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9 Ways to Get Your Control Back During (and after!) a Divorce

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

You’re in the middle of the emotional blender that is divorce, and your thoughts are spiraling and out of control. You're so amped up, you wonder if your job performance is suffering.

Maybe your divorce has been final for a while, but the pain just WON'T stop! You don't want to hurt the kids, but you aren't really emotionally there for them.

Here are some steps you can take to put on the brakes, right now.

  • Take 3 or 4 deep breaths. This stimulates the vagus nerve in the center of your body, signaling your brain to relax.

  • Do a 30 Second Meditation. Pick up any object nearby and focus on it. What is it made of? How was it made? What are the shapes and colors in the object? OR you can also trace the outline of your hand with a finger - our hands have lots of nerve endings, and the soothing feeling will interrupt the thought spiral.

  • Do something physical to draw the emotion out. You can exercise, draw your anger, paint or write about it; anything tactile. Even jumping up and down a few times is helpful. The idea is to transform the emotion into kinetic energy.

  • Use the ILIO process: Identify & Label the emotion (“I’m feeling angry because…” I’m feeling anxious because…” Then Isolate & Observe it. “I’m feeling this anger in my chest. Instead of letting it take me over, I’m going to keep it here and watch it.” By doing this, we can not only stop being overwhelmed by the feeling, but keep from stuffing it down - which just makes it come back later even worse!

  • Tell yourself, “This is what it’s like to feel…” Human beings experience emotions. Emotions are only electrical signals and chemical processes in the brain, and it’s normal to feel them - even intensely - when we’re stimulated by stress. So remind yourself that it’s OK to feel those emotions. Experience them. Let them live in the place you’ve isolated them. But retain control over what you’re doing.

  • Ask yourself, “How important is this, really?” So often during a divorce, our buttons get pushed. The situation at hand might not be that important, but we tell ourselves that “it’s the principle of the thing!” How important is it, really? Is it worth the energy you’re putting into it?

  • Ask yourself, “What is something positive and constructive I can do about this right now?” Be solution oriented, not punitive. Isolate the actual problem or issue, decide what you want, and negotiate calmly for it.

  • Ask yourself, “What kind of energy am I sending out into the world?” What we send out is what we get back. What kind of energy do you want to receive? That’s the kind of emotion you want to send out.

  • Ask yourself, “What would my hero do?” Who do you admire? What kind of person do you want to be, and what would their behavior look like?

These are just a few of the ways to manage the chaos and stress of a breakup. Every situation is different! Let's get together for virtual coffee and talk about what's trapping you in the anger, despair, hurt and pain, and the #1 thing you can do to start living your life again. Here's where to schedule it:


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