When one is going through divorce it is easy to wonder, "Will I ever be happy again?" The answer is YES. Happiness is a fleeting feeling which requires frequent boosters. Happiness fluctuates in intensity, as do other emotions. One can choose to be happy or not during the turbulent time of divorce.
My divorced mother decided to be bitter for years afterwards, which resulted in having a barrier between her and the world. I went down a different path and found ways to insert moments of happiness amongst the chaos. My trick was to look for the positives and have a laugh at the absurdity in life.
Think about what brings joy, or when you were truly happy.
Schedule these into your agenda on a regular basis. Weekly lattes with pals contributed to my happiness. Talking about my spouse's outrageous antics brought on the giggles. It is hard to be in a negative place when laughing with friends.
Others get their happiness boost by a vacation. I went to Hawaii with my mother and sons during the nastiest part of my proceedings. I became ecstatically happy walking among the palm trees and talking to the wise Polynesian people. I brought this relaxed attitude back with me into the rest of the divorce. Some friends escaped to the spa or gym.
Remove yourself temporarily to pleasant surroundings.
The secret to being happy is to find one's meaning and purpose in life.
Viennese psychologist Viktor Frankl wrote about his ordeal in a concentration camp in his book Man's Search for Meaning. While imprisoned, he found that those who discovered their meaning in life were more apt to survive.
Two men, in particular, had given up and were waiting to die. Frankl found out what was important to them: one needed to finish his book, and the other had a child abroad waiting for him. Frankl helped these fellows to realize the meaning of their existence, and they made it out alive from the Nazi death camp.
What gives purpose to your life or ignites your passion?
Consider having experiences over accumulating more stuff. When you look back at your childhood, it is the great times that brought you happiness. You can increase your happiness, and your children's, by doing enjoyable activities. The youngsters will remember fun adventures more than another toy.
Giving back to others or being productive in one's work can also give meaning to life.
Studies indicate happiness can be achieved by connecting to others.
Psychologist Dan Gilbert from Harvard said, "The quality of connections with people is the biggest predictor of happiness." Several studies were done by Gillian Sandstorm and Elizabeth Dunn, which also found that happiness increases with the more interactions people have with each other. Interactions, both with people the subjects had strong ties to and acquaintances, led to a sense of belonging to the community.
Explore ways to engage with others, whether through professional networking or on a personal level. This means face-to-face encounters, not through social media. Strengthen ties to those individuals you already know. Enlarge your social circle with new acquaintances.
I joined some groups and took classes post-divorce and enjoyed meeting people. Attending travel talks and going to local events helps me to feel connected to others in my community. Make a point of speaking to those around you—the barista, cashier, neighbors and so forth.
Going into isolation hinders happiness. Reach out to others and include pleasurable pursuits to boost your happiness.
Written by Wendi Schuller
Wendi Schuller draws upon her knowledge as a nurse, Neuro-Linguistic Programmer (NLP), and hypnotherapist, providing a blueprint to guide people through divorce and beyond. Her latest book is The Global Guide to Divorce, and she has over 200 published articles. She is a guest on radio shows in the UK and U.S. Among Wendi’s passions are international travel and learning about other cultures.