Looking for Positives: 3 Tips for Avoiding Negativity Throughout a Divorce

By: Wendi Schuller
December 07, 2016

During and after divorce it is easy to slip into negativity. Lives are changing with a dip in finances and time spent with the children. Dwelling on what is not working out can blind you to what is going right in your life. People that do not move on after divorce can build a wall around themselves which keeps others away.

Those Who Are Positive Are Healthier 

Various studies have indicated that people who were more positive about what lies ahead were less likely to have ailments. Web MD found that “People who have a positive attitude during stressful events are 22% less likely to have a fatal or non-fatal heart attack than those who hold negative attitudes.” The Mayo Clinic discussed the health benefits of optimism – seeing some positives, including in stress-full situations. Some of these are “greater resistance to the common cold”, less cardiovascular issues, and decreased risk of depression. The Dalia Lama states, “Unhealthy attitudes disturb the body. The body/mind relationship affords ample proof that human health depends on positive feelings.”

Negativity Hinders Negotiations 

People sometimes seek out the negatives as a way to validate their political, career, or other life choices. I heard a speech recently whose message was, since her candidate did not win the election, that the apocalypse is coming. She refuses to try and see anything positive and attempts to dissuade others from doing so. When I was in London during the Brexit voting, it was a similar situation. The other side was totally wrong for many people. In divorce, this type of attitude hinders negotiation and being flexible in working out custody arrangements.

3 Tips for Staying Positive During and After Divorce 

1. Surround Yourself with Positive People

Choose to be surrounded by positive people. One attracts friends who are like them. Being negative is like a magnet which draws others with negative attitudes to you. These pessimists may forecast gloomy outcomes for your divorce or hold you back by focusing on obstacles to success.

I had a divorced friend who was concentrating on what was not working out in my divorce. I would change the subject and she did not get the hint. My son finally told her bluntly to stop talking about divorce. She eventually drifted away when I refused to discuss the negatives. I surrounded myself with upbeat people who are still my cheerleaders today. One’s outlook is how they see the world as a scary, dark place or where many good things happen. One projects their positive or negative outlook onto others, as if they were a screen.

2. Stop Living in the Past 

A way to be more positive is by not living in the past. Put energy into focusing on the present and near future. You cannot change the past, but can learn from it. Be in the moment as in mindfulness. Tend to what is needing your immediate attention: splitting assets, dividing personal property, or just taking the dog for a walk. Distraction helps to gets one’s mind off the negativity of the divorce situation and on to something fun. Go to the cinema, have coffee dates with pals, and have a good laugh.

3. Find Out What Helps You Relax

If a Higher Power is in your belief system – then hand over your worries. Others ways to become more positive is by meditation. Massages, reflexology, and acupuncture alleviates stress and tension, which resets your body for relaxation. Getting out in nature helps to banish the blues. Various studies show a connection to being outdoors and increasing one’s well-being.

Listening to humorous or uplifting songs helps one get into a more positive frame of mind. I particularly like Monty Python’s “Look on the Bright Side of Life.” One verse is:

Always look on the bright side of life
If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing

Sometimes we are stuck and cannot seem to let go of an issue, or to see positives is beyond our capability. Talk to a friend or a professional to help you get unstuck


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