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58 N. Chicago Street
Suite 405
Joliet, IL 60432
815-666-1285
15300 S. Route 59
Suite 104
Plainfield, IL 60544
815-733-5350

Journaling After Divorce Can Improve Heart Health but May Also Have Emotional Drawbacks

Joliet divorce attorneysMany people take up journaling while working through their divorce, and often because they believe it will help them work through their emotions. Alternatively, the practice might be suggested by a friend, family member, or divorce counselor. Unfortunately, a new study indicates some people may experience adverse effects from journaling, which might negate the benefits. Learn more about the pros and cons of journaling through a divorce, and discover where you can find assistance through this oft-painful process.

Potential Negative Effects of Expressive Journaling

In a study of 109 recently divorced people, researchers analyzed the emotional impact of three different types of journaling. One group wrote details about their day but did not discuss their emotions. One group discussed their feelings about the divorce. A third group discussed their emotions about the divorce but turned their feelings and thoughts into a story. The latter two are considered “expressive journaling.”

Individuals who were in the expressive journaling groups seemed to experience more psychological issues than those that focused only on their daily activities. This effect was increased in people who were considered especially “broody” (individuals who felt guilt). Experts believe this is because, rather than processing the emotions, they are simply reliving it.

Possible Heart Health Improvement

On the one hand, individuals who expressive journaled had a higher incidence of negative psychological issues. However, those that told their emotions in story form had a lower heart rate and a higher heart rate variability, both of which suggest better heart health. This effect was even seen in individuals that were considered broody. So, what is the real consensus then?

Expressive Story Mode May Be the Most Favorable

After the heart health benefits had been factored in, researchers determined that story mode expressive journaling could be worth the initial stress. On the other hand, journaling without emotion is unlikely to offer much of a benefit at all, and expressive journaling without story mode could simply lead to a cycle of guilt and pain. So, if you are going to journal about divorce, consider writing a story.

Going Through Divorce? Contact Our Illinois Divorce Lawyers

If you are going through a divorce, contact the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. for assistance. Compassionate and experienced, our Joliet divorce lawyers are equipped to handle even the most complex of divorce cases. We will protect your rights and best interests. Schedule your personalized consultation by calling 815-666-1285 today.

Sources:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/08/life-stories-narrative-psychology-redemption-mental-health/400796/

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2167702612469801

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58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 405
Joliet, IL 60432
815-666-1285

15300 S. Route 59, Suite 104
Plainfield, IL 60544
815-733-5350