Sometimes the pain of divorce can be so acute that it can feel like nothing has the ability to heal it. At moments like this, it can either be comforting or infuriating to hear that time is almost certain to provide healing properties. Thankfully, recent research indicates that forces other than time also have the ability to make the pain of divorce less acute.

According to a study published in the professional journal entitled Social Psychological and Personality Science, reflecting on the end of a relationship can actually have a healing effect. It is important to note that “wallowing” for an extended period of time can be detrimental and is not the kind of reflection referenced in the study.

Excellent self-care can help to ensure that you have the physical, nutritional, emotional and mental strength to weather the wake of your divorce. In addition, making regular use of a support system can also be beneficial.

As you navigate your newly single life, you may feel so drained that the idea of investing in self-care, a support system and periodic introspection about your heartbreak seems impossible. This understandable, given that a 2011 study indicates that the brains of individuals who are heartsick may look much like the brains of individuals who are experiencing withdrawal from cocaine addiction. However, it is important to understand that just as individuals with chemical dependence can experience fulfilling recovery, so can the heartsick if they are willing to make the efforts necessary to reach that state of being.

Source: National Public Radio, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But Science Can Help,” Jan. 13, 2015