Sticks and stones may break your bones but a broken heart may kill you

Call it a mental loop.  That is to say that your brain will replay many times the pain of a broken heart or other social black-eye over physical pain. 

Researchers obviously looking at the "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" anecdote found that indeed words do hurt - a lot. In experiments, participants who had to recall a socially painful experience reported stronger feelings of pain and relived the experience more intensely than those who had to bring to mind a physically painful event. Not only that, contributors who only had to recall a physically painful event performed better on the difficult mental tasks compared to those who had to relive a socially painful event, researchers said.

Researchers said one explanation for these results could be the evolution of the human brain, specifically in an area called the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for complex thinking, perception and language processing. The, the cerebral cortex may have had an unintended effect of allowing humans to relive, re-experience, and suffer from social pain, researchers said.

The researchers from Purdue, Macquarie University and the University of New South Wales set up four experiments to demonstrate this finding. In the first two experiments, participants reported the amount of pain they felt while trying to relive a physically or a socially painful experience. After writing detailed accounts of each experience, the participants reported how they felt. The last two experiments were similar to the first two, except participants were asked to work on some cognitive tasks with different levels of difficulty after reliving a socially or physically painful event, researchers said.

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