Heartaches and heartbreaks— we’ve all heard these expressions before and some of us have imagined we’ve actually experienced it. According to a study at the University of Michigan, however, it’s not in our imagination – love hurts.
Researchers recruited 40 participants who had recently endured an unwanted breakup in the previous six months. Using state of the art scanners the researchers were able to determine that the same sensory areas of the brain that are normally associated with physical pain were also being affected when the participant viewed pictures of their ex.
The researchers were able to determine that in fact, social rejection and emotional pain do take physical tolls on the body.
While it’s nice for there to finally be some scientific evidence of this post-breakup, rejection phenomenon, I think most people in the world already knew it to be true. Ask anyone who’s had their heart broken and they’ll tell you that the pain does exist. More than anything, I feel that this study is a reflection of how science and much of society hasn’t taken the power of human emotion very seriously.
I’ve been through breakups where the pain was overwhelming. I felt as though I ached all over and that someone was applying pressure to my chest. As an adult with more experience in life and love, I may feel this again but perhaps not to the degree of my first heartbreak.
Regardless, if you’re enduring a breakup or going through an emotionally painful time, keep the following tips in mind. They may help you feel better!
Get some exercise – It’s hard to start, but once you get some exercise, your brain will start releasing positive chemicals called endorphins in no time. You’ll feel much better.
Spend time with friends – Be around people who love you and try to have fun. Positive efforts often end in positive results.
Do some of your favorite things – Treat yourself well and attempt to overcome the pain by indulging in your favorite past times.
Watch a funny movie marathon — Laughter is the best medicine. Sometimes, when there’s nothing you can do to make a situation better, it’s best just to laugh.
Remember, the pain you endure during a breakup is now recognized by the scientific community as a physical effect from social rejection. We all experience it. The important thing is to always move forward and try to keep yourself healthy and happy.
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