Most of us have experienced heartbreak. When you think about how it made you feel, it's very similar to physical pain and suffering. That's no mistake — our brains process physical pain and emotional pain in similar ways. This video explains why, and how you can ease that pain when it happens to you.
AsapSCIENCE reminds us in the video above that physical pain and emotional pain are both handled by the anterior cingulate cortex, a portion of our brains responsible for a number of higher emotional and cognitive functions like decision making and empathy as well as regulating pain response in terms of blood pressure and heart rate.
When you touch something hot or break up with your significant other, the same region of the brain lights up — albeit in context and scale with the significance of the pain you're experiencing. Of course, bandages and painkillers work on cuts and bruises, but how do you minimize emotional pain from a breakup or some other social falling out? The key is to surround yourself with friends and family. It may be difficult, and you may already know you should, but a strong social support structure has been shown to help minimise drastic changes in cortisol and norepinephrine levels in the brain — both hormones associated with stress response. Essentially, there's a very scientific reason for why surrounding yourself with friends will help keep you sane and on the level, even through tough times.
The Science of Heartbreak [AsapSCIENCE (YouTube)]