Have you recently decided to file for divorce? If so, it’s important to take all the steps you can to protect your overall health. Divorce can take a physical, financial, and emotional toll, but knowing what to expect and participating in activities that help you control the stress can go a long way towards your overall well-being.
There’s plenty of research about how keeping a journal can help you with a variety of different stressful conditions including divorce. However, a new study published in Psychosomatic Medicine identifies contradictory findings.
They found that if you do journaling on a regular basis, this can help to improve your heart health after a divorce but it could still make you feel worse. Expressive journaling can make some people feel worse if they are the type of person who is prone to feeling guilty. The most recent study analyzed the same data and focused on physical heart health indicators instead.
Around 110 individuals who had recently separated or divorced were included in the study. They were broken into three groups; the first group wrote about the divorce and turned it into a story, as in expressive writing; the second group wrote about their feelings and thoughts about the divorce and the relationship, and the third group wrote the details of their day and did not discuss any emotional topics. They were responsible for writing 20 minutes every day for three consecutive days.
Researchers also gave physiological and psychological tests to every participant before, immediately after the study concluded, and 8 months later. The study shows that those individuals who wrote about divorce as a story had a lower heart rate and higher rate variability which are both indicators of good health when compared with other groups. The positive effects were present regardless of whether or not the individuals tended to feel guilty.
Expressive writing can be extremely helpful if you are thinking about filing for divorce. Contacting the right attorney can assist you with navigating the complex legal system in your state.