Have you ever felt rejected? I am pretty sure that every one has at least one experience of being spurned by a romantic partner or a close friend. I recently had the lovely experience of being rejected by a friend (hint of sarcasm here) and was surprised by how painful it was. Though I do have other friends and rationally I can understand that it probably wasn’t a bad idea for the friendship to end, it is still difficult. As a result, my thoughts, physical wellbeing, sleep and of course, my mood, have been affected for the entire week.
As you may know, human beings have evolved over time to form strong social connections since the only way they could survive (in the past) was by living in a group. So being rejected on a social level had serious consequences and to avoid this we became very good at fitting in while constantly assessing threats to our acceptance and belonging. The interesting part is that the areas of the brain that are involved in assessing these threats are also associated with physical pain. So a break-up and a broken arm are somewhat similar for the brain. In addition, when we are feeling rejected, our bodies release cortisol which revs up our muscles to get us ready for fight or flight and this causes our muscles to ache. And as if that isn’t enough, each time we deal with a new loss, inevitably we remember past losses which compound the issue! In addition to pain, studies show that rejection can actually cause nausea, loss of appetite, brain fog, irritability, and changes to sleep. Rejection truly is painful for body and soul!
Experts suggest that exercise, fresh air and having fun with other friends are important ways to help us through rejection. In addition to this, I’ve been trying not to “brush off” my feelings too quickly. It can be easy to simply try to distract myself out of negative feelings, but it doesn’t seem to work in the long run. So I’m making time to look after my own heart by journalling, tapping, meditating, praying and talking things through with a true friend. See below for how to do Reflexology on the heart reflex. I would love to know what you do to care for your heart in these situations.
From my heart to yours, Happy Valentine’s!
“Hold a true friend with both hands.” Nigerian Proverb
Wellness tip: There are several studies showing that Reflexology can help lower heart rate and blood pressure which is a great way to take care of you hard-working heart muscle! A common reflex for the heart is found on the bottom of both feet, under the big toe, sometimes called “the ball of the foot”. Try using your thumb to make three circles in both directions over this area. A light to medium touch will work best.
Donna-Michelle Rancoeur is a Registered Reflexologist (RRPR), a Reiki Master and an Indian Head Massage Practitioner.