Breakups can cause more than just emotional pain. In fact, the physical and mental health effects of a breakup can be far-reaching and serious. A broken heart can manifest itself in more than just an emotional way – it can affect our bodies too.
The stress of the breakup can lead to physical issues like headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and muscle tension. Depression and anxiety are also very common mental health side-effects of a breakup that can have physical ramifications. Research has also suggested that breakups may actually alter our immune systems, making us more vulnerable to sickness.
It’s natural to feel hurt after a breakup but it is crucial to attend to your physical body as well as your emotional state while going through this difficult time. Eating healthy meals and getting enough rest helps us cope. Exercise is also great for keeping our minds and bodies healthy which could help us recover sooner. Additionally turning to friends or family for social support or even talking to a professional therapist could be beneficial in the long run.
Here are 10 things that can happen to your body after a breakup:
Stress caused by a breakup can lead to tension headaches, which often manifest as a dull ache in the forehead, neck, or temples. People who experience this type of headache during a breakup often describe it as feeling like a tight band around the head. In addition to physical pain, tension headaches are linked to fatigue and insomnia. The emotional stress that is associated with breakups can make it difficult to sleep and may cause an inability to concentrate on work or other tasks. Muscle tension is another symptom that can be caused by the stress of a breakup, which can lead to further discomfort and pain.
The emotional stress from a breakup can be intense and overwhelming, causing extreme fatigue. People may feel drained of energy, unable to concentrate, and unable to motivate themselves to do anything – all signs of physical exhaustion caused by emotional turmoil. This type of fatigue is different than regular exhaustion due to lack of sleep; it’s the result of long-term stress that takes a toll on our bodies. Luckily, there are ways to manage break-up-related exhaustion such as regular exercise, yoga or meditation, or talking with a therapist or friend who can help support you through this difficult time.
Many people find it difficult to sleep after a breakup due to worrying about the situation. It’s common for thoughts about the relationship and future to run through your mind, growing ever more anxious as time passes. This can lead to insomnia or other sleep disturbances, such as waking up early or taking a long time to fall asleep. To reduce the stress associated with breakups and disruption of sleep, try relaxing activities such as mindfulness meditation or calming music. Exercise can also help you to relax and clear your mind, allowing for better quality sleep at night.
Reduced or loss of appetite
The emotional turmoil of a breakup can cause you to feel overwhelmed and off balance, leading to changes in your eating habits. You may find yourself overeating or not eating enough, mainly due to distraction or lack of appetite. It is important to recognize these changes and take control so that you don’t go too far down the wrong path. Eating regular meals, scheduling treats for yourself, or consulting a nutritionist can all help you manage your food intake during this time. Taking care of your body throughout this difficult process will be beneficial in the long run.
Breakup anxiety can manifest itself in physical ways, such as in muscle tension. You may find yourself clenching your jaw, rubbing your temples, tensing your shoulders and neck muscles, or grinding your teeth without even being aware of it. Being mindful of your body and learning to relax when necessary can help you manage the physical symptoms associated with stress. Taking deep breaths or using visualization techniques can also help in reducing anxious thoughts and calming muscle tension.
Weekend immune system
Studies have suggested that breakups can have a negative effect on our immune system and make us more susceptible to illnesses. This is because stress and unhappiness can cause an imbalance of hormones in the body, leading to physical health concerns. It is important to take extra care of yourself both mentally and physically during this time in order to prevent any serious illness from occurring. Make sure you get enough rest, exercise often, eat nutrient-rich foods, drink plenty of water, and reduce your stress levels as much as possible.
Increased heart rate
Anxiety from a breakup can cause an elevated heart rate and other physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, rapid breathing, tightness in the chest, or sweating. This can be especially difficult to cope with if it happens suddenly and unexpectedly. To help manage these physical symptoms of anxiety, it may help to practice deep breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques that are designed to promote relaxation. You can also try talking to a friend or writing down your thoughts and feelings so you can better process them.
Heavy chest pain
A broken heart can be accompanied by feelings of heaviness or chest pains, both of which can be caused by intense emotions. This is your body’s way of trying to process the pain and distress you are feeling. It is important to remember that these feelings will pass with time and it is important to practice self-care during this difficult period. Try activities such as yoga, meditation, or spending time outdoors in nature, which can help to reduce tension in the body and mind and bring you some comfort.
Stress or anxiety caused by a painful breakup can result in digestive issues such as nausea, diarrhea, or stomach aches. This is because when you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, your body releases hormones that can cause an array of digestive symptoms. To help manage these symptoms it is important to take care of your physical health and make sure you maintain a healthy diet, get enough sleep and exercise regularly. Additionally, engaging in activities like talking to friends or engaging in relaxing hobbies can help reduce stress levels and provide some relief from discomfort.
Increase in cortisol levels
Cortisol is known as ‘the stress hormone’ and its levels increase when we go through intense stress, such as a breakup. This hormone can cause physical symptoms such as accelerated heart rate, headaches, insomnia, and digestive upset. To help manage the effects of cortisol it is important to acknowledge your feelings and practice self-care. Things like yoga, getting enough sleep, or taking a walk can help to reduce cortisol levels and provide some relief from the distress caused by a broken heart.