Love kills. Science confirms this is actually true.

It’s strange and ironic that February – the month of Valentine’s Day – is also Heart Health month. Intentions on Valentine’s Day are very positive: it’s our yearly reminder to reaffirm our commitment and appreciation for those we love. But in reality, Valentine’s can create serious emotional – even physical – complications.  For one thing, expectation on the day is overwhelming – it’s the Christmas of relationships.

Almost as many couples fight or break up on Valentine’s as those who actually enjoy their day together. And for those without a partner, the day can be a lonely one that opens up old wounds from previous failed relationships.

Being on the negative end of Valentine’s Day can even have serious consequences for your health. If Western medicine is still not convinced that the separation of mind and body is an artificial construct, one need look no further than Broken Heart Syndrome.  The physical effects and potentially fatal aftermath of a failed relationship or the loss of a loved now has a scientific name: takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

The catastrophic stress associated with a break-up or a emotional loss can actually physically change the shape of the heart and reduce cardiovascular function by 75%. The symptoms of BHS – shortness of breath; chest pains  – are sometimes misdiagnosed as a heart attack because they are so similar. The effects of Broken Heart Syndrome are usually temporary, but if the cascade of stress hormones goes untreated and persists, the outcome can actually be fatal.

We’re constantly reminded how important exercise and a sensible diet is to preserving the health of our heart. But what about your psychological diet?  When we talk about Broken Heart Syndrome, we’re talking about memory, catastrophic thinking and stress. And we all know stress is phenomenon that begins in our brain.  Our perception that “all is lost” can physically manifest itself in all being lost – literally.

It’s worth noting that exercising your brain can consequently help your heart.  Neurofeedback training can help to alleviate major stressors in our lives –  such as failed relationships or bereavement. The FDA has even approved neurofeedback as effective for mitigating stress.

It’s cliché, but the best road to recovery after suffering a broken heart is time and emotional support.  But neurofeedback training could help avert total disaster. Hook up with the nearest neurofeedback system (preferably NeurOptimal®). Your heart – and your brain – will thank you.