Just now, I completed an opinion piece called How to have a Happy Divorce. It is a piece about the divorce process, and staying in a good frame of mind during this time – from getting served the divorce papers to actually getting the judgment of divorce. After I finished it, the editor asked me “but what about after divorce? Don’t people want to know how to stay happy and be happy after the divorce?” And I thought, “yes, I would think so.” So this is why I am writing this additional annex to the first piece.
As it turns out, when I researched this question, a lot of people are miserable as heck after they divorce. They think they are in miserable marriages and then they divorce their spouse and low and behold, they are no happier years after the fact. And often, when surveyed, they admit they were actually happier in the unhappy marriage than they are as a divorced person blowing in the wind in society.
So how can you be happy after divorce? What do I think about that?
#1. Celebrate and cherish your freedom. Go out there and conquer the world!
#2. Rub your palms together and say “I am going to do something great!” and spend the next 5 years trying to achieve that. You will be so distracted from your former life in handling this project you won’t have time to be unhappy and because it is a project you love, you will naturally find happiness doing it just by osmosis.
#3. Fake it till you achieve it. If you find you are miserable as heck after your divorce, every morning when you wake up say “I am fine. I am perfectly fine. I am happy.” Then smile bigly, even if you don’t feel like it. Then giggle for no reason at all. Then go look in the mirror at your face (which probably looks like hell) and laugh at yourself. Just laugh even if you don’t feel like it. Throughout the day, smile even if you don’t feel like it. Think happy thoughts and you will be amazed how transformative this will be if you habitually deceive your brain into thinking you are happy. It really does work. To be happy, just decide to be happy and say it to yourself and just smile. Do this all day and then it will become a habit that you can’t break and you will be really happy.
#4. Find something to believe in. Yourself, for one. Or someone or something else. Use technology to research things and people and follow someone or something. This will occupy your mind.
#5. Get a hobby or a pet peeve or a cause or something you do on a regular basis – especially something that helps others.
#6. Get a new relationship. This definitely will put you in a whole new frame of mind and you won’t have time to think about and obsess about being divorced from your ex.
#7. Invest a lot of time in your children if you have them, making sure they are getting the very best of all the resources you can give them, including your time and your attention. Being a fully engaged parent takes so much focus and commitment that you won’t have time to be depressed about your divorce – certainly not if you also work on other things during the day.
#8. Become a more spiritual person and use prayer and meditation to heal yourself.
#9. Travel. Go see the world or the country or even your own city and write about it. Take your time and really experience other places to the fullest. This is very engrossing and very distracting and you will become happy without even realizing it.
#10. Remarry your spouse! If you are not happier being apart, just get back together. What’s the problem?