What a broken heart feels like
When someone hurts your feelings or rejects you, you know your emotions are hurting, but did you know that there is often physical pain too? Emotional pain in the body is typically felt in the chest or belly. If you are not feeling any pain physically, it usually means that you are ‘numb’ to the physical sensations or simply more focused on the thoughts and ideas about the breakup.
READ: HOW DO I GET MY EX BACK?
Research About Broken Hearts
Emotional pain and physical pain is a mystery and has not been studied extensively. But the newest research clearly shows that emotional pain is a natural form of pain. Those who have been deeply heartbroken know that, but science needs to prove it for us to accept it.
Broken Heart’s Effect On The Human Body
Both internal stimuli, such as internal cell damage, and external stimuli, such as a hit on the head, can cause physical pain. Before we experience physical pain, our body goes through a complicated but perfectly orchestrated process of producing chemicals and transmitting pain signals to the brain.
In the case of a typical physical injury, the cells are damaged. The impaired cells release a host of chemicals whose job is to transmit signals along an intricately designed network to the spinal cord, onto the brain stem and then finally to the higher areas of the brain where the pain is perceived.
Emotional pain does not begin with cell damage. It begins with perceptual or cognitive processing in higher areas of the brain. For example, the shock of hearing about a family member’s unexpected death triggers emotions, such as fear and sadness.
The shock of horrible news makes the brain stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which then releases a surge of stress chemicals into the bloodstream. This includes epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and cortisol.
All three stress chemicals assist in creating a fight-or-flight response. Norepinephrine increases blood sugar levels and opens the bronchial airways, cortisol prepares the muscles for action, and epinephrine, or adrenalin, binds to heart receptors.
The stress chemicals are responsible for the pain in the heart and chest muscles experienced after losing a loved one.
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