Managing divorce's dark side so that it does not get the best of you

A few weeks ago, we discussed a study out of the University of Arizona at Tucson which determined that repeated journaling on negative emotions associated with divorce tends to reinforce these feelings rather than help the author move through them. The subject of stress-management and emotional healing during and following divorce is critical. However, many individuals are unsure of where to start. If dwelling too long on the negative can harm you and not dealing with the negative at all can harm you, where is the balance in processing divorce in a healthy way?

Failure to find this balance can lead to common mistakes people make in divorce. For example, people can work against their own best interests during property settlement disputes or child custody disputes if they allow their emotions to cloud their judgment. This self-sabotage can be particularly difficult to cope with if you are either so angry that you feel destructive or so blue that you temporarily disbelieve that the outcome of your divorce proceedings truly matter.

In the end, it is critical that you approach your divorce with as much support as possible. Even if this support solely consists of an experienced family law attorney who will advocate for your best interests and an online community who will let you vent and tell you that even if tomorrow isn't better, perhaps the next day will be, it is critical to have support in your life when navigating a divorce.

It is perfectly normal to have a host of negative emotions influencing your approach to divorce and its aftermath. But your future self will truly thank you if you put significant effort into managing them in the healthiest ways you can.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce: The Darkness Before The Dawn," Carissa Henry, Nov. 24, 2012

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