Have you ever been in a situation when you long for someone's existence that the feeling is too overwhelming to handle? When our loved ones are away be it because of a breakup, arguments, or even death there are times that we're going to miss them intensely. And sometimes, this longing feeling can affect our physical and psychological condition without realizing it. So, how do our body and mind react to our longing feeling?
Dr. Sherrie Campbell, licensed counselor, psychologist, and marriage and family therapist, agrees that it's natural to feel physical reactions when you miss your significant other. When we miss someone, we often find it hard to sleep and keep tossing around in our bed. A study conducted by The University of Florida in 2015 discovered that brain could produce an excess of norepinephrine; a hormone that plays a major role in the "fight or flight response," when we feel lonely. When the hormone is released, it will become rather difficult for our brain and body to power down and rest. In addition, another study conducted by psychologist Lisa Diamond of the University of Utah revealed that couples who were separated for four to seven days experienced minor withdrawal-like symptoms, including sleep disturbances, as a result of an increase in cortisol (the stress hormone).
Besides affecting our sleeping habits, our stomach also tends to be churning a lot more than usual when we miss someone intensely. According to Dr. Campbell, longing feelings can cause anxiety-especially when you don't know when to see that person again. This anxious feeling can cause stomach aches because your brain has a massive impact on your gut health. In fact, anxiety and stress can indeed cause symptoms such as nausea, abdominal cramps, or heartburn. You already know that longing feelings can cause stress, anxiety, etc. Therefore, another physiological effect that the longing feeling can give is the changes in blood pressure. Because of the emotional stress and the uncertainty of missing someone, the adrenaline released can cause a spike in your heart rate and blood pressure.
As for the psychological effect, it may have been slightly mentioned above as it can induce emotional stress. The psychological effect of a longing feeling may vary for each individual. The emotional stress felt by someone who's going through an intense longing feeling could also lead to depression because the activities that we used to do with our significant other become different and not as amusing as how it was with them. Another psychological effect that we may face when we miss someone is that we may easily get irritated by many things, not to mention that loneliness also plays a big role in this effect.
Considering that this longing feeling can take a toll on our body and mind, there are several things that you may want to consider doing to lessen the impact. You can try to accept and understand what you are feeling and try to express yourself, engage in activities that can help you divert your attention and mood, and also try to interact with other people and make new connections. The busier you are, the easier it will be to get over the exhausting longing feeling.