How to stay mindful after the divorce process
How to stay mindful after the divorce process
When experiencing the emotional strife of divorce, how can you learn to steer your mind toward the direction you want it to go? One of the best ways to deal with and recover from loss and emotional pain derived from divorce is to practice mindfulness. Learning mindfulness practices is invaluable during this challenging transition. Once you know how to use it, it will be a resource for you now and for your entire life.
From a psychological perspective, mindfulness is a state of mind that leads to decreased emotional reactivity and objectivity—a more balanced response to negative experiences. Instead of reacting with impulse and emotion, you can respond rationally and objectively. If you are facing a divorce, a meditation practice can give you the tools to cope with the frustrations of the process, manage anger, and find a route to future happiness.
What exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is purposely directing your attention to the present moment, whatever is happening in the “now.” Not yesterday, not tomorrow – just right here, right now. Learning how to focus on the present moment will help quiet your ranting mind, providing the ability to cultivate serenity and wellbeing. You will need to develop certain attitudes to be able to integrate the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness operates through the cultivation of 7 interdependent attitudes, and a solid foundation for mindfulness practice depends on developing and nurturing these attitudes:
- Being non-judgmental: Become an impartial observer. Do not judge your thoughts.
- Having patience: Be patient with the divorce process and learn to accept that everything unfolds in its own time.
- Beginner’s mind: Become open to new experiences following your divorce.
- Trusting yourself: While you cannot always understand what is happening, you can learn to trust yourself through the process. Trust your faith and wisdom.
- Non-striving: Mindfulness = not working hard. You are required only to be as present as possible while doing nothing.
- Acceptance: Learn to view things as they are without trying to change them. Embrace what arises inside of you, just as it is.
- Letting go: Look at what is unfolding for what it is and then let it all fall away. You may need to let some things go repeatedly.
How to Practice Mindfulness in Divorce
The first step towards a mindful approach to your divorce is accepting the reality of your situation. Relax, calm yourself, and trust that you can and will get through this experience. Do not try to control it. Your thoughts and feelings will develop and unfold. If you remain stuck in a state of denial, you will not be able to proceed mindfully. If the relationship is over, and couples’ counseling has not been fruitful, or if you have been served with divorce papers from your spouse’s attorney, you will need to accept the truth of this new reality. Buddhist teachings of mindfulness demand that you see things clearly and acknowledge your own suffering. The end of a marriage can induce profound feelings of anger, betrayal, and. You must recognize these emotions, see the truth in them, accept them, and make peace with what you cannot change.
Mindfulness practice teaches you to sit with your thoughts and watch your experience unfold. When an uncomfortable thought comes up while you are meditating, you accept it rather than push it away or avoid it. You develop patience and strive for a non-reactive, non-judgmental attitude. As you clear your mind and focus on your breathing, you let negative judgments and obsessive thoughts pass. In time, and with daily practice, meditation will help you become more objective and less emotional. When you let go of old grievances, your thoughts will follow suit.
The goal is to calm your state of mind and foster a peaceful approach when dealing with your former spouse by thinking rationally, not emotionally. If you practice mindfulness regularly, you may find that you prefer resolving a minor dispute and be happy rather than fighting endlessly to prove you are right. You may realize that co-parenting with your ex is worth the effort, especially as your children will benefit more from having access to both parents. Moreover, you may shift your focus to living your best life and closing this negative chapter.
Figure Out the Next Steps
As the dust from the initial impact has settled, the reality kicks in that this is happening. Often marriages end because the two of you want different things, and compromising for both parties is no longer enough to satisfy either of you. After learning how to get back to a level-headed state, your next step is to figure out what you want moving forward to stay mindful during the divorce. Although it may be a controversial perspective on divorce, you will need to start thinking about what you will do with your newfound freedom. Relationships take hard work, and no matter how many other obligations you may have, being single can be a way for you to find the freedom you likely have not had in some time.
There is no win in divorce litigation, only degrees of loss. Letting go is the most direct route to happiness post-divorce. Whether it is letting go of the anger towards your former spouse, or letting go of the shared property you are both fighting over (all while incurring thousands in legal fees), just let it go. Practicing mindfulness can help you cope with divorce by allowing you to release negative thought patterns and let go of living in the past or worrying about the future. When you allow yourself to focus on “being present” in the present moment, you will discover a peace that you may not have known was possible.
Coping with divorce involves the ability to summon courage, strength, patience, acceptance, and the ability to let go of that which you cannot change. Learning the art of mindfulness, which helps to hone those specific skills, is an invaluable tool to help make your journey through the divorce process and recovery less bumpy and less painful. For trustworthy legal advice and guidance throughout the divorce process, contact Split Easy today.