Ever look at sour green apple Jolly Ranchers? If you’re like me, your mouth waters…even before you take off the candy wrapper. Yep. My body knows exactly what’s coming. My taste buds rear up. Sometimes even my eyes will water. Same thing with those red hot tamale candies. I have a physical reaction just LOOKING at the candy. I don’t need to be a doctor to understand my own mind-body connection.
And you know there’s an actual chemical reaction in your body when you’re hurt, angry and stressed. So, let’s say someone you love betrayed you in an awful, horrible way. When it first happened, chemicals zinged through your body, and you thought you would faint, throw up or explode. Well, guess what—whenever you talk about or even think about that betrayal—all those emotions and that same chemical reaction happens all over again. By revisiting the betrayal you are inflicting pain on your body. And all those negative emotions are bad for your body as well as your mind.
There is value in processing pain—talking it out and trying to understand what happened so that you can protect yourself from future, poor relationship choices…but there is a balance. There’s healthy processing and there is obsessing. And only you can know when you have stepped over the cliff into that crazy place of obsession.
As a good friend, it’s okay to lend a listening ear—at first. But if the pain goes on and on, the job of a good friend is to say, “You know when you look at those sour green apple Jolly Ranchers and your mouth waters?”