stressed and depressed, you tend to experience difficulty of breathing (dyspnea). You may also hyperventilate. These are reactions to the increased concentrations of the hormones released into your system. Persistent hyperventilation can cause a blood-gas disorder, namely Respiratory Alkalosis, in which your blood becomes more alkaline. If left untreated, this condition could be fatal.
Since, the symptom is purely caused by your thoughts; the proper therapeutic method is to alter your thoughts into positive ones. Of course, the doctor may administer calming drugs and let you breathe into a paper bag, to address the emergency. But this treatment is only temporary. To cure it permanently, the root cause must be addressed – you have to acquire a more positive frame of mind and not dwell on your misery.
You can experience stomachaches as a result of stress and anxiety. Breakups can be likened to the death of a beloved. You undergo a certain bereavement phase. Your doctor may prescribe antacids and stress relievers, if your condition becomes severe. However, since you know now the primary reason for your symptoms, you can promptly focus on treating the underlying ‘disease’ – your negative frame of mind.
Despite these mild or fatal effects of breakup on your body, you can always recover. The cliché: “Time heals all wounds” is true. Nonetheless, if you want to recuperate quickly, you can perform one crucial action right now: think positively. I know it’s not easy, but you can, if you truly believe you can. It’s all in your mind.
Psyche yourself every day that the breakup didn’t reduce your value as a person, but has strengthened your character instead. Your pain is real but you, alone, can diminish the pain by changing the way you think.
Perhaps, your Mr. Right has yet to come. Thus, thank your lucky stars that you’ve avoided, perhaps, a major debacle. Don’t wallow in your depression longer than necessary. Get along with your life and learn from your experience. It’s not the end of the world!