To the human brain, getting dumped is like being burned by a cup of hot coffee. As you will see later in this article, studies conducted by neurologists revealed that just by simply looking to you ex-boyfriend’s picture tend to energize neurological regions and then processes physical discomfort. Let’s see how does the brain react to a breakup.
Defensively, dejected brain signals release of cortisol, which is a known stress hormone and this amplifies the immune system of the body as if warding off the emotional pathogens.
There has also been a bigger focus recently regarding the chemicals which the human brain emits and each of these given chemicals got particular effects and purpose on how you feel. The chemicals frequently mentioned in relationships are dopamine and oxytocin.
The oxytocin is usually categorized as love or trust chemical and the dopamine is said to be responsible for your happy feeling.
When relationships ends, these chemicals subside naturally and will not be created on large amounts anymore. So once you experience his absence, this usually leads to pain. This actually presents how does the brain react to a breakup.
Is breakup seems like physical pain?
Your brain tend to prioritize thinking about your ex-boyfriend, triggering your to actually pay close attention to physical pain. A study conducted by cognitive neuroscientists in Columbia University used brain fMRI scan in looking at the brain activities in unmarried individuals who have experienced painful and unwanted breakup in the past six months. The participants looked at the photos of their exes while thinking about the experiences they shared.
The researchers then compared scans as to when the participants looked at the photos of a friend or when the participants were exposed into pain through hot probe on their arms. It has been found out that similar parts of the brain actually lit up when the individuals who looked into their ex-partner photos or experienced some physical pain but not when they looked at the friend’s photos. This is how does the brain react to a breakup.
These regions of the human brain which include the anterior cingulate cortex and insula are linked with physical pain. Some researcher however disagrees as to whether this romantic rejection is the same to physical pain or as to whether these regions lit up due to resilience. This simply means that the human brain thinks that both of the physical pain and the picture of lost loves were worth attending to and important.
Aside from the pain, some individuals tend to show addiction to love that is why when love fades away, they show similar symptoms to drug dependency. In another study conducted by Helen Fisher, PhD (Biological Anthropologist and Senior Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute) and Lucy L. Brown, PhD, (neuroscientist and Clinical Professor in Neurology at Einstein College of Medicine in New York) they have actually scanned brain activities of young adults who have experienced breakup recently but still reported feelings of passionate love for their partner.
In such case, it can be clearly said that the strong attachment between men and women is what makes it hurt more when they reach the point of going into separate ways.
Does your brain help you get over it?
As far as we know up until this day, the brain of rejected individuals might have been trying to make themselves feel better or to act more actively and mindfully. Along with reward pathways, there is also an increase in brain activities. Some areas of the brain are actually linked with inhibiting the impulsive reactions and regulating emotions.
If you are experiencing the pain of break up to the extent that your brain is reacting on it with a high intensity, do not be so absorbed with the pain and sadness, instead work on making it better. If you want the pain to vanish, you can also try to work things out and win your ex-boyfriend back. In such case, pain will be replaced with happiness.
ALSO SEE : Why Do Breakups Hurt so Much?