We’ve all experienced it, that excruciating, heartbreaking moment when someone you care for dumps you over the phone, in person or, if you’re really unlucky, via text.
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The near-panic attacks, the feeling that you will never recover from having your heart broken, that you will die alone surrounded by your cats because the skater boy with long blond hair stole your heart and then trampled all over it. Excuse me, I think I just channelled my 16-year-old self for a moment there. Moving on.
Now, thanks to wearable devices like Fitbit, which track activity and heart monitoring, it might actually be possible to see what heartbreak does to the human body.
One poor sod was wearing his device when his heart was trampled upon, later sharing the information on his Twitter account.
— Koby (@iamkoby) January 19, 2016
Koby Soto from Tel Aviv in Israel received a call from his boyfriend, who he was planning on seeing that night, but received some unfortunate news.
“He said that we’re going to have to cancel, and I said ‘Why?’ and he said, “Things are not working as they should,'” Soto recalled in an interview with BuzzFeed News. “I said, “Are you serious? You’re doing this over the phone?'”
Soto had been wearing his Fitbit for five months but he had no idea that it would track something so personal and so much more painful than lunges, stair runs and even burpees.
“I feel like it’s nice to have a log of your confirmation of what you felt. You can tell people you have heartbreak and you feel bad,” Soto said.
“People become less cynical once you show them the numbers or once you show the data or graphs. Everyone understands heartbreak, right? Everyone’s felt it. When you have this, it’s interesting — you have something to show.”
The graphs taken from his app show that his heart rate before the phone call was a calm 72 beats per minute, but after the call it peaked at almost a whopping 118 beats, before returning back to normal that night.
“I wasn’t doing anything, I didn’t go to the gym, I didn’t expect the Fitbit to even track me,” he said. “It was just on me.”
Heartbreak can have many effects on the body, and not just an increase in heart rate and stress levels. According to Naomi Eisenbuerger, Ph.D., and assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, the brain can trick you into feeling you are physically hurt. So when you feel like you’re in pain, you really are.
But it’s not all bad news, a breakup can give you that not-so-polite wake-up call that you might need to turn over a new leaf, reconnect with friends and take steps to taking care of yourself, maybe even go to the gym to put that wearable device into action again.