Whichever emotion you are experiencing at the time there are various self help strategies and techniques for identifying them and also for limiting their negative behaviour they have on your life.
Just as you would not expect to get great results after one session at the gym the same principle applies to changing and getting rid of negative beliefs. The more you practice the quicker and better you will become at it.
You may feel justified in being angry and therefore this validates how you feel. If you stop for a second and look at how the anger is serving you then perhaps you will see the negative impact it is having on your life. What about contemplating the thought that you deserve better than feeling angry and no matter what you feel has been done to you the anger turns inwards after a time and it only destroys yourself and the people around you, especially children who get caught up in all the anger. If you could stop and change your view point what a shift in your whole life this could be.
1. Find a quiet space to sit or lie down
2. Start to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth gently for 5-10 minutes to help relax your mind and body. This should also help to slow down your pulse rate and calm your mind down which then will allow you to start the self healing techniques as your subconscious mind is more open to suggestions when in a relaxed state.
3. Take one of the recurring negative feelings or emotions and start to think about it. Don’t be frightened of it and allow it to come through. What is it about that feeling that you can change for yourself? It may be finances and you may worried about the future and paying bills. Right now allow the positive side of you to release the negative feeling. You feeling worse right now is not going to help. Don’t give the negative feeling a space in your life for the next 10 minutes.
4. Replace the negative thoughts and feelings with positive affirmations..HOWEVER BAD THINGS ARE I AM STRONG ENOUGH TO GET THROUGH THIS. THIS IS A TEMPORARY SITUATION AND I WILL FIND A SOLUTION. I LOVE MYSELF AND MY CHILDREN TOO MUCH TO LET THIS BEAT US. I AM STRONG, CARING AND LOVING.
Repeat over and over again allowing yourself to absorb the positive feelings you now have as the words sink into your subconscious.
You can repeat this technique as many times as you like and the more you practice the more positive your outcomes will be. You can make up your own affirmations by writing them out first and practicing them.
There are various anger management techniques but let’s start with thinking through your anger. It may be your partner walked out on you, cheated on you or a number of other reasons. Why should you punish yourself continuously. Acknowledge the anger and remember that you do not deserve it and that you refuse to own it. If you own the anger it becomes part of you. Bad enough you feel wronged so why punish yourself more than necessary.
Angry thoughts are inevitable as emotional feelings may surface as a thought initially and then turned into feelings. If you can train your mind to recognize these thoughts early on then you have the chance to prevent them from becoming deep seated anger, resentment and bitterness.
Find a quiet space for you to contemplate your thoughts and time to allow yourself to work through your feelings. Be aware of the anger and accept it as a feeling but try not to let it take over. By finding a quiet space and engaging in some gentle breathing exercises will allow you to take control of the anger and not it take control of you. Your feelings diary will allow you to identify the causes of your anger as you work through each stage of each aspect. Spend 10-15 minutes allowing the anger to disappear as you breathe and relax.
Remember thoughts affect feelings, affect actions which in turn affect results.
Self talk therapy
is a good way of checking the thought feeling action and result process. Self talk is literally talking to yourself and the idea is to check your negative thought processes which in turn gets you thinking about positive thoughts which then create better feelings and so on.
Positive affirmations are really helpful to check negative thoughts and oftentimes the negative thoughts turn inwards and are reflections of your self esteem and self worth. Affirmations are positive statements about yourself and an outcome you desire involving you…such as I AM WORTHY OF LOVE AND I TRULY RESPECT MYSELF will help to combat feelings of low self worth. These affirmations can be practiced and repeated any time of the day and the more you positive talk to yourself the better you will end up feeling. There is lots of research about affirmations and if you work on the principle that negative affirmations seem to work so well such as your inner voice continually putting you down and telling you how worthless you are. So replace the negative inner voice with positive and bold statements about how good you are as a person.
Just because you are going through the divorce process whether or not you instigated the divorce you are still entitled to respect and love yourself also.
Exercise and diet
Just like keeping physically fit being mentally fit also requires continued practice to maintain a decent level of mental and emotional fitness. As we exercise endorphins are released which help us to feel good and is scientifically recognized as being beneficial in surpressing anxiety, stress and depression. Maybe you attend a gym or exercise from home already. If so then you are already aware of the benefits. If not, it may well be time to seek advice from your doctor if necessary or attend some local exercise classes or even work out online.
Diet is also an important factor in helping to deal with the emotional aspects of divorce. It’s so tempting at times to comfort eat and even to drink alcohol to excess. Keep a daily record of what you eat and drink and this well help you identify your dietary habits. The more healthy you can eat and the more you can keep motivated the more easily you will be able to deal with the stresses and strains of the divorce process.
Mindfulness , yoga and many other forms of mental and physical exercise are great ways to keep mentally, emotionally and physically fit.
Learning some relaxation techniques are also important as they allow your mind to be free and it is easier to communicate with your subconscious mind. Mostly all behavior is learned and is stored in the subconscious mind. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth to a count of 4 for each intake and exhaling of breath. This will help to slow down your breathing and in turn your heart rate allowing you to relax more easily and open up your mind.
Visualisation is also another good tool to visualize positive changes in your life. It is likely that you have been in turbulent times emotionally and financially for a prolonged period of time and visualizing positive outcomes, places and the good things in your life can help reduce stress and anxiety. Picturing mountains, lakes and beautiful scenery in your mind as you breath in and out is so therapeutic and is healing your mind and body at the same time.
As you practice these techniques more and more you can use them in your life as and when needed. For example when you have to meet your ex over the children or at pick up/drop off times you can get into a relaxed state in your mind by breathing and visualizing positive outcomes just before you meet.
Despair, hopelessness, fear and anxiety are other negative emotions which can surface at any time. Financial hardship, custody issues, housing, work and constant arguing may constantly be on your mind. You may feel you have worked through a particular issue only to find it resurfacing again after another incident. This is why it’s important to keep a journal and write the feeling emotions and behavior patterns down as you will discover a pattern to them often prompted by an event or an incident. Over time you can clearly see the pattern and you can work out how you respond to them
A great way of checking your actions based on your thoughts and feeling is how would my children like to see me behave. Was I behaving appropriately with their best interests at heart. Even if there are times when you can’t get rid of the feelings (being in debt is one of them) and you feel your ex partner is to blame for your financial situation can you still behave and conduct yourself accordingly. It’s so easy to feel justified in negative behavior and actions in this instance but breathe, visualize and do whatever is within your power to take control of your emotions.
As a divorce mentor you provide a sounding board for your client’s to unload their feelings and emotions to you and you can start to help them recognize patterns of behavior. It’s hard to bring round a client who is in jeopardy of losing their house due to their partner leaving them. However you can coach your client to accept the situation as it is and help them build on their strengths to look for solutions. Even if the home they have lived in has to be sold maybe this is the start of a new beginning which doesn’t have to be bad. Can you help them to keep their emotions in check so they can negotiate a better deal for themselves instead of making snap decisions based on anger?
Below is an emotions chart which clients can use to help them identify and work through repeated emotional patterns and keep a record of them in their diary/journal. It’s not a definitive list of emotions and feelings but it should help clients identify their own emotions more easily.