There is nothing worse than having your heart broken by someone. It is possibly one of the worst emotional hurts a person can go through in their life. Feelings are hurt, trust is betrayed, emotions are increased, and companionship is lost. No aspect of a broken heart is good. Many people who have experienced a broken heart have admitted that they felt lost in life and totally and utterly in pain. Some who hear this would assume it is just because they are sad, but did you know that your body goes through things when your heart is broken?
The human body is very sensitive and emotions are often tied to physical parts of your body. It is the same way as when you are stressed and feel knots in your shoulders. Your brain picks up on your emotions and the body responds. When someone breaks your heart, there are actually many things that happen to your body! It isn’t as simple as being sad and upset. The body will respond to a broken heart in many different ways that seem to make the experience even worse.
Next time people tell you they got their hearts broken, know that their bodies went through a lot and have some compassion for them. And if you are the one suffering from a broken heart, be aware of what it is doing to your body so you can handle it better! Check out these 15 real things that happen to the body when someone breaks your heart!
15 Actual Pain
People who go through the experience of having their hearts broken will often express that they hurt. They feel pain in their chest and in their body. Friends may roll their eyes and just say they are being dramatic, but the truth is, they are actually in pain! The body is strange in that when your brain picks up on intense emotional pain, it will actually believe that it is in physical pain and respond likewise. If your brain is telling you that there is a pain, you sure will believe it! Our bodies are all connected to our emotions and physical sensations, and often times they will work together. This works in the same way as when you get headaches when stressed. Don’t let someone tell you that you are being a drama queen. The pain may not be visible, but your body is telling you it is there.
Stress is one of the most common things that will happen to the body when your heart is broken. You find your tension levels increase, inner pressure building, and perhaps even some knots forming in those stress spots. Stress can come in different forms. Perhaps you are stressing over the heartbreak replaying through your mind. Maybe you relied on him to always pick you up from work. No matter what it is, your body will feel the stress. The reason you feel more stress is because when you are put under emotional pressure, your body actually will increase the level of stress hormones. Be sure to take care of yourself when this occurs. Stress can become very overwhelming and the sense of anxiety, fear, and helplessness can take over. Do yourself a favor and do things to help reduce your stress so that it does not get to a point where you don’t know what to do.
13 Eating Habits
When someone breaks your heart, you may notice your eating habits change dramatically. Take a look at any rom-com and you will find the female main character running to the loving embrace of junk food. Although it may seem stereotypical, the body may actually feel the need to be comforted by food and your appetite will increase. On the other hand, some women will feel sick to their stomachs. Any sight of food makes them nauseous and there is no way they will be able to eat. If you find your appetite increases, be sure to watch what you put in your body. You don’t want to make yourself sick or gain weight too quickly. People with decreased appetites should also be aware of their eating habits. Do not starve yourself and suddenly find yourself having other health problems! No matter what your eating habit is when your heart is broken, know that it is your body responding.
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!
11 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.
10 Heart Slows
When someone breaks your hear,t some people claim that they can actually feel pain in their chest. Research has shown that your heart can actually slow when it is broken! Your body is in such emotional turmoil that your heart slows and the muscles are weakened. If you are feeling pain in your chest that is not simply grief, it might be a good idea to get a check-up. Some studies have even found that you can actually have a cardiac arrest from heartbreak! The body handles things very differently and it is important to be aware because things may be more serious than you would think. If your doctor says you are fine, be sure to take care of yourself and decrease your stress. Grief counselors may also be able to help you! Be aware of what your body is going through and take the right steps to getting better!
Do you find that since your heart was broken, your sleep patterns have gone crazy? Sleeplessness is just one side effect that your body can experience when someone breaks your heart. The body has a chemical called dopamine that is involved with sleeping and waking. When your heart is broken, your brain will send out strange signals to the body and the dopamine levels will change. This change will alter your sleeping pattern and the dopamine will cause you to wake up. The inability to sleep (thanks to this chemical) will leave you feeling tired and exhaustion will set in. Be sure to talk to your doctor if your heartbreak is keeping you up all night. Medication may be a possibility to regulate your sleep once more and get you back on track for the mean time. Be aware that sleeplessness is a real thing that can happen your body when someone breaks your heart!
8 Increased Sensitivity
Everyone knows that when someone breaks your heart, your emotions will increase. Tears stream down your face, you are sensitive to everything and everyone around you, and you don’t react to things the same. Don’t stress if you find yourself an emotional wreck! Your body is reacting in a way that works for it. Your body senses the pain and is able to release some emotion built up by crying and letting it all out. Sometimes to be able to grieve properly, the emotions need to be let out. Don’t try to be brave and keep it all locked inside; that may end up just making you feel worse. Find someone you can trust and let it all out. The feeling of being embraced and told it is okay will help comfort you and reduce the pain even just a little. Have a good cry and allow yourself time to grieve so the healing can begin.
