If you’ve ever experienced heartbreak, then you know that emotional pain can be so severe it resembles physical pain. That is because the human brain process emotional and physical pain in similar ways and in the same place since fMRI studies indicate that emotional and physical pain both activate the brain’s anterior cingulate cortex. Other research confirms that people who suffer from physical conditions such as chronic pain are also more likely to have emotional anxiety and feel social rejection more deeply. Furthermore over the counter pain killers have been shown to reduce emotional pain as well as physical pain. Other ways to reduce emotional pain include spending time with loved ones (including pets), participating in activities you like even if you don’t feel like it, forcing yourself to smile, and talking about the situation with others.