I found this picture some time ago while looking through Clare Crespo’s amazing cupcake recipe book “Hey There, Cupcake!” You should all check it out if you feel inspired to bake, or just to admire a collage of amazingly vivid pictures of cupcake artistry.
The picture speaks volumes, as I am still processing the sting of love’s trials and tribulations. It also got me to think about how heartache is depicted in movies and many other social representations of people (especially women). It seems like heartache is synonymous with pathetically sitting in front of the television and scarfing down a tub of ice cream. I find this funny, only because whenever my heart aches (for any reason), food is the last thing on my mind. In fact, my appetite tends to dissipate, prompting me to forget my normal daily intake.
I’m starting to think my reaction is quite normal. This article from Medical News Today breaks it down quite well.
Love Study: Brain Reacts To Heartbreak Same As Physical Pain
Love hurts, and that is not just a saying for the broken hearted. Heartbreak is a very strange distress. It is exquisitely painful, and yet we cannot find an injury on our body. New research finds that when you reminisce about the one that got away, the brain actually triggers sensations that you also feel in times of “real” physical pain, making heartbreak truly, physically painful to add to the emotional distress it sometimes causes.
Heartbreak is like one big emotional pain but it also seems to spark off hundreds of other emotions. We hate the feeling of heartbreak, and yet we find ourselves compelled to go over and over memories, ideas or fantasies which make the feeling worse.
Edward E. Smith, director of cognitive neuroscience at Columbia University explains:
“This tells us how serious rejection can be sometimes. When people are saying ‘I really feel in pain about this breakup,’ you don’t want to trivialize it and dismiss it by saying ‘It’s all in your mind.’ Our ultimate goal is to see what kind of therapeutic approach might be useful in relieving the pain of rejection. From everyday experience, rejection seems to be one of the most painful things we experience. It seems the feelings of rejection can be sustained even longer than being angry.”
Forty people analyzed from New York City and all of whom felt “intensely rejected,” took part in the study. While participants were told to look at photos, including photos of their friends (they were directed to think positive thoughts about them), and photos of their exes (they were directed to think about their breakup), their brains were scanned for changes in activity. The participants also underwent brain scans as they felt pain on their forearms similar to the feeling of holding a hot cup of coffee in comparison. Several of the same areas of the brain became active when the participants felt either physical pain or emotional pain.
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