During and after a divorce, it’s natural to feel grief for the life you’re leaving behind. But, what is the healthiest way to experience that grief without letting it take hold of you?
Most of us have been told that bottling up our feelings isn’t healthy. But, you’ve probably also heard that ruminating over past events can be harmful too. Here are a few tips to deal with your feelings in a healthy way.
Knowing the right time and place for it
Each person may grieve in their own unique way. Whether you feel remorse for all of the good times or angry about the bad, you should succumb to these feelings for only a short while in the appropriate setting.
There may be a time that you need to cry for an hour. But, it’s not healthy to let these negative feelings drag on for hours or days. Similarly, letting these feelings overtake you in front of your children or at work can make things harder for everyone. While you don’t need to pretend everything is ok, you should find ways to pull yourself away from grief in these settings.
Pulling yourself away from grief
There are several ways you can distract yourself from your emotions and thoughts when they are becoming excessive or overwhelming.
When you’re feeling distracted by grief while at work or in another important setting, try to clear your mind with breathing exercises. Another option is to practice positive self-talk. Both will relax you and help you gain focus and clarity.
Next, consider long-term ways to pull yourself from grief. If you’re feeling lonely or still, schedule time to meet with friends and family or do activities with others online. This could include going out for dinner or playing games. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by interactions, arrange some time to do quiet independent activities that keep your mind busy, such as:
Beating bad habits
It’s important to establish positive ways to pull away from grief because the negative feelings it produces can often lead to bad habits. Experiencing grief in an unhealthy way could include:
- Ignoring it
- Becoming violet
- Negative self-talk
- Reflecting negative feelings onto others
If you have noticed yourself falling into these bad habits, it’s important to recognize the problem. For there, try to practice cognitive-behavioral therapy by thinking logically about how your emotions are impacting your behavior.
Accepting the road ahead
Most people recognize themselves experiencing Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ 5 stages of grief after a great loss. It’s important to understand that you’re likely to experience these stages, but not in any particular order. You may even revisit some stages several times.
Accepting that grief is natural and takes time to heal will help you experience it in a healthy way. You can also consult with a skilled attorney about the legal matters of your divorce to reduce your stress and anxiety over the technical aspects of the agreements you will need to negotiate.