Where do you “feel”? In your heart, or in your brain? Do you believe that you feel with your heart and think with your brain? Or do you have a different idea about this matter? Is it the heart or the brain that is impacted when something unfortunate happens? For thousands of years, people have said and also believed that our hearts are where we feel, and that they can break when things go wrong. But how?
Scientifically, we know that our hearts pump blood to our bodies, while our brains start and stop all our actions and emotions. In other words, commands and thoughts occur in our brain cells. Even our heart works as the brain tells it to. Nothing indicates that the heart has a mechanism to feel or create feelings. So why do we blame our hearts when we fall in love, or feel sad? All actions of thinking, believing and feeling originate in the brain. But no one says “my brain aches.” Think about when someone feels sad, depressed or excited; they may put their hand on their heart. And since of course the pulse becomes faster at such times, the person feeling this quicker beat may instinctively sense that their emotions are happening in their heart. Many of us talk as if we believe this – but do we really?
Wherever humans, and so emotions, exist, the heart is there too. Movies, songs, books, poems, quotes…. When someone loves, they love with the heart; when love ends, the heart breaks. But even in the practice of yoga, where the body and soul consciously coordinate, the heart is said to have an important role. There are both physical practices and types of meditation that are focused on “opening the heart.” This benefits people in many ways: spiritually, physically, psychologically and emotionally.
In short, there are many areas where emotions appear to be connected with the heart, not the brain. There may be a number of reasons for this. The faster heartbeats that occur as a result of a change in emotion might make it seem like the emotions are taking place directly in the heart. The idea of the heart being the seat of the emotions might also come from ancient philosophy. In the past, philosophers were aware of the emotions; they were also able to examine their consequences and the actions following them. However, since science was not as advanced as it is today, they could not identify the brain as the source of those actions. From their perspective, external events were recognized by the senses and transferred to the heart, where emotions occurred. So it may be that, based on the views, writings and thoughts that have come down through history, we have grown used to the idea that we feel with our hearts.
Because of this, when something disappointing happens, we call it “heartbreak.” Heartbreak can be a result of many different circumstances, such as the loss of a loved one, betrayal, unrequited love or disappointment. Thus it is very common among human beings.
There is a question in my mind: if emotions occur in the brain, but we feel them in our hearts and call the emotions just referred to “heartbreak,” can heartbreak literally occur? It is evident that hearts are not breakable in the way a piece of glass or china is. But it is also known that such negative emotions have an effect on daily life, leading to loneliness, depression and various other disorders. My research indicates that many studies have been done on heartbreak and its effects. They show that emotional pain is directly connected to heartbreak in its physical form: heart attack. When large amounts of stress hormones are present, they directly affect the heart muscle, and as a result, a heart attack occurs. But in fact, all of these effects originate in the activities of our brains.
What all of the above means is this: when you decide to do something or to harbor certain emotions, do not blame your heart. Remember that everything comes from your brain. So be logical. Think and want what is beneficial for you and for all concerned. Hearts are not rigid or brittle; they cannot be broken. Hearts are elastic, so do not let anyone think they can break your heart. It belongs to you, so you are the one who shapes it.