The end of a relationship is extremely hard, especially when you are blindsided and your heart is shattered. Your heart is breaking because you miss that person so much and seem unable to understand why it had to end. One of the real things that happens to the body when someone breaks your heart is to experience the feeling of loneliness. You no longer have that person to call when you want or to hang out with all the time. Even if you have constant support from family and friends, it is the loss of that one person that makes you feel lonely. Don’t be ashamed. The feeling is real and you may even feel lonely if you are in a crowd. Loneliness doesn’t have to do with being surrounded by people; it is connected to not being around the person you want. Give yourself time and you will begin to heal and the loneliness will fade away slowly.
6 Delayed Period
Stress can do a lot of things to your body, and having your heart broken is definitely a stressful experience. One of the things stress can do is delay your period. Your emotions have become all out of whack because you are constantly sad and upset. Your body picks up on those emotions and will mess with your biological clock. It can be stressful not understanding why you haven’t gotten your period, and that can lead to more stress, which can prolong your period… and on and on the cycle goes. The best thing you can do in this type of situation is to try your best to relax. Find small ways to de-stress each day (make yourself a warm drink or go for a walk) and over time, you will slowly get better. Don’t worry; your body knows how to take care of itself and your period will not be delayed forever!
Some people can become so attached in their relationships that when the heartbreak occurs, it can feel as though you go into withdrawal. Over the course of your relationship, you have become reliant on having that person as a constant presence in your life and then suddenly, he is ripped away without any warning. When you were with him, you felt the happiest you have ever been and when he is gone, you feel as though you have been taken off of a high. The body can actually feel as though it is going into withdrawal and will seek ways to fill the high. An example of this would be going through his pictures on Facebook just to get a glimpse of his face once more. Over time, you will heal and get over the need for a “fix.” The feeling of withdrawal is a real thing that happens to the body when your heart is broken.
4 Hair loss
Sometimes, it is seen in the movies that when people get overly stressed, they start finding their hair falling out. It may seem funny on screen, but it is something very real that can happen to the body when your heart is broken. You may notice that as you are in the shower, more hair seems to be going down the drain, or that your hairbrush is collecting more than before. Your body reacts to stressful situations in different ways, and losing your hair because your heart was broken is just one example. Don’t freak out because you won’t lose all of your hair! Acknowledge just how stressed you are about the situation and find some way to help reduce your stress even a little. Talking to someone, getting out of the house, or finding something to take your mind off of it are all good ways to reduce your stress and therefore reduce the amount of hair you lose!
3 Get Sick
Being in shock from a broken heart will not only shock your emotions, but it can also be a shock to your immune system! Your body is sad, your heart has slowed, and your eating habits may have changed. You are slightly vulnerable when your heart is broken and it can sometimes be the reason you get sick. Your body’s immune system is lowered and you may find that you get sick easier. This may have to do with you not giving your body the attention it needs, but it may simply be your body trying to fight off the sadness and sickness at once. Be sure to take care of yourself! Fill your body with vitamin C, drink lots of water, and try to eat healthy so you can avoid getting sick. It is important that even though you are experiencing a terrible time in your life, you still take care of yourself. Your health is important!
Because your heart is broken, your body will be aware of pains and aches more than normal. Your body is attuned to what is going on and what it is experiencing because your emotional pain is so high. This also means that your body will be more sensitive to cramping, which can occur more than normal. It is similar to the feeling of being sick and achy; your body is so drained emotionally that it can cramp more often. Be gentle with yourself and give your body the benefit of the doubt. Eat gentler foods, move slower, and avoid strenuous workouts. Let your body heal as your emotions heal! Cramping can also be associated with gut pain. You are so emotional that your stomach can react and cramp (the same as getting nauseous when you are nervous). Cramping is something real that happens to the body when your heart is broken.
A breakup can cause self-questioning. You wonder what you did to make him leave? Was there something you could have changed? Questioning is a natural form of grief and many people will begin to question themselves. Be aware that although reflection is good, it is not good for your mental health to constantly question and blame yourself for what happened. You may also be asking yourself how to move forward. You may find yourself questioning who you are without him and struggle with what you will do now that the relationship is over. Now, more than ever, is a good time to spend on self-care. Do some soul searching in a healthy way to get to know you better. Do things that work towards healing and building. Don’t let a breakup ruin your life! As hard as it will be, you will be able to grow from the experience! Love yourself and keep hope!