Transforming Your Mind After a Divorce
Around one in every two marriages ends in divorce. It’s a situation that’s only becoming more common. If and when you experience it for yourself, you’ll realize that it’s one of the most transformative periods of your life. It can completely break your spirit or it can be a catalyst for growth. Here are some ways you can transform your mind for the better following a divorce.
Get Some Solitude
Married couples often spend so much time together that they miss out on the incredible benefits of solitude. When you’re alone, you have a chance to be completely free from the expectations and judgments of others. All you have are your own thoughts to explore and emotions to process. That’s why Buddhist monks seek solitude on their path to enlightenment.
Immediately after your divorce, think about how you’ll make the most of this alone time. You might choose to travel somewhere far away, where you don’t know anyone. Maybe you’ll spend some time roaming around the Alps or wandering through the Sahara Desert. Try to get out of your comfort zone and enjoy the peace that comes with solitude. There will be hard days, but you’ll learn a lot during this time as you work things through in your mind.
Love can be intoxicating, exhilarating, and transcendent. However, it can also be brutal, devastating, and soul-destroying. Friendship, conversely, is where true happiness can be found. Unlike romantic relationships, friendships don’t come wrapped in jealousy or demand exclusivity. After a divorce, it’s important to focus on the friendships that you may have neglected during your married life.
Wise philosophers from Ancient Greece like Epicurus argued in favor of friendship as the foundation of happiness. Rather than rushing to fall in love again, meet your old friends. Hang out with others without any expectation of a sexual or romantic encounter. This pure form of relationship will help you grow sustainably without the rollercoaster ride you get from falling in love.
Visit a Therapist
Some of the other items on this list involve distracting your mind from the grief that comes with separating from a spouse. However, you shouldn’t ignore your feelings completely. You need to face them, discuss them, and process them. Otherwise, they’ll eat you from the inside out. Talking to friends and family is a good start, but you’ll get the best results if you visit a qualified therapist.
For some people, this can be a difficult step. You may think that therapists are for people with really serious mental health conditions. You might downplay your situation as something which is faced by 50% of married couples and, therefore, not serious enough to require a therapist. However, the truth is that everyone can benefit from therapy. All humans go through struggles in their lives from breakups and bereavements to financial crises and existential doubts. Whenever you’re struggling, talking to a psychiatrist can help you process your problems and take positive steps towards a happier life.
Learn a New Craft
Recent divorcees often find that they have a lot of free time on their hands. This gives you the perfect opportunity to learn something new. Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to try? Maybe you’d love to brew beer to knit clothes. Trying out a new craft like this gives you an enormous sense of accomplishment, helping to keep your self-esteem high.
It can also be a way to earn some extra money. Eventually, you might reach a point where you feel you can sell your new skills. Since many people experience financial difficulties after a divorce, it’s worth pursuing a passion that may one day be worth something. Either way, you’ll have developed a new skill.
Focus on the Pillars of Physical Health
You’re looking for somewhere to invest your time and energy now that you don’t have a spouse to care about. For many people, it’s easy to descend into bad habits. Some use sex, drugs, and alcohol to distract themselves. With no partner around to prevent you from doing this, you may fail to take responsibility, allowing yourself to go down this dark path. Over the course of several months or years, this can have a profoundly negative impact on your life.
Instead, try to focus on the three pillars of physical health: diet, sleep, and exercise. If you get these three aspects right, then your mind will be clear and ready to accept growth. Consume as many nutrients as you can, sleep seven to nine hours a day, and exercise for two to three hours a week. At first, this might involve a steep learning curve, but that’s just something to grip your attention, taking it away from the sadness of your divorce. After a while, you’ll feel better than ever.
Spend Time with Your Children
Divorces are made far more difficult when children are involved. After a breakup, both parents are likely to see their kids less often than previously. This can have a devastating impact on your mental health. You need to be willing to argue your case for spending as much time with your children as possible. Ultimately, they’re the ones that give your life meaning and give you the strength to keep growing as a parent and a human being.
It may be worth contacting a child custody lawyer to ensure that you have as much access to your children as possible. You can do this by searching online for ‘best child custody lawyer near me’ and choosing an experienced attorney that you can put your trust in. If you feel that your partner is being unreasonable, then don’t give up until you’re able to spend a fair amount of time with your own children.
Divorce can be a devastating time but it may also lead you to a new and better life. Let it inspire you to become a better version of yourself by using the extra free time to focus on growth and transformation. The tips above are a good start, but we’re sure you can think of many more ways to use this time to develop your mind.