What are the 7 Tips For Coping With Divorce Stress?
Using mindfulness techniques post-divorce can help reduce stress.
You can learn to enjoy the time you spend with family and friends without dwelling on the marriage.
You can make deliberate, intentional decisions about your life with less worry.
You can learn what you really want, without second-guessing each decision you make.
The attitudes and practices of mindfulness are available to everyone.
They’re simple but require practice.
Seven basic attitudes, based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, follow:
* Being or Non-striving. Learn to “be,” without “doing.” Not having a partner around all the time is a big change. Slow down and take time to breathe. Focus, and be with yourself or others without distractions or a specific agenda. Turn the phone off and be fully present. Allow yourself to see what comes up.
* Non-judging. See yourself as you really are. You’ll like yourself more when you’re not constantly judging your decisions, behaviors, and appearance, as of right or wrong, good or bad. You’re a divorced person; it is neither positive nor negative. What would it be like to remain alone or to be with someone? What are your reactions to thoughts of moving or staying where you are? Have curiosity and interest in your future, without judging.
* Acceptance and Awareness. Be conscious of your thoughts but don’t let them define or control you. Focusing on negative thoughts is stressful. Instead of worrying about why you’re in a restaurant without a partner, notice the thought and move on to another. Later you can decide if you’d rather eat in a restaurant with a friend or prefer to go solo. Be aware of your thoughts without letting them take over.
* Letting Go of Non-attachment. After acceptance, it’s calming to let go. You’ll have a nagging, unpleasant thoughts, or situations that do not go as you’d like. You will recall things in the marriage that didn’t go well, but there’s no need to dwell on them. If you’re having a problem with your ex-spouse, don’t push away the discomfort with immediate action. You don’t have to be attached to a particular outcome. When you don’t have to fix things all the time, you can think more clearly.
* Beginner’s Mind. Be open to seeing yourself as you are right now. Let go of the memory of how things were before when you were married, and expectations for how they ought to be today or will be tomorrow. You may see that being single is right where you need to be. When you look with beginner’s mind, you notice new things daily.
* Trust. Trust your ideas, your feelings, and your intuition. Give yourself permission to stop worrying about everyone else’s opinion of you and your divorce. You know best how you’d like to spend your time, the kind of relationship you’d like to have with your ex-spouse or when you’ll be ready to meet someone new. Trust in your decisions comes more easily when you follow your own wisdom.
* Patience. Patience is about knowing that things happen in their own time and cannot be rushed. Patience helps connect you to the present and reduces stress. In time you will figure out what you need to do to move forward post-divorce. Next time you’re in a rush to make something happen, ask yourself, “What’s the hurry?”
Cultivating mindfulness requires practicing these skills. Pick one skill and try to practice it several times a day. For beginner’s mind, in the morning, at noon and at night, remind yourself to be in the present, not the past or future. Or choose a few skills and use them daily in novel ways. Practice non-judging each time you hear self-criticism, by taking three breaths and letting go of the thought. In order to practice being, sit quietly for five minutes just noticing the sounds around you.
Adopting the attitudes of mindfulness can help you spend your post-divorce days with less stress by bringing a calm, nonjudgmental awareness of your situation. You can respond to events deliberately, with clear intentions. You can enjoy life more and get to know yourself better.
Source by Judith Tutin, Ph.D.
Updated by Madi June