Steps to flourish after a divorce
Can you visualize your post-divorce self as a blooming flower opening, thriving, growing, and maturing? The visual that you have of your “post-divorce self” may play a large role in how you recover from the stress after going through a divorce. Studies have found that there are individual differences between people who “blossom” after a divorce and those who experience depressive symptoms and psychological distress.
We have all heard the eye opening statistic that approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce. To be more specific, about 40% of first marriages, 60% of second marriages, and 70% of third marriages end in divorce. Approximately 30% to 40% of people who have been through a divorce suffer from depressive symptoms post-divorce. With that being said, recovery after divorce depends on a host of factors, including the specifics surrounding the divorce, and our coping strategies and skills.
The one factor that plays the biggest role in our recovery after a divorce is our outlook on life. Do we tend to focus on the negatives surrounding our divorce, or do we focus more on how to recover and renew? By having a more positive outlook and not catastrophizing, we can learn to overcome and blossom like a flower.
In order to truly overcome a divorce, we can look to these flowers to provide us with some tips:
1. Gladiolus – Strength of Character – The beautiful Gladiolus was named because of the shape of this flower which resembles a sword. The Latin word “gladius” means sword. Strength of character means that we have the virtues and strengths that are deemed most positive. Focus on strengthening the following traits: creativity, kindness, fairness, forgiveness, bravery, hope and humor.
2. Daffodils – New Beginnings – Daffodils symbolize new beginnings and also prosperity. The blooming of the daffodil marks the end of winter and the start of a new spring. In your post-divorce life it is important to recognize and notice the start of new and exciting things. Your outlook has a lot to do with your recovery, thus think of it as a new beginning rather than an ending.
3. Sunflowers – Warmth and Happiness – It is difficult to look at a sunflower without smiling. The shape and colors of a sunflower resemble the sun warming us. Studies have found that catastrophizing a divorce can cause us the most distress. Although it is important to reflect upon our divorce, and perhaps mourn over it, it is also important to regain happiness. Having a positive appraisal of our life is linked to less depressive symptoms.
4. Amaryllis – Pride and Determination – This crimson colored flower is known for symbolizing pride and determination. Divorce brings so many changes along with it, and sometimes it can be hard to stand tall. The Amaryllis can teach us to have pride and determination to be successful and to stay strong.
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