How to Control Negative Thoughts During or After a Divorce
Divorce can have a devastating effect on those who experience it. Studies conducted over the past decade by psychologists and medical doctors show that this event is one of the most stressful experiences you can undergo in your lifetime. As a result, negative thoughts are no doubt running rampant as you deal with your ex-spouse, lawyers, your shifting home life and the emotional upheaval that occurs when a marriage ends. However, there are ways to control negative thoughts during and after the proceedings so that you can move forward with rebuilding your life instead of allowing it to crumble.
Speak From a Place of Logic, Not Emotion
Divorce proceedings can unleash a torrent of emotion and as a result, negative thoughts are likely to run rampant. While this is normal, you cannot allow them to take over and speak for you. Instead, before you speak, recognize your negative thoughts, corral them and then speak from a place of logic and rationality, not emotion. Not only will this keep you calmer as you move through the proceedings, it may even reduce negative thoughts and allow you to see certain situations more clearly.
Do Not Let Your Negative Thoughts Become Truths
While it is perfectly normal to experience negative thoughts and have a sense of reduced self-esteem when your marriage ends, they can become especially harmful if you perceive them as facts, not emotions. When this happens, you may start to think less of yourself. To avoid this, speak your negative emotions out loud and then counteract them with a true statement, such as:
- “I feel alone. But I am not alone: I am surrounded by friends and family.”
- “My life is ending. My marriage is ending, but my marital status does not define me.”
- “I am a failure. My marriage failed, but I am still worthy of love.”
The less often you accept negative thoughts as truth, the more self-confident you will be about your own worth and about the future as well.
Recognize Your Wounded Ego
When your marriage ends, your ego usually takes a tremendous blow. Eventually, it may begin to speak for you and you become trapped in a vicious cycle of negativity. To break free from this cycle, recognize your damaged ego but do not allow it to take over. This will allow you to become more aware of your true thoughts and feelings so you begin to deal with them in a healthy manner.
Do Not Go It Alone
Divorce and the negative thoughts that accompany it can be rocky roads to experience. However, having the ability to recognize negative thought patterns is the first step in stopping them. Family members, friends, clergymen, counselors, and mediators with backgrounds in both law and psychology can also help you work through your feelings so that you can eventually move on with your life with positivity and self-confidence.