3 Simple Actions to Help You Overcome the Pain of Divorce

When you feel overwhelmed thinking about the pain of divorce, it can be unbearable.

During this very stressful time it is normal to feel animosity toward your ex, the heartbreak of betrayal, anger of disappointment, fear for your financial future, and concern about your children. These thoughts can trigger physical and emotional pain. You may experience headaches, abdominal pain, digestive upset, and sleeplessness. Your thoughts have power over your body because they activate your hormones.

If you are suffering from the pain of divorce, consult with a physician. If you feel your pain is predominantly emotional seek the help of a professional therapist to help you navigate your feelings and supervise your health. In addition, implement the following things to help you move past your pain.

1. First things first: Learn Who YOU are and expand your Self awareness

Your thoughts ultimately manifest into the relationships and  successes and failures that you experience in your life. You must pay attention to your thoughts in order to achieve the outcomes you want. So how do you become aware?

  • Discover who you are.

    Do some journalling, walking, talking, thinking. Take some time each day that is all about you. Learn about your unique personality. Take a personality test or an insight course. Look inward and discover who lives under those clothes you wear every day. Who are you at your best? Who are you at your worst? What impacts your choices and behaviors?

    The more you learn about yourself, the greater opportunity for you to choose the future you desire. If we are walking around in a painful half sleep, we are not usually making the greatest choices or thinking the greatest thoughts.

  • Look at Your Thoughts

    What you think about comes about. Paying attention to your thoughts is especially important when going through divorce. Your pain and loss are easy to dwell upon. Do you understand what you spend most of your time thinking about? You need to observe your thoughts. If your thoughts could magically manifest into reality within the hour, would you still choose the same thoughts your pain is causing?

    Thankfully, your thoughts do not manifest instantly. But they do pre-pave the way to your future. This will require making some new habits. Whether you imagine your mind as an attic, or a box of letters, or a library inside your head, spend some time discovering what is there. When you climb the stairs to look into the attic, you have to pull the chain to turn on the light. Use this process as a blueprint to illuminating your thoughts. Throughout the day, become aware of your mind. Are your thoughts negative, sad, angry, causing you pain? Do they make you worry? Do you feel helpless? Are you overwhelmed?

    If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, which most of us do by the way, take some time to discover what you think and compare that to how you prefer to think.

2. Visualize and Emotionalize YOUR new future

One way to unhook from the spiral of fear, worry, and guilt is to consciously and constructively visualize the life you want, instead of ruminating about the life you are currently experiencing. You may be afraid to begin your new life as a single parent. You may worry about how your kids will react and adapt. Sit with that fear for a moment. Pay attention to where you feel the fear in your body. Now that you are embodying the fear, write it down, describe it. Release it from your mind and body. Once you have visualized your pain, it is time to let it go.

Imagine your pain as an object, a stone perhaps, pick up that stone and hurl it into the atmosphere, or skip it across a lake away from you and watch it sink. Choose a visual that works for you and specify the shape, size, texture of your pain. Then choose your favorite method to discard it. I have had some clients imagine their pain as, you guessed it, and then flushed it down the toilet. You will feel free and so much lighter in your thoughts and in your body. Use this method repeatedly when you find your pain creeping in.

But then, fill that empty space with something wonderful and positive. Fill it with visions of you living a happier, healthier life. What are your dreams, hopes, desires for your future. Picture them in detail. Outline them in your mind and allow yourself to feel the JOY of them as if they are reality. This is what I mean by emotionalize your new future.

3. Write your Dreams down and Find Pictures

In step two you visualized your pain and released it, and began to visualize and emotionalize your future. Now it is time to clarify what you want. To achieve the positive things you desire, new housing, new routines, new healthy choices, etc. It is necessary to identify them clearly.

Using your phone, tablet, or notebook, write down the following categories. Next to each one, write your dream as though it were true:

  • My health (example: is so energetic, I feel ten years younger!)  You get the picture. Now fill in the blanks.

  • My finances______________________________________________

  • My opportunities___________________________________________

  • My personal growth___________________________________________

  • My relationship with my children ____________________________________

  • My home life_____________________________________________

  • My education____________________________________________

  • My social life_____________________________________________

  • My professional life___________________________________________

  • My spiritual growth___________________________________________

  • My outlook on life____________________________________________

This list will help you begin to create the story of a new and wonderful life that is yours to build and strengthen. Put your attention to the possibilities that are open to you in each of these categories. Create new happy and healthy thought patterns.

Next, use magazines, the internet, or a free photography website such as www.pixabay.com to search for and find images that represent how you look and feel when your health is great, your finances in order, your family is happy and thriving, your professional dreams are coming true and your social life is fun and fabulous. Make a photo album, or even a book to look at every day to remind you of the direction you have chosen for your life.

Your list and photos will become a touchstone. You can refer to them for strength and hope during painful times.

Divorce triggers a state of grief and emotional turmoil. It is easy to stay in that place by dwelling upon the stories of struggle you face. But you can break the habit of ruminating by taking responsibility for creating the life of your dreams.


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