” … you can build your gratitude muscle by consciously choosing to be more grateful, and thereby you will be happier.” (Harvard study finds strong link between gratitude and happiness)
It can be hard to have gratitude for your life after a divorce because so much of it can look so greatly different than your life did before, and some of it may not be happy changes. And if you have kids, they could be struggling with the same feelings. There’s always the feeling that you “lose” when you divorce because, in reality, you do usually lose money, objects, time with kids and properties, etc. You actually lose things.
However, we wouldn’t divorce if we felt we would simply just lose, lose, and lose. The flip side to all of this sad sack stuff is you win when you divorce. You really do. And if you find these “wins” then you will really be able to build true gratitude into your life after divorce.
When you are feeling like a grouchy sore loser, do these things to feel like a winner again!
1) Remind Yourself of Your “Wins”:
I don’t mean your literal wins like alimony or getting the family home…I mean the wins of divorce that you can’t see or touch. The wins of divorce that are daily manifestations of how you live after the divorce like:
– Winning peace in your home—no more fighting!
– Winning the chance at love again…the right love, and not the wrong one!
– Winning focused and concentrated time with your kids in which you can parent and breathe easier when you’re with them.
– Winning the chance of starting your life over again. Just think about all the miserably married people in the world who wouldn’t love that shot!
2) Consider The Blessings You Have That You Totally Forgot About:
When grocery money is scarce and friends come to the rescue, I feel blessed. I feel even more blessed when I am then able to go food shopping without stressing.
When I think about all the people that just endured serious hurricanes, I feel blessed I have a roof over my head and food to eat.
When you really think about it, you have more to be grateful for than you even know. As much as you may feel as if you are missing out on having something, there is someone who wishes to have your life…wishes to have your blessings. Remember that!
3) Remind Yourself Of A Time In Which You Felt Worse:
I am pretty sure that when you were married and fighting, you felt a lot worse. Try to recall how awful that time felt. Do you feel that way now? How much better is it to have something done and finalized, rather than to hem and haw, and battle it out?
To build gratitude for your life after divorce, try to remember why you divorced in the first place!
4) Seek Out People You Can Mentor & Support:
While you may indeed have a lot of trouble on your shoulders, there is always someone who has it worse or who is also struggling with something and could use support. Seek out people in your life that are in need of a friend or some mentorship. How can you be of help to this person? Even if it’s just a listening ear, be a helper. By doing so, you will feel good about yourself, gain confidence and help someone else feel a lot better, too.
5) Make A List Of Loss Vs. Win:
When you’re feeling really negative and distraught over those divorce “losses,” make a list of loss vs. win, like:
– Loss: money; Win: freedom from a toxic person
– Loss: my home: Win: a new space that is all my own
– Loss: time with my kids: Win: peaceful, non-stressful time of my very own with my children
6) Generate Excitement For Life Goals You Can Now Achieve:
Instead of being sad, try to generate excitement over new life goals you have now that you’re divorced! Maybe it’s meeting someone new. Maybe it’s opening your own business. Maybe it’s traveling more or starting a new hobby. Whatever the case may be, generate good energy towards your goals and if you don’t have any life goals after divorce, change that stat!
7) Appreciate How Far You Have Come:
Today, you may feel lonely and as if you will never feel financially stable after a divorce but, think about where you were two weeks ago…two months ago…two years ago! How far have you come? Cherish that and own it! Be proud of the steps you’ve taken, even if they truly are baby steps…they are stepping in the right direction: of your new life.
We could all sit around and b*tch and moan about how much life sucks, or we can stand up, clean ourselves up and do something about our problems. Generate gratitude for the smallest things around you and eventually, they’ll feel like the biggest things!
Laura Lifshitz is a pint-sized, battery-operated, writer, comedienne, and single mother. Laura will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for the New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Redbook, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, Your Tango and numerous other sites. Her own website is frommtvtomommy.com.