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The benefits of marriage are well-documented. Decades of research show that a good marriage is generally beneficial to overall health. Unfortunately, divorce can negatively affect mental and physical health and even increase the risk of mortality. Divorce correlates with lower than average life expectancy for men and women. The divorce process can be traumatic and extremely stressful. The person that was once a buffer from the stress of the outside world and a source of comfort may turn into an opponent. While it is always better to leave a bad relationship than to stay, emotional turmoil and adjustments to drastic life changes can continue long after the divorce itself is finalized.

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1. Stress

Financial hardship and lifestyle changes are possible consequences of divorce. These consequences may damage overall health, but many medical professionals believe chronic stress is the most devastating consequence of all. It causes constant production of cortisol and other hormones that interfere with the body's functions. Long-term stress causes anxiety, depression, insomnia, digestive issues, memory and cognitive impairment, and many other physical and psychological effects. Unrelieved chronic stress also impairs the body's ability to fight off pathogens and repair damaged cells.

Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and art or music therapy may help relieve stress. Plan regular activities to give yourself something positive to anticipate. Socializing with friends and family may also ease stress, and professional counseling can help an individual develop healthy coping skills.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.