These days (and for way too long) do you drag yourself out of bed in the morning not even daring to think about how you'll make it through one more day? And, do you tend to end the day feeling the same dark, tired, hopeless way?
I want to suggest something that will seem too simple to work. You may not feel that you have the energy to start a program to feel better, or to make a commitment to take a series of steps that will lift you up. And, you don't have to. It might be just too much to even consider, right now.
But, wouldn't it make today a little better if you could find a way to experience a few brief moments that make you smile, or that aren't painful, and you could go to sleep tonight being able to remember a few minutes from earlier today that made you happy (just for a moment or two)? Wouldn't even a brief break from the agony be worth it?
What is happiness, anyway?
Happiness isn't usually a time of life when absolutely everything is going your way. Most of the time, happiness is just tiny moments of joy strung together.
And it's actually possible to make sure that we have these moments of joy happen throughout the day. But, when you're going through divorce (especially when the divorce is especially painful), finding these moments of happiness to hold on to takes a little bit of planning.
Happiness treasure chest
Step 1. To bring some tiny infusions of joy into your day, take a few moments to think about songs, colors, experiences, tastes, and sights that make you happy. (Include on this list only experiences that are good for you, so that the moment of happiness doesn't morph into something you regret.)
Step 2. Find one location where you can access your happiness touchstones anytime you need or want an infusion of joy. (More on this below.)
Step 3. Remember to use your magical happiness list, especially when you're having a day of overwhelming and persistent negative emotions. It's empowering to know that you can decide to stop the downward spiral, simply by interrupting it and substituting something small that brings you joy.
I made a little free printable that walks you through this entire process. And my promise is that you'll have a unique-to-you magical way to lift your spirits in just five minutes, no matter what (short of some major bomb-dropping by your ex). You can get it here.
But, if it were this easy . . .
For a while, you'll be measuring your happiness in minutes per day, but if you keep intentionally placing things on your path that you love, pretty soon you'll be reaching a critical mass where you'll be feeling pretty good 10% of the time . . . then 25% of the time . . . then 50% of the time . . . .
And part of the magic is to be truly present when you're experiencing your infusions of joy. Really let yourself feel that you're seeing, hearing, tasting, or experiencing something you absolutely love.
Notice if you have some feelings such as, "How dare I feel happy right now! I'm supposed to be feeling miserable/sad/angry . . . ."
We have a lot of control over how long we suffer and how much we suffer during and after divorce. Finding moments of happiness and daring to let yourself experience them is a first step toward taking your power back.
And you don't need anyone else to participate in order to be happy.
And, guess what? None of these tiny bits of joy requires the participation of another person. You can give yourself these moments of joy right now. Anytime. Anyplace. And you can do it again whenever you want.
If you'd like to have me walk you through this process, you can get the printable here.
Time commitment to try this: About five minutes to answer a few questions on the printable that will help you get in touch with things that bring you real joy. Maybe another ten minutes to follow the instructions to create a "home" for your happiness experiences. (It can be as simple as a list, or as easy as a place online -- I give you a couple of easy suggestions. And that's it. You'll have your happiness treasure chest ready for whenever you need it.)
As always, if you try this and it helps, please comment below, because it will encourage others to try this simple, but powerful idea.