Finding ways to build resilience to cope with and bounce back from challenges and difficulties of a divorce is about how you pay attention, you think and you act. And here is the thing… anyone can learn, it just takes a little bit of practice.
Evidence from world-renowned neuroscientist Richard Davidson shows mindfulness increases resilience and furthermore the more mindfulness meditation you practice, the more resilient you and your brain becomes. What can happen during challenging times or events in your life is that negative stories and viewpoints are created because our minds get busy.
Stories are constructed about yourself or others and these stories are filled sometimes with strong emotions can stay with you for days or years. For example, an argument with your partner before you leave for work or at the children’s drop off with your Ex can have you replaying that conversation all day or weekend. Situations like these are more likely to drain you of energy and leave you feeling low, angry and thinking about it all day or weekend. Mindfulness reduces rumination, fretting and worrying, it helps you let go. If you are able to practise even a breathing exercise regularly changes your brain so you are better able to spot those negative mind monkey thoughts and stories early on. This means you are growing your resilience muscle to cope with future potential stressful meetings, pickups or drop-offs or family events.
Here are four ways to become more resilient:
- Positive relationships – is a really important factor in divorce life – putting your trusted support squad together
- The ability to make plans and take action to solve problems arising from life’s unexpected challenges – flexibility
- The capacity to manage difficult emotions – being with them, accepting them and letting them go rather than feeling resigned and holding on
- Effective communication skills or tools
Going through separation and divorce, where the stress levels on many days can be high. Coupled with so much to do as a single mum, earning a living, balancing family and friends expectations, my own and my children’s emotions. Honestly? There were some days I felt I was drowning under the pressure and could I cope?
I am certain to this day that without my mindfulness practice to help me cope through these difficult, lonely and stressful times, that I would have found my new life, my new relationship as a co-parent and life more challenging.
Here are my five ways to help you grow your resilience muscle to cope with difficulties:
- Nurture relationships: It is important to have a range of positive and supportive people in and outside of your family, this can also include your Ex. If you don’t you could join a club, local group, evening class or if you are getting a divorce here is my group – FB Group Divorce Goddess®
- Find meaning in difficulties: When faced with adversity or life challenges, try if you can to see the positives in how you have dealt with them. Have you been able to appreciate life more, have gratitude or notice improved relationships or met new people you wouldn’t have otherwise?
- Be optimistic: You can use mindfulness to shift negative rumination thoughts to more positive ones about the future. If you can see what is happening as it is now rather than in the same state for the whole of the rest of your life. You can’t change what is happening to you, but you can change how you respond, the smallest changes make a difference and meditation can help.
“This too shall pass” ~ credited to many a poet…
- Be decisive: You can begin by making decisions and taking actions rather than avoiding the tasks on your list of things to do. Hoping things will get better without doing anything probably ain’t going to happen. If you need to, ask for help. Make a list and tick those tasks off every day or week. And remember even not making a decision is in itself a decision.
- Accept that change is part of living: Change is part of life. Expect things to change and adversity to occur, rather than pretend all will always be well. Life is not about trying to be 100% happy! Your goal is to cope effectively rather than avoid disappointment, loss or pain.
Importantly with resilience, flexibility is the name of the game. Furthermore, as you discover ways to adapt and cope with the challenges of life, resilience helps you feel more empowered, it can boost your self-confidence and those judgemental mind monkeys are less likely to mess with your head.
Power plan: What simple action can you take to begin increasing your resilience to cope better?
Maybe it is learning how to meditate or live more mindfully, making that decision about your home or decor or as simple as picking up the phone and making a call every day. Each journey begins with a single step…
Finally if you are finding it difficult to take that step, book a FREE 30 minute call with me and how I can help you by emailing me on email@example.com