A way to keep one’s sanity in the divorce process is by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is mainstream and not in the sole domain of gurus. It not a New Age thing, but has been done for over a millennium, especially in Buddhism. Mindfulness is about being focused on the happy activity you are doing with the kids and casting worries aside. It is experiencing and being fully in the moment, whether strolling the cobbled stone streets of Tuscany or baking brownies with a child. Mindfulness is being engaged in an endeavor without being on autopilot because your thoughts are elsewhere.
Mindfulness is useful in divorce. When concentrating on the divorce session, one is able to take in the information, process it, and make rational decisions. Being immersed in the present lessens fear based reactions of when one’s mind is drifting into worst case scenarios. Staying focused in the moment allows one to clarify confusing points, ask pertinent questions and not make decisions in haste.
Mindfulness is looking at the here and now and not dwelling in the past which cannot be changed. The what ifs, such as “What if I had only…..” is detrimental and not going to alter your current circumstance. Mentally living in the distant future also causes one to miss out on life now. When I was in a toxic marriage, I was dreaming about being on my own after my last child graduated from high school. Instead of doing something about my marriage (fix it or divorce sooner), I was not fully present, enjoying every moment of my sons’ childhoods. It is fine to have goals and direction, but not to be on a permanent vacation from what is happening today.
While in my divorce situation, mindfulness enabled me to take each necessary step forward to complete the small tasks, rather than taking a giant leap into the future. I felt less scattered and more in control when practicing mindfulness in divorce.
There are ways to improve mindfulness. Take a mentally and physically stimulating class that demands full attention. Zumba keeps me focused while learning intricate steps. Some divorced people have gotten back into tennis which requires being in the moment. Others have performed challenging feats, such as mountain climbing in Nepal. Meditation has benefited other folks to silence the chatter in their brains and calmly face the tasks at hand.
There are various studies which indicate that mindfulness meditation can alter the brain structure in a positive way. A study reported in Psychology Research had a control group and one that practiced mindful meditation for eight weeks. Results indicated participants who meditated increased the grey matter which involves learning, forming memories and emotions. This was not seen in the control group. Another study in Psychological Science had students either take a mindfulness class or a nutritional one for two weeks. The participants who completed the mindfulness class did better on a memory test and their Graduate Record Examination for grad school entrance was 16% higher than the control group’s ones. Consider practicing mindfulness for a smoother divorce and experiencing life more fully.
Wendi Schuller, uses her knowledge as a nurse, Neuro-Linguistic Programmer (NLP), and hypnotherapist, to author the book The Women’s Holistic Guide to Divorce that helps women regaining their strength of inner peace and wisdom. She can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org