Part of the Smooth Divorce Recovery process includes daily journaling with a book that I’ve specially-prepared to address a different divorce recovery issue each day. Why is this an integral part of our process? Here’s an explanation drawn from “The Benefits of Journaling for Stress Management,” by Elizabeth Scott, M.S.:
Journaling allows people to clarify their thoughts and feelings, thereby gaining valuable self-knowledge. It’s also a good problem-solving tool; oftentimes, one can hash out a problem and come up with solutions more easily on paper.
Journaling about traumatic events helps one process them by fully exploring and releasing the emotions involved, and by engaging both hemispheres of the brain in the process, allowing the experience to become fully integrated in one’s mind.
The Smooth Divorce Recovery process features structured journaling focused on the following daily tasks:
Daily check-in: Clients choose from a matrix of words to gauge their feelings on that day. The rest of this exercise helps the client understand the reason behind having these particular feelings.
Reconciliation thermometer: Clients record the intensity of their desire to reconcile with the ex, on a scale of 0 to 100. They also record the intensity of desire to NOT reconcile, from 0 to 100. Combined with journaling, the Reconciliation Thermometer is a way to shed light on irrational beliefs about having forever lost our hopes and dreams.
Someone to talk to: When we are immersed in this emotion-based process, often we can’t see our options or understand the reality of the situation as clearly as when the pressure is off. We need someone whom we trust to help us handle this life transition effectively. However, it can’t be just anyone. The instructions in the journal helps Smooth Divorce Recovery clients identify the right person for this important role.
Disaster Fantasy: This is just as it sounds, and in completing this part of the journal every day, clients learn to confront irrational fears and negate their power over the decision-making process.
Positive Affirmations: The structure of this journal encourages clients to continually repeat positive affirmations with conviction and passion in order to chip away at even the strongest resistance.
Combined with the Smooth Divorce Recovery process, journaling is a powerful and essential component to structured and significant recovery – the kind of that lets clients get past the pain of a divorce and move on to the rest of their life.