Will going to the gym and exercising really help you get over your ex? YES!!! This article explains the intricate chemical effect love has on the brain in relationship to dopamine levels. The bottom line is, when love goes sour, the brain loses it’s dopamine stimulate. What’s the big deal?
Dopamine = Reward Stimulus = Satisfaction
Staying in touch with the person who brings on the dopamine stimulation is one option; albeit not always the healthy choice. Another option is to create a new pathway to dopamine production with new habits to bring new feelings of satisfaction. Exercise creates new dopamine receptors in the brain.
Exercise to Break Unhealthy Addictive Habits
Dr Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist, a Senior Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute, member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Internet dating site Match.com. She has conducted extensive research and written six books on the evolution and future of human sex, love, marriage, gender differences in the brain and how your personality style shapes who you are and who you love. Dr Fisher is currently using her knowledge of brain chemistry to discuss the neuroscience of business leadership and innovation.
It is very difficult to control feelings of romantic love and that is because love is a basic drive. It is a dopamine brain pathway, a brain circuit that is way below the cortex at which you do your thinking, it’s way below the limbic system where the central organization of the emotions happens – it’s in the very base of the brain and actually, the main region where we find activity when we look in the brain is in the so-called ventral tegmental area. That is a little sector right near the base of the brain and right near it are the factors that orchestrate hunger and thirst. So basically, romantic love is a drive, it’s a basic mating drive. It evolved millions of years ago to focus your mating energy on a particular individual to start the mating process.
How to cure a broken heart? You have to treat it as an addiction – get rid of the cards and letters, don’t write, don’t call, don’t show up, don’t ask about the person. Try to move on in a different path, see old friends, make new friends, keep moving, get some exercise – anything that distracts you. A lot of people feel so guilty when they break up with somebody that they are just willing to be their good friends. Don’t be friends with this person for a while! You have to get over the addiction. So treat a broken heart as an addiction.
But I think romantic love is a natural addiction – when it’s going well and you are falling in love with the right person it can be a very good addiction, rather than a bad addiction. It can certainly be a bad addiction too – when you are rejected in love, we find activity in the brain regions linked with physical pain along with the anxiety that goes along with physical pain, three brain regions associated with intense craving, a brain region linked with romantic love, a brain regions linked to deep feeling of attachment, but most also a brain region linked with addiction. So, romantic love is an addiction, it’s a natural addiction, it’s a drive, it evolved millions of years ago it will be with us if we survive as species millions of years from now, and it evolved as an addiction, a part of an addiction when things are going well and a really negative addiction when things are going poorly.Read more…
Understanding the dopamine cycle in relationship to addictions gives power to solutions for overcoming addictions. Exercise is a powerful solution to creating a healthy dopamine cycle.