What Does Heartbreak Feel Like?

October 18, 2023

When your heart gets broken, it's like having your stomach ripped open with a cheese grater. It's a tightening feeling that makes the air feel like razor blades moving through your chest. It's the inexplicable tears and screams of agony that come when you least expect them, in the middle of your day, at the grocery store, in the car, on the subway. It's having 3 seconds of memory clear before the pain kicks in again and makes your stomach feel like a pile of bad Chinese takeout.

Falling in love can be intense and leave you feeling giddy and euphoric, but severing that connection triggers a rush of negative emotions that are physically painful too. The reason: a sudden loss of love can trigger a surge in stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, as well as a reduction in happy chemicals serotonin and oxytocin.

If you're experiencing these initial symptoms of heartbreak, it is important to remember that it will pass. However, if your friends are getting sick of hearing about the drama or you're skipping work, it may be time to consider outside support from a professional therapist.

A therapist can help you process the emotions and feelings that are arising, and teach you techniques for dealing with them. They can also help you build new ways to find meaning and purpose in your life, if the old one feels lost. They can be a great source of support, but you should never feel dependent on them; the main work has to come from you.

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