You stayed in bed for days. You listened to sad songs. It felt like the world was turned upside down. Our beautiful, sensitive minds become our worst enemy. But did you know your body also changes when your heart breaks?
Here are the 7 things that will happen to your body when someone breaks your heart:
1. Hormones Change
Love makes you happy. Happiness is represented in the body by hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. But when the heart breaks, those ‘happy hormones’ drop off and are replaced by cortisol and epinephrine which are stress hormones.
They turn all that joy into anxiety and stress.
Did You Know?: When stress hormones linger chronically, the ability to make new memories reduces. Maybe it’s the brain’s way of not remembering whatever caused the stress.
2. Immune System Weakened
Those pesky stress hormones also lower your body’s immune system. That means you are more likely to get sick.
We are encountering colds, flus and infections constantly, but when we are healthy we fight them off with our immune system. The stress and pain of heartbreak actually causes the body to make fewer white blood cells, which are the body’s soldiers who fight off infection.
3. Dietary Change and Weight Gain
When we are brought low by life, our hormones change, our immune system weakens and we get certain cravings (to try to counteract that chemistry)–usually fats, carbohydrates, salty and sweet things.
The hormone, cortisol, has been associated with increases in belly fat. It is believed that cortisol also triggers those food cravings. Those comfort foods in turn lead to more serotonin production which can counter stress.
4. Sexual Dysfunction
If your heart is broken you probably do not have much interest in sexual pleasure. But if you did, or even after you begin to feel better, you might find that interest is difficult to muster. Your body might not be as responsive as you expected. For men, this could result in erectile dysfunction.
This dark time might also make premenstrual syndrome worse and even make getting pregnant more difficult.
5. Skin Rashes
When those stress hormones increase with heartbreak, it can worsen existing skin conditions. Psoriasis, rosacea or even acne can flare up during this time.
All of these physical signs of a broken heart only serve to make us feel worse, but on the upside, as they get better they can be used as a sign that our heart is getting better too. So even if you are heartbroken right now, the funny thing about hearts is they want to keep beating, and they will, and one day you’ll look back as a stronger healthier you.
6. Mixed Thoughts
After your heart has been broken, you notice you start to do some strange things. You put your phone in the fridge, your clothes are on backward, and you forget meetings that have planned for ages! What is happening? When someone breaks your heart, your body can sometimes respond in confusion. You may find yourself getting all jumbled up and you can’t seem to think straight.
This usually occurs because your mind is so focused on your sadness and the event that took place that your brain is distracted. It similar to the idea of pregnancy brain – there is so much else to think of that you loose track of what you are doing. Days may blend together and you may misplace things a bit more often. Don’t worry — you aren’t going insane! Having mixed thoughts is just one real thing that happens to the body when someone breaks your heart.
Emotions are high and feelings of sadness, loneliness, and poor self-worth are felt strongly. Depression is a very real thing that happens to the body when someone breaks your heart. The overwhelming sense of abandonment and sorrow can have a person questioning themselves and their self-value.
The world can feel as though it is falling to pieces and there is no one there to help you pick it up. It is important to try and be aware if you feel yourself becoming depressed. Be sure to talk with someone when you have these feelings so they can look out for you. You need to be encouraged and may need assistance through this time, and that is okay!
Taking care of your mental health is extremely important and there are things that can help when you are feeling depressed. Take it seriously and seek out a friend, family member, or counselor who can help you through this tough time!
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