Happiness Can Be a Decision: 5 Ways to Practice Gratitude Despite Having to Go Through Divorce
Divorce is as stressful as life gets, a major financial and emotional change of life spinning your mind and body with pain and suffering.
You must deal with the court and money issues, and many divorcing couples also have children in the middle of the anxiety. For everyone involved, immediate and other family, friends, and co-workers, divorce is a new reality defining much of the rest of your life.
Some of the stress is a function of the divorce’s cause. Adultery, money, incompatibility, abuse, addiction, and more cause people to fall out of love. The more egregious the cause, the more serious the experience.
As Good Housekeeping says, “It’s normal to feel out of control while going through a divorce or separation. But there are some things you can do when dealing with divorce and self-care is critical.” So, if you’re choosing happiness in your life, you should deal with the impact.
Dealing with the impact
- Emotions: You’ll find it easier to manage the emotional impact if you understand that anger, blame, and grief are common and natural. Unhappy as you may be in the marriage, the divorce process creates doubts. The process helps you realize the rollercoaster of emotions can be a very short ride.
- Blame: Each party to a divorce will blame the other. And, children might blame the mother, father, or both. While blame is to be expected, you must manage it before you wind up blaming yourself.
- Children: Telling the children presents a huge challenge. There’s no right age. But, to minimize the stress and blame, you should try to explain the problem to the kids as a couple. You should anticipate each child will react differently and their responses may be a function of their age. And, if you’ve told the children it’s not their fault and you are handling this like adults, you must betray the kids.
- Family and friends: The people close to you want to share your misery. They will question you about the situation and offer more advice than you can handle. The fact is they do not need to know. If they are not satisfied with the fact you’re divorcing, that’s their problem.
Things will get better. Good choices always lead to better things.
A divorce presents a complex situation with emotional, financial, and social pushes and pulls from every direction. It may seem a strange time to value gratitude. When you’re losing money, home, and companionship, you may find it hard to relish the moment.
It can take some practising because showing gratitude will ease your anger and confusion. Janet Miller, writing for Forbes, said, “Your brain is a powerful tool, and training it towards gratitude is all part of ensuring that the gratitude comes more easily as you practice.”
5 ways to practice:
- Don’t wait for it. Gratitude is an acknowledgement, a positive emotion felt after receiving some sort of gift. In the case of divorce, you will receive your freedom. That gift deserves thanks even though the gift may involve some cost to you.
You can practice gratitude easily for gifts and blessings every day. For some, it can be morning prayers; for others, it is an act of positive psychology.
- Give thanks for problems. The worst things about divorce test your strength and character. Because these tests make you stronger, you should find some blessing in them. Maybe the divorce left you with more money than you expected or complete rights to the house. Maybe you secured the custody of the children as you wanted.
It’s also your chance to express thanks as these issues are discussed during negotiations. You can practice being thankful for bigger things by expressing appreciation for small things.
- Put it in writing. You are not alone in the divorce. There are children, family, and friends. And, you should appreciate their emotional support. However, you will often feel alone. Loneliness isn’t something you want, but it’s good to have some time to vent or to pursue some introspection.
Keeping a personal journal is another way to practice gratitude. Giving yourself some time each day, you can record your thoughts about where your head is. It’s okay to get some things off your chest, but the journal is a better place to record the things that are going right. You should make the effort to find those gifts and report them in the diary.
- Go public. Getting out of the house clears your head and relieves stress. So, you could volunteer to help your community at the library, food bank, or church. Even calling Bingo puts you back among society. And, getting out in public eases and shares pressures.
That’s another reason to be appreciative. Likewise, your friends and family can be irritating, but they mean well. If they let you take the initiative, you shouldn’t fail to bring them into your thinking on your own terms. You can be thankful for their unconditional love and support. Conversely, you show gratitude when you show your appreciation.
- Start small and keep it up. Divorce is no time to change your personality or remake your life. You will have time to do that. Rather, if you make one small change at a time, showing appreciation one moment at a time, your habit will grow.
You can thank your doctor for good news or your housekeeper for a good job. You can be grateful for getting rid of a headache or for a good meal. But, the magic follows from repetition and your mindful intent.
Gratitude leads to happier decisions.
The attorneys at law who handle divorces have often seen these struggles between and within the parties to a divorce. They understand there is only so much they can do to relieve your stress, but they will show their empathy and share experiences that helped previous couples.
That empathy is one more thing, an important one, deserving your gratitude.