If you are going through a divorce it may be time to join the ranks of those who journal regularly. Not only does writing about your feelings distract you from stress, it can also help you process and more fully understand the emotions you are feeling.
When going through a divorce every part of your life will be touched. When I went through my own divorce I found myself questioning my view of who I was and how I had chosen to live my life. On top of that, there were the legal and financial aspects of the divorce to mentally and emotionally process.
I had been keeping a journal for years but not on a regular basis. After my separation my therapist suggested I start writing about what I was experiencing on a daily basis. According to him, it would help me become focused and organize. You know, instead of wrapped up in my emotions and allowing them to guide my every move.
To make sure I was journaling I had to bring my writings into each appointment and read them to him. If not for that assignment, I’m not sure I would have taken his suggestion to heart. What I learned from journaling about the transition my life was going through was…putting words on paper helped me stand back and view things from a different perspective. It helped me evaluate where I was in life and gave me a deeper understanding. I remember thinking when the divorce process first started for me that if I could just “understand” I would be able to deal in a healthier way.
Writing helped me come to an understanding about what was happening in my life quicker than I would have gotten there otherwise. I have a brain that works over time trying to comprehend and understand what is happening when I go through a life transition. I think most of us do.
Most of us have a tendency to lay awake at night and worry about events that are going on around us. How is this divorce going to affect me financially? Who is going to get custody? Will I pay spousal support? How can I help my children cope with this divorce? I know I lay awake many nights ruminating over one thing or another. Lying awake worrying only compounds the stress we feel, not lessen it.
If you want to lessen the stress and emotional upheaval you are feeling pick up a journal and start putting pen to paper. It may not be the answer to the problems but you won’t know until you give it a try.
I still journal today, every day. It is a part of my life I would find hard to give up. Daily journaling may not be something you need. It may be something you do for a couple of months and are able to move on with your life without journaling.
Below are a few tips to help you get started:
- Journal in a place and at a time you won't be disturbed.
- Don't worry about grammar or spelling. The important thing is that you write, not that you write properly.
- Write about your feelings, fears and concerns.
- Write only about issues that do not cause too much emotional distress. If you feel overwhelmed by what you are writing about leave it for a time when your emotions are not so raw.
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