8 Reasons gratitude is so important during your divorce
Mar 30, 2021
Yes I know it sounds counter intuitive and gratitude is probably the last thing you feel like if you’re going through a divorce at the moment – but hear me out. Gratitude helps you to look at things differently and see things in a new light. It’s the best way to success and happiness.
Gratitude is an intervention from the science of Positive Psychology and research shows it’s the single most powerful method of increasing happiness – yet also one of the most overlooked tools.
So what is gratitude?
It’s about consciously taking the time to think about all the positive things in your life. It doesn’t necessarily involve thanking someone – although that can help. It’s more than just making a list of what you’re grateful for – you need to really take the time to feel the positive emotions associated with those things.
Gratitude’s been shown to help you tap into a more positive mindset, which makes you feel happier – instead of ruminating on the negatives in your life – which is easily done when you’re going through a divorce. It helps to reduce stress and depression, to build up your resilience and self-esteem, and to feel more optimistic as well as improving your sleep.
These are the benefits of gratitude that I think are the most important for you if you’re going through a divorce.
- It makes us happier - Research shows that having a daily 5-minute gratitude journal increases your long-term well-being by more than 10% - which is the same impact as doubling your income! It improves your health, emotions, relationships, career and personality. It also has a compounding effect – gratitude makes you feel even more grateful. It also helps to reduce the effects of depression and to improve your mental health.
- Improves your physical health – People who are grateful experience less aches and pains and generally feel healthier. They are more likely to look after their health, exercise regularly and lead a healthy lifestyle. It also helps to reduce blood pressure and increase energy levels.
- It improves sleep - It increases the length of your sleep as well as improving the quality. Lack of sleep is often an issue for people going through a divorce. Practicing 10 to15 minutes of gratitude before going to sleep can really make a difference.
- Improves self-esteem - and makes you feel better about yourself. Research has shown the gratitude helps to reduce comparisons between yourself and other people and means you’re more able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments. It makes you kinder and more friendly and because of that people are more likely to reach out to you and offer help.
- Builds your resilience – People who express gratitude are more resilient and bounce-back quicker from setbacks which is essential during a divorce. They tend be more pro-active and ask for help when they need it and are more likely to grow during times of stress. Ask yourself what you have learnt from your divorce which will help you in your future life.
- Helps to reduce fears – which is especially important when you’re going through a divorce. It’s almost impossible to be grateful and fearful at the same time. When you’re in a state of fear you’re in a state of lack and scarcity whereas when you’re grateful you’re in a state of abundance. It helps you to appreciate what you have in the moment, instead of worrying about what you don’t have.
- It shifts your focus – and what you focus on, you get more of, as your brain automatically scans to find more of what you’re focusing on. So if you’re feeling grateful and positive, you will automatically see more of that in your life.
- It improves your relationships – whether this is existing relationships or new relationships. Showing appreciation to existing friends makes them feel more valued and helps you to have a deeper connection with them. Saying thank you to acquaintances means they are more likely to want to develop a friendship with you.
Studies have shown that changes occur slowly from practicing gratitude daily but it definitely happens. It normally takes around 3 months before you feel the greatest benefits. I recommend it to all my clients as I have seen the benefits from practicing it myself. It’s important that you don’t just view this as a tick box exercise though, but really take the time to feel the emotions.
If you’re going through a divorce and your whole world has been shattered it might feel as though you haven’t got anything to be grateful for – but there is always something – even if it’s that you have roof over your head, that your heart’s beating or for the breath that you take. Start with some basic things and it will gradually get easier over time. Remember that gratitude breeds gratitude.
If you’re going through a divorce at the moment and struggling to cope you can download my free gift to you – 10 Simple Secrets to Let Go of Heartbreak & Start Moving on With Your Life After Your Separation.
I also have a free Facebook group you can join – The Breakup and Divorce Lounge. It’s a community of women all in the same situation to support and encourage each other in a safe and non-judgemental space. https://bit.ly/thebreakupanddivorcelounge