To change your life you must first change your mind!
Divorce is never a walk in the park. It's more like a trek through a dark jungle of contorted emotions and fears, without any light to find your way or see your truth.
Regardless of whether or not you initiated the breakup, you feel a sense of disconnection, disruption and abject terror.
Will the see-saw of moods and run-away thoughts ever allow you to sleep soundly or think clearly, again?
You question your own self worth. Will you be able to navigate the world alone and manage raising your kids. Uncertainty begins taking over. Will you ever find real love? The deafening inner noise increases ... escalating your worries and camouflaging your path.
You feel lost, but I promise, you're not — it's a temporary dislocation.
You're actually evolving and experiencing a growth spurt. You're on your way to a mega-change that will connect you to a better you — you just don't realize it yet.
How to Ease the Journey
During divorce, anxiety and panic cause your brain's stress management center to release hormones that create a "fight or flight" response. Over and over, you enter a state of high alert causing energy to flow to your extremities and be siphoned away from non-essential functions, like digestion or your immune system (which is why you're more likely to suffer indigestion, get sick, etc.).
This "stress release" response is meant for short-term bursts to deal with danger and survive. When experienced for extended periods, it becomes harmful to your body and fogs your mind. It causes your brain to wire a neural pattern of negativity. At this point, you can get stuck (in your mind and in your life) and even the largest machete won't cut through the tangle you've created.
This is the moment where it's important to know that you're capable of creating a totally different and new response.
To change the experience you're having ... first, you have to change your mind.
What does that mean? It means becoming aware of your negative thoughts and learning how to let them go.
It's okay to feel sad — or even angry — but hyperfocusing on those episodes ultimately expands and increases them. Don't dwell on the grief. Instead, interrupt painful thoughts by regularly using two statements. Repeat these as often as you can throughout the day (and I'll explain why as you keep reading):
- I'm confident, strong and energetic and I'm improving my life every day.
- I love and accept myself, and I calmly observe my emotions and feelings with mindfulness
These two statements create positive mental visions of how you see yourself. Breakups trigger blinding judgments of failure resulting in low self-esteem and self-criticisms, which contribute to agonizing depression. By saying these two affirmations as soon as you wakeup in the morning and as often as possible throughout the day, you influence a more expanded view of yourself — even in the midst of crisis.
You are not your thoughts and it's helpful to detach from them while connecting to your higher self. As you do so, you'll find a treasure trove of self ove and gain the ability to tap into your greatest potential.
Why affirmations are so effective
The scientific answer is this — The reticular activating system (RAS) in the brain acts as a portal that lets in information affecting what you pay attention to. It helps you determine what's important to your goals and desires. So by using these affirmations, you are "patterning" the RAS to pay attention to this new, positive important message and subtly make changes to help create this reality in your life.
At first each statement will feel like a lie ... but this actually helps motivate you to achieve your vision, so as to eliminate discomfort of it feeling inauthentic.
For instance, repeating the phrase "I'm improving my life every day" necessitates actually making good choices. If you're drinking too much or stuffing bad food into your body, you'll feel out of alignment with your affirmation. Ultimately you'll feel discord. Thus, you'll feel inclined to make more supportive choices to feel better and more balanced. In a similar way, by asserting that you love yourself, you'll believe in YOU first and foremost — before you know it, your brain starts to rewire neural pathways in a healthier way.
The more you trust and experiment with this process, the more it becomes your reality.
You'll need to have a little faith along with regular practice for the most benefit. Within a few days of your diligence, frustrations and tangled thinking will yield to a more assured and determined place within you. You'll reach a calmer level and feel liberated. Your inner beacon will light the way to, clearly, see a trail through divorce and even beyond to fresh adventures.
Peggy Sealfon is a Personal Development Coach who spends her time helping people overcome life's big and small challenges. Try her FREE AUDIO to reduce stress in under 5 minutes. Or order her book, Escape From Anxiety — Supercharge Your Life With Powerful Strategies from A to Z.