It turns out that break-up in a relationship negatively affects not only your psyche, but your body also suffers from it. Check out the list of the physiological consequences of separation to find out the condition of the body and the mind at such a moment.
It will become clear to you how important it is to take care of yourself in the aftermath of separation and how fragile a person’s health can be. So, here are the main negative changes.
How Your Body Reacts to Breakup?
1- The Body Goes Into Survival Mode
The “fight or flight” mode is a primitive reaction of the body a consequence of ancient times when such behavior was necessary for survival in the wild. This reaction can manifest itself not only due to an immediate physical threat but also due to emotional or psychological trauma.
According to experts, the breakup appears to the body as stress. The body is unable to figure out whether the cause of such stress is a predator attack or a broken heart. It reacts in the same way: a person begins to tremble, it becomes more difficult for him/her to concentrate, and he/she has obsessive thoughts.
The stress associated with the attack of the predator quickly passed, so the reaction did not harm the psyche. Now, this evolutionary mechanism can be the cause of chronic anxiety or depression, because a person simply cannot relax.
2- Sleep And Appetite Changes
You can blame the hormones for these changes. One of the most pronounced physical symptoms of the psychological distress experienced is a change in sleep and appetite. A breakup is a long-term source of stress, so excess cortisol begins to take its toll on the digestive system, slowing it down, and sometimes causing problems like irritable bowel syndrome.
As a result, a person has an eating disorder. He/she is inclined to overeat for the purpose of consolation or to malnourish against the increased anxiety. Sleep can also be seriously affected.
People who have lost important relationships may experience insomnia or constant sleepiness. Symptoms such as headache, loss of energy, decreased motivation, anxiety, increased stress, and depression may also occur.
3- Dopamine Production
Studies have shown that the body reacts to longing for a former lover in the same way as an addiction. Experiencing these emotions activates the same brain regions that are activated in people going through cocaine or alcohol addiction withdrawal
When a person is in love, their brain actively releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, a substance tightly linked to the body’s reward system. After a breakup, the brain does not stop its activity, which makes you unable to cope with the feeling of dependence on your ex.
The situation gets aggravated by the fact that there is no reward. This triggers heavy obsessive thoughts that make it so difficult to cope with the experience.
4- Weakening Of The Immune System
You’ve probably heard that people who have gone through a breakup complain about a complete breakdown. Yes, the gap really hurts a person physically and this is not a game of imagination. An injured heart causes the body to shut down some of the functions of the immune system.
Your defenses against viruses get impaired, the body releases stress hormones, reducing your body’s efficiency and leading to a variety of health problems. After a breakup, you become weaker and may be more sensitive to physical pain.
People describe the pain of separation with physical metaphors because they are really suffering at the bodily level: body and psyche are closely intertwined. It is worth remembering that you need to treat yourself more carefully in difficult times.
5- A Spike In Cortisol And Blood Pressure Levels
Cortisol is a stress hormone that gets produced in any stressful situation. If you’ve ended a romantic relationship, cortisol will activate the sympathetic nervous system, nudging you toward solving the problem. Due to this action of the hormone, the heart rate and blood pressure rise.
A person begins to experience anxiety, fear and becomes physically exhausted. For people prone to heart disease or hypertension, this condition can be very dangerous.
6- Skin Rashes
Unfortunately, breaking up can even make your skin worse. Research has shown that people are twenty-three percent more likely to develop acne if they are experiencing increased stress levels, such as a recent breakup.
The researchers were very careful to rule out other factors that could also be causing the deterioration of the skin. They concluded that it was indeed a broken heart. Stress can provoke inflammation, and acne is caused by inflammation.
However, you need to understand that this is a temporary phenomenon. If you take proper care of your skin, lead an active lifestyle, and eat well, the rashes will disappear after a while.
7- Temporary Enlargement Of The Heart
No, this is not a figure of speech. When you are going through a breakup, your heart really grows. Experts talk about the broken heart syndrome, a condition that can lead to serious malfunctions of the cardiovascular system, and sometimes even to heart failure.
Part of this important organ is temporarily enlarged, blood circulation is reduced. Otherwise, the heart functions normally or even more efficiently. Most often, this syndrome manifests itself in women.
Eighty percent of cases are precisely female patients. Because symptoms are associated with chest pain and an irregular heartbeat, the condition is often confused with a heart attack. The good news is that this syndrome usually goes away after a few weeks.
Break-ups can bring painful sensations and develop hurtful feelings. Therefore, it is important to deal with these problems with caution because they can lead to serious health damage.
Also do not take such instances to your heart and stay busy when such a situation occurs. Go out with friends more often and get your mind off this separation. It will definitely help you cope with the breakup pain.