Why Mindfulness Helps In Divorce And Other Stressful Events

Why Mindfulness Helps In Divorce And Other Stressful Events

Mindfulness is, to put it simply, the practice of focusing your attention on the here and the now; of training yourself to exert a greater degree of control over your thoughts in order to stop them from veering into unpleasant territory. Before I tried mindfulness, I believed that the physical sensations I associated with anxiety were caused by my thoughts. Instead, the physical sensations we associate with anxiety are a survival mechanism which served our ancestors well but, with the world posing much less of a physical threat than it did in their day, it’s become significantly less helpful.

For 27 years, I suffered from debilitating anxiety. This, I believe, provided me with experience that I was able to utilise when providing clients caught in the midst of a divorce with tangible advice. It made me more empathetic, more understanding of their situation and more motivated to help them. When the prospect of having to give a speech on my wedding day brought about worry so severe that I had no option but to seek help, I discovered something that would help not only me, but hundreds of my clients, too.

What this means is that, when you feel anxious, it’s little more than a random biological occurrence; a release of chemicals designed to make you more aware of the world around you and more prepared to deal with physical threats. Often, the experience is brief and simply passes away. During times of stress, however, this physical sensation causes us to analyse our current situation and find a reason to be worried. This results in a cyclical process that feeds our anxieties leaving us feeling stresses, exhausted and irritable – particularly whilst we’re in the midst of a highly stressful even such as a divorce.

Why mindfulness helps

Whilst it might appear as though the practice of mindfulness is one that is exclusively centred on controlling our thoughts, this is only half of the story. We are, for example, not always aware of what we’re thinking and are not always capable of choosing to think of something else as a result. Instead, mindfulness is centred on choosing to change our thoughts when we are indeed aware of them. Equally important, though, is that it teaches us to be accepting of the fact that we will not always be in control of our thoughts and that this is ok. Our minds have a tendency to wander so it’s vital that we accept that we’ll have negative thoughts and that, rather than aggressively trying to exert control over them, we should be kind to ourselves and gently try to think of something else.

Mindfulness – by improving understanding of anxiety and it’s causes, coupled with its non-aggressive means of exerting greater control over our thoughts – is proven to significantly increase people’s confidence in their ability to cope with change whilst reducing stress. I can attest to this personally; as can many of the clients I’ve helped over the past few years.

With time, mindfulness helps people to live in the moment. As a result, it is not only extremely beneficial when it comes to helping people through their divorces but, as it often also brings a new-found appreciation for the world around us, is fantastic preparation for the new life that awaits them post-divorce, too.

Author Bio:

Jay Williams works for Quickie Divorce, one of the UK’s leading providers of fast, affordable online divorce solutions.