First, a little something on physical responses to emotions - something I seem to be particularly sensitive to. After I split up with Gideon I spent the following days vomiting up anything I ate, and dry-retching the rest of the time. The poor guy even took a special trip to the chip shop to get me chips which I just pushed around a plate, ate a few of and then promptly met again in the bathroom. (In fact, the heartbreak diet helped me lose almost a stone in 2 weeks.) It still happens now - that horrible tugging on the metaphorical heartstrings, may not be so metaphorical after all...
"When people have their feelings hurt, what is actually happening inside the body to cause the physical pain in the chest?
Robert Emery and Jim Coan, professors of psychology at the University of Virginia, reply:
Terms such as “heartache” and “gut wrenching” are more than mere metaphors: they describe the experience of both physical and emotional pain. When we feel heartache, for example, we are experiencing a blend of emotional stress and the stress-induced sensations in our chest—muscle tightness, increased heart rate, abnormal stomach activity and shortness of breath. In fact, emotional pain involves the same brain regions as physical pain, suggesting the two are inextricably connected.
But how do emotions trigger physical sensations? Scientists do not know, but recently pain researchers uncovered a possible pathway from mind to body. According to a 2009 study from the University of Arizona and the University of Maryland, activity in a brain region that regulates emotional reactions called the anterior cingulate cortex helps to explain how an emotional insult can trigger a biological cascade. During a particularly stressful experience, the anterior cingulate cortex may respond by increasing the activity of the vagus nerve—the nerve that starts in the brain stem and connects to the neck, chest and abdomen. When the vagus nerve is overstimulated, it can cause pain and nausea."
From Scientific American Mind
The reason I'm on the website is because I taught a lesson tonight on scientific research on how people fall in love. We teach the Headway Advanced text book, which has a whole sick-making chapter on love, and which I am completely and utterly bored by (as are some of my stoical students, bless 'em), so I come up with my own stuff - usually a mixture of older lessons and free stuff from Macmillan Publishing. Today, though, I was hoping to get them to do some soul-gazing and hugging, but we ran out of time. Next week, instead of struggling through a sonnet by Shakespeare, I've promised them some Keats and a bit of "Bright Star", which ties in nicely with the idea of love making you more creative.
Speaking earlier of pain, I've been grinding my teeth in my sleep again.
I sent the designs for my business card off yesterday evening, but got a phone call this morning asking me to resize them, as I had cropped them too smal for the printer. So I tried to resize them, which didn't work. So I tried it another way, which also didn't work. I emailed my Adobe Illustrator guru, who was probably still asleep, and then magically stumbled across the correct tool whilst huffily stuffing a piece of toast in my mouth (yes, I was having breakfast and messing about with graphics at the same time - computers and crumbs...) I got them back in time for the 1pm deadline, so am expecting a delivery on Friday. They should be pretty sexy.
Wedding photos went in yesterday, so expect pictures and a write-up sometime over the weekend. I also hit Inokashira Park in Kichijoji for a Hanami party on Sunday, so maybe so photos from that too. It was freezing cold and overcast, so maybe not so pretty...