5:55 pm - Tuesday November 3, 2015

Reflecting makes post break-up recovery quicker

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If you had a break-up recently, do not shy away from discussing it with friends or even research experts as repeated reflecting actually speeds up emotional recovery, new research at the Northwestern University in the US shows.

“I would encourage a person, who recently experienced a break-up to consider who he or she is, apart from the relationship,” said lead researcher Grace Larson from Northwestern University.

“If that person can reflect on the aspects of him- or herself that he or she may have neglected during the relationship but can now nurture once again, this might be particularly helpful,” she added.

Break-ups are ubiquitous – most adults have experienced at least one in their life – and are typically very distressing.

At first glance, it might seem like repeatedly reminding participants that they had just broken up – and asking them to describe the break-up over and over – might delay recovery.

In the new study, researchers discussed with the participants the possible downsides to participating in the study, such as emotional distress.

They were surprised to find a diametrically opposite effect.

“Asking the participants to reflect on their relationships helped the participants build a stronger sense of who they were as single people,” Larson said.

The process of becoming psychologically intertwined with the partner is painful to have to undo.

“Our study provides additional evidence that self-concept repair actually causes improvements in well-being,” the authors said.

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