Falling in love and out of love happen to almost everyone at some point in their lives but how does this affect our mind and body? The following are 10 ways love and heartbreak temporarily change you…
- The influx of positive hormones – Dopamine and Oxytocin are key players in love, giving you all the good feelings you experience.
- The addiction to love and its risks – the feel good effects of the hormones are similar to the euphoria you experience with synthetic drugs, making it a hard habit to break. This addiction drives us to take more risks to get and remain with the person we love.
- You become more confident – you are less pessimistic, taking on any challenges more confidently.
- Neurotics tend to become stable – emotionally, those who are high in neuroticism or are considered depressed or anxious tend to stabilise over the time they are in a relationship.
- You can’t focus – love can get in the way of your ability to focus on tasks.
- The influx of negative hormones – after a break up the high Dopamine and Oxytocin levels drop so you will already feel ‘low’ but then the stress hormones e.g. cortisol and epinephrine will kick-in making you feel even worse!
- The withdrawal from love – without the hormones feeding your addiction to love you will experience withdrawal. However, as with withdrawing from drugs, the withdrawal will end.
- You question who you are – you lose your sense of self as there are aspects to how you see yourself that depend on your partner and unfortunately you don’t get the same sense of self aspects from your mum….or cat.
- Your weight fluctuates – you can go either thinner or fatter depending on how you deal with the stress; by either eating to feel better or not wanting/remembering to eat.
- It will probably not be the last break-up – bad news… research from Brown University has shown that the likelihood of a second breakup increases by 75% after your first.
The take home message is that you shouldn’t just jump in to serious relationships as they play a huge role in your health, both mentally and physically. However, if you think you are ready you have been forewarned of the side-effects of love.