The Science of Heartbreaks

plate showing heart break

Heartbreaks happen to everyone. Be it due to losing someone close to you, losing something valuable, or losing a romantic relationship; it affects one emotionally. But science says it could also affect one physically.

The term heartbreak has often been described as – “I feel like my heart’s been ripped out”, “it was gut-wrenching”, “like a slap in the face”. All these descriptions hint that one who is going through a heartbreak also feels like they’re being physically.

Why Does This Happen?

It all has to do with the hormone(s) related to heartbreaks. Hormones are often associated with the rage and emotions of a teenager, but truly, the different types of hormones are released in adults as well.

Good Hormones vs. Bad Hormones

The body releases dopamine and oxytocin for a person who is in love and has some sort of attachment to another person. These hormones, especially dopamine, make the feeling of being in love addictive. This can be compared to taking a narcotic drug which also releases dopamine in the body, making the person feel good and gets “hooked” on to the drug.

But on the other hand when heartbreaks happen, these hormones are replaced with  cortisol. It is released in the body when one feels stressed mentally. Excessive amounts of cortisol in the body can have negative effects on the body like anxiety, nausea, acne and weight gain.

Your Heart Is Breaking - Literally

It is true that one can get cardiomyopathy or break their heart literally due to stress and trauma.

Takotsubo(TTS) Cardiomyopathy or also known as Stress Cardiomyopathy is a syndrome of the heart which is caused by the stress of a heartbreak.

TTS Cardiomyopathy causes emotional stress which stuns the left ventricle of the heart and cause heart attack-like symptoms.

In reality, the syndrome doesn’t really lead to a heart attack or cause any permanent damage. However, it is painful and can cause the person to have stress and anxiety that are similar to having symptoms of a heart attack.

While it will be different for every person and every circumstance, there are some scientifically sound methods of heartbreak healing you can try.

Tip: How To Fix A Broken Heart

Stress management, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet and exercising on a regular basis can help avoid the syndrome in the first place.

A heartbreak can cause one to get distracted and drift away from their daily routine and habits. This may be avoided by going out of the house, travelling to someplace peaceful and being around supportive and positive people – all the things that can help boost one’s mood and avoid being upset.

The old saying “time heals all wounds” might be true. Only with time will the stress in the body reduce, gradually returning to normal. This is also when one will begin to calm down and recover from all the mental and physical damage.

Written by

Cheryl Toh

Last updated on

February 19th 2020, 5:59 pm

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