Heartbreak, the emotional pain and distress caused by the loss or ending of a romantic relationship, can have various effects on individuals, which is what we spoke about with Notes on Heartbreak author Annie Lord. While the specific impact can vary from person to person, here are some common effects of heartbreak:
- Emotional distress. Heartbreak often triggers intense emotional pain, including feelings of sadness, grief, anger, and despair. It can lead to a sense of loss, loneliness, and a deep longing for the relationship that has ended.
- Physical symptoms. Heartbreak can manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and a general decrease in overall well-being. The emotional distress experienced during heartbreak can impact the body’s stress response, leading to these physical manifestations.
- Changes in mood and behaviour. Heartbreak can cause significant changes in mood and behaviour. Individuals may experience mood swings, irritability, and a lack of motivation. They may withdraw from social activities, isolate themselves, or struggle to find pleasure in activities they once enjoyed.
- Self-esteem and self-worth issues. The end of a relationship can affect one’s self-esteem and self-worth. Individuals may question their value, desirability, and attractiveness, leading to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. It can take time to rebuild confidence and regain a sense of self-worth.
- Impact on future relationships. Heartbreak can influence how individuals approach future relationships. Some may become guarded, hesitant to trust, or fear experiencing similar pain again. It may take time and healing for individuals to feel ready to open themselves up to new romantic possibilities.
- Cognitive effects. Heartbreak can impact cognitive functioning, leading to difficulties concentrating, making decisions, or experiencing intrusive thoughts about the past relationship. The pain and preoccupation with the loss can consume mental energy and hinder daily functioning.
- Healing and personal growth. While heartbreak can be incredibly painful, it can also serve as an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery. Over time, individuals can gain insights into themselves, learn from the experience, and develop resilience and emotional strength. It can lead to a deeper understanding of one’s needs, priorities, and desires in future relationships.
It’s important to note that everyone’s experience of heartbreak is unique, and the effects can vary in intensity and duration. It’s essential to seek support from friends, family, or professionals during this challenging time to help cope with the emotional impact and facilitate healing.
What are the effects of heartbreak?
Thanks to the following author for participating:
Annie Lord is Vogue’s dating columnist. She also writes for VICE, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, New Statesman, i-D, the Guardian and Dazed. Her first book, Notes on Heartbreak, was published in 2022.
Other wonderful guests who took part:
Tanya Unkovich is a public speaker, executive mentor and skilled expert in mastering resilience and the author of “Grief to Greatness.
Thanks to ‘Brian’ for contributing. ** Anonymous contribution.
Here are some of the resources from the show:
Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed is an author, attorney, grief counsellor, divorce coach, podcaster, motivational speaker and media commentator. She is the host of the Mean Lady Talking Podcast. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College where she graduated magna cum laude with High Honors and Phi Beta Kappa, a Master of Education from Cambridge College and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. We looked at her book Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You.
Books looked at this week:
Annie Lord: Notes on Heartbreak.
Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed: Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You.
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