If you thought you can fool your body about your breakup, you haven’t thought this through.
The post-breakup period is not an easy phase. Unless, of course, you secretly enjoy sadistic pleasures! Every person going through a breakup follows certain phases, although in randomized patterns. Some days, you will feel like lying on the bed till eternity and wondering about the purpose of life as you carry on with ice cream binges, while on other days, you turn into a fitness enthusiast at the oddest of hours. In fact, here is a list of most things our body will go through during a breakup – some of which we can broadly classify in the ‘I am crazy’ class!
1. Physical Pain
‘Love hurts’ is not just a cool t-shirt quote, it’s a fact. Doctors believe that our body experiences actual physical pain as a post-breakup effect. Medical research over the decades has shown that emotional and social scars have a direct physical impact; hence, breakups can take a toll on you physically (1). In fact, physicians even prescribe medication for dealing with such situations.
Experts believes that emotional stress makes us more sensitive towards physical pain. Physiologically, when we’re stressed, our blood vessels begin to constrict and our muscles simultaneously tense. We become overly sensitive to the negative impact around us when our emotions are exposed to traumatic incidents.
2. Withdrawal Symptoms
Multiple cravings for ‘closure’ might just be an excuse to get in touch with your ex, and that’s a part of you showing withdrawal symptoms. After all, letting go is not that easy a task. If you think you can save yourself the trouble by deleting numbers and blocking contacts, wait till you find yourself ‘researching’ about your ex’s whereabouts from other sources. And more than any other addiction, it is way harder to quit. After all, there are no ‘breakup’ patches.
3. Weight Changes
If you are wearing your ex’s t-shirt, it might also be because that is your new body size. And although finding a companion in fries or detesting having lunch alone do contribute to it, there is an entirely different level of conspiracy going on in your body.
Doctors believes that post-breakup weight change is fairly obvious. Cortisol in our brain, when overstressed, convinces us to hog on an enormous amount of food, regardless of its caloric abundance (2).
Additionally, our body starts producing too much adrenaline that overstimulates our cortisol levels. However, for a lot of people, an excessive adrenaline rush will tend to kill one’s appetite and will result in weight loss.
Breakups take a major physical and mental toll on individuals, which is kind of obvious. It’s a lot to take in, and hence we let ourselves go through a lot.
Experts believe that cortisol in its survival mode is essential and necessary for various life processes. But while experiencing a breakup, we tend to get stuck on matters; hence, we produce cortisol almost constantly. This suppresses our immune system as a result of which our blood sugar levels and blood pressure spikes (3). It can also lead to obesity issues.
So, here’s a tip – go to a spa, go for massages, go to bowling alleys or a Marvel movie. And if nothing else works, play some music and find your groove. In short, there is no point to stressing out further, so just find your mojo.
5. Hormones Go Bonkers
Doctors explains that norepinephrine and adrenaline are hormones that one’s body produces at times of stress. And both of these lead to your heart rate accelerating, which makes your muscles tense, thereby making you sweat and gasp for air. They transfer oxygen and blood away from regions that might not be as important, like the skin, often resulting in appetite loss, acne breakouts, headaches, and other illnesses.
But there is no reason to panic. Breathe deep, try breathing exercises, yoga or find inner peace with meditation. Don’t overthink, just try believing that ‘the force is with you.’
Body and emotions function like guns; before you fire at full pace, you need to recoil. With breakups, your body takes a step backward before it accepts and grooms itself to the process of moving on. But in this process, you’ll find yourself tired, majorly because of carrying the emotional burden that has been building. You find yourself taking multiple naps, being reluctant about going out. In case you have ended a relationship, expect to experience a sense of fatigue. I believe that’s why they keep quoting the all clichéd, “Pain is the essence that you’re alive.”
But in the end, one must remember – the pain, the choking, the emotional waves, none of it will last forever. Until then, sit back with popcorn and a sundae, and watch your favorite sitcom. Netflix and chill – for real. Learn to appreciate the beauty in little, non-agitated things around you. You’ll have your people around, so reach out to them. If things go out of hand, consult a therapist. Look around, the world is your home – make yourself comfortable!
After all, “This too shall pass.”