Stress is part and parcel of life. Extreme stress can be caused by various stressors such as financial, emotional, family or work. A situation that houses almost all these stressors is someone who is going through a divorce. Life goes on even during a divorce, and oftentimes, a person going through divorce needs to be there for his or her children too. Nonetheless, it is not the end of the world; there is always hope in all situations. What needs to be learnt is simply the correct way to combat stress.
In recent years, the practise of mindfulness or meditation has grown popular across the world. Mindfulness practise is a good way to help our body and mind to relax when we are facing various stressors in our life as it allows us to focus on the positive instead of the negative. It is a psychological approach to combating stress as it reduces stress and the knee-jerk fight or flight response that we tend to depend on when we are stressed. Mindfulness focuses on the present moment, allowing the mind to relax and stop worrying about what is yet to come. This is an extremely good way to manage stress and it also set a good example to your children when you show them the benefits of stress management. Adding to that benefit, being less stressed means you become more gentle and available to the people around you, especially your children.
There are various ways to practise mindfulness. We discussed five ways below:
1) Stay still
This is the unofficial mantra for mindfulness practise or what is called meditation. Sitting still helps to calm your mind and body to a slower pace. Sit with all your pain, criticism, thoughts, anger and negative experiences, and let them come to you. Recognise these emotions and allow yourself to heal. Resist the urge to distract yourself with denial but stare at these emotions bluntly. Allow yourself to heal. Doing this daily help you to slow down and recognise barbs and negativity for what they are so that in the long run, these will no longer be bothering you at all.
2) Be Judgement-free
Mindfulness is a process, a practice. It gets better over time, so do not judge yourself when you cannot do it the first time, the second time or even the hundredth time. Everybody has a different pace, so be gentle with yourself. Mindfulness or meditation is a tool to help you understand yourself and bring you to the next level of peacefulness within.
3) Be the real you
Do not apply filters to yourself when you practise mindfulness. You are a human being, not a mother, not a daughter or anyone else. You are who you are, going through certain life challenges with unique circumstances that only you can understand. See yourself as someone who is fallible, in need of love and understanding, not someone who is invincible. Allowing yourself to be the real you helps you to lower expectations of yourself, hence reducing stress.
4) Be in the moment
Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere, in anything that you do. When you are with your children, be present with your children. Stay available to them and avoid thinking of all the “what ifs” in life. When you are doing the household chores, focus on the task on hand instead of thinking negative thoughts. That is in fact, the practice of mindfulness. Try it!
5) Stay peaceful
Peacefulness is something that can elude us if we are not careful. When you feel the stress level going up, take a deep breath and draw strength from your inner self. Staying peaceful helps you to combat angry outbursts that you might regret and helps you to focus on what is important on hand at the moment. Remember that keeping your peace will draw more peace towards you to combat stress.
Mindfulness is a process that you will get better as time progress. Try to do this every day and you will soon find yourself smiling more and feeling more peaceful than ever before.