Your body on… a wedding
Here comes the bride... and some body changes. What to expect – for better or worse
What really happens to your body and brain when the confetti rains down
AS ANTICIPATION BUILDS...
Opening the invite lights up your brain’s prefrontal cortex (associated with positive thinking), which prompts a mood bump that can last for weeks.
According to American Express, it costs an average of $900 (!) to attend a wedding – but it’s money well spent. A study in The Journal of Positive Psychology revealed shelling out for experiences boosts your pleasure factor more than buying physical stuff.
The reason you’re weepy? Seeing the couple happily tear up as they exchange vows activates mirror neurons – brain cells that cause you to react in the same way as the people you’re watching. The closer you are to the pair, the easier it is to “catch” their emotions. Let it flow! Expressing all the feels has been linked to a longer, happier life, say German researchers.
Tune into any feelings caused by witnessing the “I dos”. (Excitement? Worry?) Your emotions may reveal what you really think about big changes in your own life. Mulling them over in the following weeks will help provide clarity about waltzing down the aisle yourself, switching jobs or moving to a new city.
AT THE RECEPTION...
Hanging out with friends and relatives can slow heart rate and reduce blood pressure, so you feel more relaxed. Don’t know anyone else there? Make small talk with the bride’s cousin. Chatting with new people adds to the general happiness of a socially engaged life.
And don’t pass on the macarena! A study in Biology Letters showed getting down in synchronised dance triggers your body’s natural pain-relief system, releasing endorphins. In other words: fun group bonding and more energy to shake it.
Spending time listening to loud music can injure nerve endings in your ears. Hear a low hum after the music stops? That’s a sign the tiny cells in your inner ear have been temporarily damaged by high decibels. Take a 15-minute break from the tunes, and see your GP if the problem lasts longer than a few days.
High heels cause you to shift your centre of gravity forward, so the ball of your foot bears most your body weight. Ouch! Kick off those killer stilettos and relieve any pressure by drawing the alphabet with your toes. And pop a cheeky pair of flats in your bag, too.