I remember the first time I was broken up with. My heart actually hurt, and my appetite subsided for months. I was on the “breakup diet.”
That physical weakness lasted me through the winter, as I hopelessly tried to figure out what it was about me, or what I had done to be broken up with.
As spring came around and my feelings for the past summer's fling dissipated, my physical health slowly improved. The heart pain I had experienced when my “ex” would pass me in the hallways was now just a small pang in my stomach.
I was actually finishing my school lunches and enjoying the warm chocolate chip cookies the lunch ladies made special every day. I returned to a healthy weight, my skin had its glow back and I felt physically stronger overall.
Whether it's a breakup, a divorce, a death in a family or even something positive, like a promotion at work, new situations can cause a number of stresses on our health. When we emotionally identify a situation as a “threat” or something “different” than our day-to-day lives, our body has a variety of responses to that stress.
According to psychological research, there are six universal human emotions: happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, fear and disgust. Each of these emotions elicit an array of different physical responses in our bodies.
Our minds and bodies really are more connected than most of us think. In stressful situations, it's important to understand this connection so we can recognize those physical reactions when they happen and respond to them in a healthy way.
To learn more about the interconnectivity of our minds and bodies, and for a more in-depth look at how each of the six universal emotions physically affect us, watch the video above.