Thursday, September 15, 2011

Feeling Happy Post-Divorce

When researchers study happiness and well-being, they find that having that daily warm, fuzzy, happy feeling is related to being loved, respected and feeling connected.  Of course, we all need food and shelter, the basics, but these things help us think that we’re okay on a day-to-day basis, they don’t necessarily help us feel happy.  You can see how this might be relevant post-divorce.  Right?
Love, respect and connection?  There’s a drastic decline in the connection department.  The one person we felt most connected to, or tried to feel most connected to, is gone.  At best, some of the respect and love we felt from that person, also gone.  At worst, all of the love and respect we felt from them, gone.  Often doubt creeps into other relationships.  Will this friend stand by me?  Is my co-worker questioning my worth now that I’m divorced? How are my kids’ friends’ parents reacting to this?  So the broader sense of feeling respected and connected to others may decline as well.  Your kids may be upset, so you you’re not feeling as much love there either.  Your parents may disapprove, leading again to feeling less loved.
It’s the extra oomph we get from our relationships, that ability to love and be loved, to be respected and have respect for others, and to feel connected to people, that really gives us the happy feeling.  You know what you have do to, right?  Improve those connections.
* Nurture current relationships – have lunch with someone
*Rekindle fading relationships – call an old friend
* Start new relationships – invite a co-worker to walk with you or go on a date
Even if the marriage isn’t forever, some relationships are, and good relationships matter.  Go for it!
Mood music:  UncleAlbert, Paul McCartney

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