By Dr Karen Finn for YourTango.com.
Divorce is devastating. In the beginning, it can leave you feeling lost, alone, confused, depressed and even unlovable. Then, you start to feel angry and vengeful on top of the sad emotions. After a while, you just don’t know which horrible feeling you’re going to experience next. It can be like being blindfolded, tied up and stuck on a runaway rollercoaster of misery. All you want is to just feel normal again.
Unfortunately, for most people, finding their way back to normal isn’t obvious or easy after divorce. Because of this, the divorce rollercoaster ride can seem never ending. But there is a way to short-circuit this horrific ride of negative emotions. It requires you to know 10 specific things about yourself. By tapping into just these 10 things, you can start to feel more like “you,” because you’ll be directly disproving one of the most negative thoughts anyone can have: believing that you are unlovable.
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What 10 things should you be focusing on? Well, knowing that you are lovable is one of the most critical beliefs for living a happy life. It’s part of our wiring as humans. We need to have a sense of belonging and love to thrive. That’s exactly what divorce strips away from us: our sense of belonging and love. This is why it’s vital that you develop a new sense of belonging and love, independent of your ex as soon as possible. You can create your new sense of belonging and love by knowing 10 things about yourself — 10 reasons why you’re likable and lovable.
When I was going through my divorce and was first introduced to this idea, I had a really difficult time coming up with a list of 10 reasons I liked myself. I mean, REALLY difficult. I remember 2 of the items on my first list with a sense of pity and compassion that I had such a poor sense of who I was. One of those items was “I like that I know how to drive because it means that I don’t have to rely on anyone else to take me where I want to go when I want to go there.” The second one was “I like that I can bake good cookies.” I saw so little to love in me that I had to resort to appreciating things that I could do instead of who I was. The great thing about this was, though, that I was willing to do the exercise and truly think about things I liked about me.
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And, believe it or not, this list of 10 things I liked about myself was the beginning of me starting to feel better about being me. It allowed me to start slowing down my rollercoaster of misery. It was also the beginning of seeing myself as lovable again, because I was willing to start loving myself for just being me. That’s exactly what you can do, too. You can short-circuit your own rollercoaster by acknowledging 10 things about yourself that you like. Taking pride in this list can be exactly what you need to start to feeling more like yourself again. In turn, you will find strength to move on from your divorce more quickly, and on to living your best life.
Your Functional Divorce Assignment:
Create a list of at least 10 things you like about you. Taking the time to do this is so important to the process of getting over your divorce. However, for many people making the list is kind of tough. If you find that you’re having difficulty coming up with 10 things, go ahead and ask a friend or family member to tell you one or two things they appreciate about you. It will probably be just the thing to help you get going to discovering 10 things you like about yourself.
But just making the list isn’t enough. You need to read it out loud to yourself with positive emotion in the morning when you first get up, and at night before you go to bed. Reminding yourself of what’s great about you at least twice a day, every day will start to shift those negative thoughts to more positive ones, and allow you to short-circuit the negative divorce rollercoaster.
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At some point, you’re going to want to change your list. You may want to add to it, or you might want to just replace one of the items with something else. Go ahead. Make your list of reasons why you like yourself a living document. Update your list as frequently as you’d like. Before too long, you’ll discover that the things you like about yourself will shift to even more positive things. When that happens, you’ll also notice that you’re feeling better overall, and well on your way to feeling normal again.
If you’d like other tips and ideas for recovering from your divorce, you’ll want to explore www.functionaldivorce.com.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: How To Create Your Shortcut To Divorce Recovery.