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When You Feel Heartbroken, Your Physical Heart Might Hurt Too, Science Says

When You Feel Heartbroken, Your Physical Heart Might Hurt Too, Science Says

A broken heart has been utilized as an image to describe what the deepest sadness can truly be. It usually comes from losing a partner or being placed in a spot of desperation and destructive depression. It’s a moment of time that leaves a person distraught and at a loss for what to do next. It’s one thing that many face when dealing with a terrible breakup or when a person they care for passes away. It has probably happened to you before, and whether or not you have overcome it, just know that others have gone through it and have felt the tearing apart of the heart that comes with the feeling.

It Feels Like A Heart Attack

Researchers have been studying if feeling heartbroken has a physical side too, as it’s always been just a way of expressing how upset or distressed a person is about the current situation. What they have found is something called “stress cardiomyopathy,” which causes a person to feel like they are having a heart attack. But now, new research has been done on atrial fibrillation, in which the stressors involved with the event cause the heart to beat in an irregular pattern. In the American study, researchers found that there is a high chance of developing atrial fibrillation as soon as a month after a loved one passes, and this risk remains high for up to a year. The more suddenly the event happened, the more at risk a person would be. They found that younger people have a greater risk of developing the irregular beat pattern.

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This study is another example of how beautiful the human body is, showing a connection between both the mind and the heart. When the mind is in a mental state of despair, the body takes notice and reacts. In this case, it’s not entirely certain that the atrial fibrillation was directly caused by the experienced loss, but the positive correlation suggests that it helps increase the risk. That is what is important here. The body reacts to the news and shock in its own way, a way that potentially causes the beating muscle that is often associated with love itself to go into its own shock and change. It’s heavily indicated by the research that extreme traumatic stress can mess with how the heart and body continue to function, almost leaving a person feeling like a shell, trapped by their deep sense of heartbreak.

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“Bereavement is a major life event, which is known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, mental illness and death,” notes the study. All three of these factors together can run rampant in a person’s body and cause them to feel trapped. Hearts can actually be broken.

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What To Do

There are other ways to try and decrease stress caused by heartbreak. These include meditation, yoga, exercise, finding new hobbies, and centralizing your breathing. I remember a friend of mine telling me that breathing is the best way to soothe the corrupt soul that arises from stressful situations. “Ten deep breaths,” she always told me. I have believed in this ever since, and now I wonder how much simply breathing deeply can help you deal with heart-breaking feelings. A heart doesn’t have to be broken.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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