When you go through heartbreak or any kind of trauma, it almost feels like the pain is all too real. It’s just not located in the mind, but it is present in your body and is actually hurting you. While people might have said that it was just a feeling, Susanne Babbel, Ph.D. and a specialist in somatic psychology has actually found a reason for this connection of mind and body. An article published in Psychology Today elaborates on the link that is present between trauma in the mind and physical pain or any kind of illness in certain areas of the body.
According to the report, when we undergo a lot of stress, our body releases a stress hormone known as cortisol. This can cause a rise in blood sugar and blood pressure, which in turn results in reduced activity of our immune system. Since healing takes a hit, it results in a constriction of our muscles which causes pain and might get inefficient and fatigued if the stress period lasts for a long time.
When there are emotional pains, these are some of the areas where you might feel an aching sensation:
Chest or heart
According to author and psychologist, Alan Fogel, Ph.D., chest pain can be indicative of heartbreak and loss. This is because when we have a loved one and when we are with them, we feel safe which is due to the vagal-parasympathetic activation. This helps in relaxed breathing and proper heart rate, activities that are related to the chest.
Jaw or Neck
When you feel a muscular tension in your throat, jaw, or neck, it is indicative of unresolved frustration or anger. This is because you are holding back a temptation, probably to scream, and so your jaw feels clenched and your teeth are grinding against each other.
If you are having a headache, then it is because of anxiety and stress. Migraine headaches can occur due to an increase in stress levels. This is because the blood vessels of our body start to dilate and this results in a terrible headache, as per The Cleveland Clinic. If the stress continues for a long time, it can also result in the headache getting aggravated and becoming almost unbearable.
If you are having stomach issues like indigestion, nausea and a feeling of malaise, then, it might be due to guilt or shame. When you are anxious, there are hormones produced which go to your digestive tracks and have an ill effect on the microorganisms in your gut. It will also reduce the production of antibodies, as per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Issues with Shoulder
Shoulder pain can occur when you are feeling overwhelmed with some work or at school. According to the online medical resource Healthgrades, stress does not cause the pain in your shoulder but when you are stressed, the constriction of the muscles will make it more painful. The blood vessels will enlarge and result in your shoulder movements becoming restricted. Sitting in front of the computer with a hunched back can cause the pain to aggravate.
It’s no longer a myth that emotional pain can cause physical pain. This just shows how our body and mind are connected. So, it’s necessary for us to take care of our emotions as much as taking care of our body. Health, after all, is the well-being of both our body and our mind.