I’ve never understood the term as a literal feeling until I got my kitten. Background: she’s adorabke. Sometimes when I pet her and she’s just squeak- or silent- meowing and purring more loudly than you think that tiny body possibly could, I more than melt. I will be petting her and sometimes feel literal pangs of… pain? I don’t know how to describe it but it’s like I can’t take it and need to stop. That sounds really funny writing out. I will actually look away from her or stop petting her because of cuteness overload, like my cuteness processor has just shortcircuited.
What is this feeling about, like what’s happening in someone’s brain when they feel this way about something incredibly cute?
the_original_Retro: There is a strong link between emotion and physical symptoms, and vice versa. A really tragic moment can cause us to be overwhelmed with painful grief, and the opposite can happen where we get so elated or happy by something that we actually experience physical sensation. And as a trend, happy people get better from illnesses that physically affect them better than sad people do.
The triggers and the overall intensity of this different greatly from person to person. What one person likes, another may love to the point of having their blood pressure spike, or mildly hyperventilating. A simple act of kindness might be one that someone could simply appreciate and be thankful for, or if they’ve been mistreated for a while or have had zero happiness for a long time, might be a overwhelming or painfully intense experience.
Your particular trigger is your first kitten. For others, it’s their first puppy, or their first baby. And for others, they like their pet, perhaps even deeply, but maybe aren’t as overwhelmed by it because they’re wired differently or have different backgrounds.