The anatomy of heartbreak

We all thought this couple would never break up. Angelina Jolie has reportedly filed for divorce, and soon, there will be no more Brangelina.

A heartbreak can feel devastating, but how does it affect your body?  This could be happening to Brad right now:

His brain cannot distinguish between emotional and physical hurt
If you’ve ever been dumped, you’ll remember that terrible feeling – as if you’d been punched in the stomach! Well, even though no-one’s laid a finger on you, your brain is telling your body that the pain is real! In an interview with Women’s Health Magazine, Naomi Eisenbuerger, Ph.D., said that the area of your brain that lights up when you’re hurt physically is the same area that lights up when you suffer “social rejection.” So, yes, it really does hurt.

His body is flooding with stress hormones
You know that incredible feeling of being in love? You can thank neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin for that. When love ends suddenly, all those wonderful chemicals get washed out of your system by a flood of stress hormones: cortisol and epinephrine, and too much of them does not make you feel good at all. One way to reverse the trend is exercise – a good run or circuit at the gym will bring back the dopamine and soothe the pain.

It could affect his appetite
People cope with sadness in different ways: some binge-eat and others stop eating altogether. Either way is not great for your health. One of the key things to support someone who is going through a break-up, is to stick with an eating routine – even if they don’t feel like it, feeding your body the right foods at the right times consistently, helps it process the emotional trauma.
So, yes – it hurts and hurts. And, some die-hard fans of Brangelina could feel similar symptoms, since the emotional impact can have similar physical symptoms in them.

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But, long after the twitter-feeds and headlines die off,  both of them can still find healing on physical, and emotional levels. It just takes a dedication to self-care, enough emotional support and time.