After a divorce, you’re going to need as many tools as you can get to help you regroup and begin to live your life again. There’s plenty of tools you can choose from, such as therapy, meditation, support groups, and more.

However, many people forget that writing is an option. You may not have journaled since you were a teenager, but you can get a lot out of getting your thoughts and feelings down on paper. Here’s how.

Writing is a Release

If you have a journal, it can be the first place you go to when you need to deal with intense emotions. Divorce can unleash all kinds of feelings that you’ve held onto for a long time, and you need somewhere safe where you can let them all out. A journal won’t tell your secrets and won’t judge you. You can say whatever you like. Even if you write things that you no longer mean in anger, it doesn’t matter. The act of writing can help you deal with the initial pain.

Facing What Happened Can Help You Let Go

As you write in your journal, you can find that you’re starting to examine events in your marriage which may be painful to deal with. As you do this, you may wonder if confronting these feelings is really the right thing to do. After all, isn’t it just making it worse? in fact, the opposite is true.

Exposure therapy is the process of gradually reintroducing an idea or situation to a person, in order to lessen the trauma attached to it. As you go over these memories, use the opportunity to expose yourself to it. The more you do it, the less it will hurt. However, respect your own limits, and don’t push yourself too hard.

Don’t Use Writing as an Excuse to Brood

If you’re writing about the past and how things have gone wrong, it can be easy to start brooding about what happened. This kind of rehashing doesn’t let you let go of the painful events of the past.

Studies have shown that expressive writing can actually hinder healing in those who have a tendency to ruminate on issues, and not find a way through them. If this is the case for you, then it may be worth pairing journaling with another tool, such as counseling. The two together will help you find a way through.

Interestingly, it’s worth noting that another study had similar findings when it came to emotional health, but found that journaling did improve heart health. That means that even if you’re still feeling emotionally fragile, you will be helping your physical health. If you’re feeling well physically, then it will be easier to deal with the emotional impact of a divorce.

Find a Community That Cares

Some people, post-divorce, want to find a space to write alone. Others need the company of others to really sort through their feelings and start finding a way forward. If you’re in the latter camp, the best thing to do will be to find a community that can fulfill this need. Be prepared to read what others write and offer constructive feedback on what they have to say. The more you get involved, the more you will get out of the experience.

“Many people find that telling their story helps them process it,” says writing expert Dinah Fallon from Big Assignments. “They can talk to others and feel that they’re not as alone as they think they are. Talking to others can be incredibly therapeutic.”

If you want to get involved with like-minded writing communities, start with sites such as UK Top Writers and Best Australian Writers.

Journaling is Accessible to All

At the end of a marriage, the last thing you probably need to be doing is spending money. Divorce itself is expensive, then there’s moving your home, possibly changing jobs, and accessing other care such as counseling. But the joy of journaling is accessible to all. All you need is a pen and a notebook and you can get started. These are tools you can carry around with you wherever you go and use wherever you need them. It’s hard to find a tool that’s so instantly useable and portable as a journal.

Get a Different Perspective

“A good way to journal is to try and look at a situation from different angles,” says writing expert Henry Jennings, from OxEssays. “You’ll be able to see the situation differently and start to heal. It’s a good first step in moving on. Ultimately, journaling will give you a different perspective and help you recover from recent events.”

A divorce may feel like the end of the world, but it’s not. Therapeutic writing can help you get back to yourself.

About the Author: Mary Walton is an online tutor at Assignment Help. She also creates online courses on business writing and proofreads CVs at resume writing service Resumention. Mary enjoys traveling with her family around the world. She has an educational blog titled Simple Grad; you can read her latest post here.