Broken Hearts: Myth or Fact?

Broken Hearts: Myth or Fact?
Emotions are an integral part of our lives, influencing every aspect of our daily experiences. What many people may not realize, however, is that every emotion and thought releases chemicals and hormones in the body that create a cascade of events and physical reactions [1]. According to Ayurvedic principles, emotions are considered to be a manifestation of the subtle energies that flow through the body, known as prana.
In Ayurveda, emotions are seen as having both positive and negative effects on the body. Positive emotions such as love, joy, and compassion are believed to promote health and vitality by nourishing the body and mind. They release hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins that promote feelings of well-being and can counteract the effects of stress on the body. Negative emotions such as anger, fear, and sadness, on the other hand, are believed to disrupt the flow of prana, leading to imbalances in the body and mind. These release hormones that trigger the fight-or-flight response. While this response can be helpful in short bursts, chronic stress and repeated activation of the fight-or-flight response can lead to negative physical and mental health consequences, including heart disease, diabetes, and anxiety disorders.
Emotional release and regulation are crucial for maintaining a healthy balance of these chemicals in the body. The ability to recognize and express emotions in a healthy way, rather than suppressing or avoiding them, is key to emotional regulation for both physical and mental health.

Stress, Grief, & Broken Hearts

Negative emotional energy can have a profound impact on our physical health, affecting our muscles, digestive system, energy levels, sleep, immune system, and skin. Here are a few examples of how negative energy can manifest itself on a regular basis:

Muscle tension: When we experience negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, or anger, our muscles can become tense and rigid. This can lead to headaches, neck and back pain, and other physical discomforts.
Digestive problems: Negative emotions can also affect our digestive system, leading to problems such as indigestion, bloating, and constipation.
Fatigue: Negative emotions can also drain our energy levels, leading to feelings of fatigue and lethargy.
Sleep disturbances: Negative emotions can also disrupt our sleep, leading to problems such as insomnia, nightmares, and frequent waking.
Immune system dysfunction: Chronic negative emotions can weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to illness and disease.
Skin problems: Negative emotions can also manifest themselves on our skin, leading to problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
You have probably heard the phrase “dying of a broken heart.” Is this actually possible? According to research, yes, you can actually die of a broken heart, and it is often associated with the passing of a spouse. Losing a spouse can be one of the most stressful life events a person can experience, and research has shown that it is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. In fact, studies have found that the risk of mortality among the widowed is highest during the first six months after a spousal death [2].

There is evidence to suggest that the emotional pain of losing a spouse can have a direct impact on physical health. Some researchers have suggested that the emotional pain of grief can cause a "broken heart" syndrome, also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, which can weaken the heart [3].

One possible explanation for this phenomenon is the stress response. When a person experiences a significant stressor such as the death of a spouse, their body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can cause a number of physiological changes, including an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. Over time, chronic stress can lead to inflammation, oxidative stress, and other negative health outcomes. Chronic stress can also contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease, as it can cause damage to the lining of blood vessels and increase the risk of blood clots.

Calm Mind = Healthy Body

So how can we combat these negative energies, especially when it feels like we are bombarded by them every day? While anger, fear, sadness, and other stressful emotions are important to process, we need to regulate and release these emotions and balance them with positive energies that release endorphins [4]. Some strategies to help regulate these emotions in a healthy way include:

  1. Self-awareness: The first step in combating negative energy is to become aware of it. Pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and notice when negative energy arises.
  2. Positive self-talk: Self-talk involves replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations. For example, instead of saying "I can't do this," say "I am capable and strong."
  3. Gratitude: Practicing gratitude can help shift our focus from negative energy to positive energy. Take time each day to reflect on things you are grateful for, and express gratitude to others.
  4. Mindfulness: Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment with a non-judgmental attitude. This practice can help us become more aware of negative energy and learn to respond to it in a healthy way.
  5. Surround yourself with positivity: Surrounding yourself with positive people, environments, and experiences can help release emotions and balance your mind. Seek out activities and relationships that bring you joy and positivity.
  6. Therapeutic techniques: Simple techniques used in Ayurvedic therapy can help influence emotional regulation and balance mind, body, and spirit. Breathwork involves being aware of and controlling one's breathing to impact the emotional and physical state. Tapping is a stress relief technique that was developed based on ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology, and many find it effective in reducing anxiety, depression, physical pain, and other symptoms of stress.
  7. Detox: Going through a physical cleanse can produce a fresh outlook on life as well. When your body is nourished and healthy, your emotions can achieve balance as well. Many of the Ayurvedic herbs we use in Immunity Potion, such as Ashwagandha, Passion Flower, Turmeric, and others, are used to help the body cope with stress and improve mood and cognitive function. Find out how you can attain balance with our tridoshic herbs.

Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of developing a strong mind-body connection, which involves understanding the interplay between emotions, thoughts, and physical health. By addressing the root causes of emotional imbalances and restoring balance to the body and mind, you can cultivate greater emotional resilience, improved physical health, and a greater sense of vitality and well-being.