Divorce is a challenging and life-changing event that can leave people feeling lost and confused.
Psychologists rate divorce to be the second most stressful life event, with the top stressor being the spouse’s death. In this context, pursuing happiness after divorce can seem like an impossible task.
However, it is important to remember that happiness is a choice. No matter what life throws your way, you can always choose to be happy.
Let’s explore how divorce impacts the mental health of individuals and ways to pursue happiness to take care of your well-being.
The impact of divorce on mental health
Multiple studies across the globe show that divorce harms the mental health of the concerned parties. For example, a study in Singapore showed that divorced people were more likely to seek help from mental health professionals or spiritual advisors than those married.
Divorce leaves a physical and mental health impact irrespective of the reasons for divorcing. But, there are many things you can do to pursue happiness through pain.
Here are a few tips for pursuing happiness after divorce:
Give yourself time to grieve
Even if you initiated the divorce, you could still find it tough to cope with the emotional and psychological fallout. While there is no specific time frame for grieving the loss of the relationship, it is important to give yourself time to do so. Practice kindness towards yourself and take optimal care of your physical and mental well-being through this phase.
Spend time with positive people
Spending time with positive people is one of the best things you can do for your mental health after a divorce. It is easy to become isolated and withdrawn when you are going through a tough time. But being around positive people can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Do things that make you happy
The good news is that you can do plenty of things to make yourself happy and improve your mental health after a divorce.
The things that can make you happy can range from cooking, watching a movie, going on a vacation, to spending time in nature.
Live in the present moment
After a divorce, individuals often feel like they are living in the past and can’t move on. Thoughts of the uncertain future can also overwhelm you.
Stressing about the past (that cannot be changed) or the future (that is not under your control) will further impact your well-being. Instead, train your mind to focus on the present moment.
Make time for relaxation and fun
Make a conscious effort to take care of yourself and make yourself happy. This can mean cooking yourself a delicious dessert, watching a movie, catching up on your reading, or going for a nature walk.
Seek professional help if needed
While anger, depression, and anxiety are natural emotions following a divorce that should get better with a bit of time, you may need to seek professional help if:
- You experience significant despair lasting for months
- There is significant disruption in your sleep patterns, concentration, or appetite
- You are experiencing inappropriate behaviours and thoughts such as violence, impulsivity, and rage
Get the right legal help
Pursuing happiness is not always easy, but it is possible. You deserve to be happy, even after divorce.