© 0.4 2019

USEFUL SCIENCE

finally get

over your ex

the prescription that
has been scientifically proven to

heal your broken heart

Getting broken-hearted is no joke. Research has show that the brain regions that are activated when we get physically hurt are the same when we feel emotionally rejected. So give yourself some slack and don't feel worse for feeling bad in the first place.

Musicians often say that writing songs about painful moments in their lives is therapeutic. Interestingly, this is a healing method that can work for everyone. Writing about difficult moments in your past has been shown to heal on a physical and psychological level.

The Study

In a study conducted by researcher Pennebaker in 1997, participants either wrote about an emotional or superficial topic (ex: how they spend their time) for fifteen minutes per day for four days. 

While those who wrote about emotional topics did show initial distress, they ultimately experienced powerful long-term benefits. They reported a more positive outlook on life, stronger relationships, stronger immune functioning, and fewer physician visits in the next years following unlike those who wrote about superficial topics.

 

In essence, Pennebaker found that the simply act of taking distressing thoughts to paper has the ability impact your physical and mental health. 

 

Emotions Stress Out Your Body

Research has shown that emotional inhibition is a long-term low-level stressor and that this inhibition is actually a form of physiological work. In other words, your body has to work harder to keep these negative feelings at bay which takes a toll on your immune system.

 

Writing is one way to relieve the body of this task because when you translate your experiences into language, this requires coherence, self-reflection, and prompts you to look at the situation from multiple perspectives. Furthermore, writing has been shown to alter the way the event is represented in your memory and ultimately leads to insight and understanding regarding the event.

On a biological level, the right side of the brain has been shown to be more involved in tasks regarding emotion while the left side of the brain deals more with logic. Writing is so powerful in emotional healing because it engages our left side of our brain and allows us to process negative events more rationally.

 

Choose Your Words Carefully

Pennebaker’s study revealed that the participants who reaped the greatest benefits from writing about their past traumas used statements such as “I now realize” and “because.” 

 

So go for it—Drake clearly embraces writing and has made millions with his woes so why shouldn’t you move on from your ex by following suit and going full on sad boi for a week or so. 

Key Concepts

Heartbreak, Alternative Therapy