Why Love Literally Hurts – Association for Psychological Science

10 01 2014

Most of us see the connection between social and physical pain as a figurative one. We agree that “love hurts,” but we don’t think it hurts the way that, say, being kicked in the shin hurts. At the same time, life often presents a compelling argument that the two types of pain share a common source. Old couples frequently make the news because they can’t physically survive without one another. In one example from early 2012, Marjorie and James Landis of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, who’d been married for 65 years, died just 88 minutes apart.

Truth is you don’t have to be a sentimentalist to believe in broken hearts — being a subscriber to the New England Journal of Medicine will do. A few years ago a group of doctors at Johns Hopkins University reported a rare but lethal heart condition caused by acute emotional distress. The problem is technically known as “stress cardiomyopathy,” but the press likes to call it “broken heart syndrome,” and medical professionals don’t object to the nickname.

Behavioral science is catching up with the anecdotes, too. In the past few years, psychology researchers have found a good deal of literal truth embedded in the metaphorical phrases comparing love to pain. Neuroimaging studies have shown that brain regions involved in processing physical pain overlap considerably with those tied to social anguish. The connection is so strong that traditional bodily painkillers seem capable of relieving our emotional wounds. Love may actually hurt, like hurt hurt, after all.

To read more check out the link below:

Why Love Literally Hurts – Association for Psychological Science.

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Your Journey to Healing

31 03 2012
Regions of the cerebral cortex associated with...

Regions of the cerebral cortex associated with pain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Self-knowledge is frightening.  Which means that for many people, healing is frightening.  When we look around ourselves and see just how dominant entertainment has become in our society, we must keep in mind the basic reason for which we love entertainment– because it allows us to pass time without reflecting on who we are, what we are, what we want, what we believe.  When we keep ourselves entertained by outside sources–movies and music and sports and video games–we don’t have to reflect, and we don’t have to look into our hearts.  And so many people wonder why healing is so difficult sometimes.

If my heart has been broken, the only way that I can heal is to get in touch with how I really feel inside, and why.  It’s very similar to having to heal a broken bone–we need to know where the pain is located, what caused the break, and what shape the bone is in right now.  If I’ve done something that’s hurt me deeply, like causing another person pain or doing something that violates my moral principles, then I need to look inside and find the source of my discomfort and then deal with it on its terms, not necessarily the terms that are the easiest for me to handle.

“Expanding our awareness of who we are.”  Frightening words, aren’t they?  One of the reasons for which people find these words so frightening is that they’re afraid that as they learn more about themselves, they’ll lose much of what they find comfortable now.  As I’ve grown in my life, I’ve given up things like television, and I know plenty of people who are completely unwilling to do something like that.  To me, though, it’s not a loss–it’s a gain of plenty of free time to do things that are much more important to me.

We’re all hurting.  But healing doesn’t necessarily come from a prescription or a trip to the doctor’s office.  Much healing comes from looking inside and recognizing the stress, the negative feelings and attitudes, the sorrow, the pain, the hopelessness that we keep locked up inside ourselves and that continues to gnaw away at us from the inside, causing much of our physical pain and discomfort.  We need to heal the spirit by knowing the spirit, and then our bodies will follow suit.


Healing in its fullest
sense requires looking into
our heart and expanding our
awareness of who we are.

Mitchell Gaynor

Healing is the journey.  The destination is yourself.  The full recognition of all the different aspects of yourself—your joy, your sorrow, your pain, your pleasure—all lead you to the source of who you are.  Only by having intimate contact with this source can you experience the fullness of your life.  Only by fearlessly looking within can you embrace the landscape of your life and open yourself completely to all the love and compassion that lives inside you.

Philip Berk