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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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Old 12-16-2014, 09:38 PM
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Default Getting through Divorce/Separation

Whether you're just beginning, in the middle or its years behind you, the traumatic escapade through the family law circus can leave scars.

Your mind, body and soul will all be put to the test. Mine have been.

Being a psychology grad and in the field of behavior, I have come up with some useful tips for those going through it.

1.Take Care of Your Body

When you are under stress, your body is very sensitive to things you used to be able to tolerate. Make sure you eat right, get enough sleep and exercise and eliminate Caffeine, Alcohol, Tobacco, Sugar and artificial sweeteners (CATS.) This is the single most effective prescription for anxiety. Don’t be deceived by how simple it is. People who are able to do this – and it’s difficult, I know - show amazing improvement within days. Alcohol and sugar can be eliminated immediately. It is best to wean yourself off caffeine. Do not try to quit smoking when you are under a lot of stress; just try not to have more cigarettes than you usually have. If you are unable to stop or feel you are addicted to any of these substances, there is help.

2.BREATHE

Once again, don’t be deceived by how simple this is. The effects can be powerful for stopping anxiety and panic. Diaphragm Breathing: Lie down, or sit with your feel flat on the floor, and your spine straight. Loosen any tight clothing. Put your hand on your belly, below your navel. Inhale a 3 seconds breath (a slow breath) through your nose and feel your belly expand. Exhale a slow breath through your nose and let your belly fall. Take in three deep breaths and then gradually slow down your breathing and take in less and less air. Check that you are not moving your chest and shoulders, just your belly. If you get dizzy, you are taking in too much air and you need to take in less with each breath, and slow down the pace. If you are having difficulty doing this without moving your chest or shoulders, try doing it lying down. Once you have the feeling of your abdomen moving, you can let your hand go to a relaxed position, cupping your hands in your lap, or resting them on your knees, or letting them fall beside you if you are lying down.

Practice Diaphragm Breathing for one minute, 10 to 15 times a day. Practice it whenever you are waiting for something – the kettle to boil, the toast to pop, the light to turn green, in the doctor’s office, in line at a store. Do it while you are doing others things: doing household chores, fixing the car, watching TV, bathing. Do it while you are walking or traveling by car or by bus. Every time you change activities, remember to breathe. Breathe every time you feel anxious. Breathe this way in order to prepare yourself, whenever you are about to do something anxiety-producing. Eventually, you can use this breath all day long. There is a documented scientific relaxation response in your body from the massage to your inner organs when your breath goes deeply into your body, and from the air moving across the hairs of your nose. Shallow breathing, and too much oxygen, can make you anxious.

3.Thought Stopping Technique – Visualization


Another technique in anxiety reduction is known as a “thought-stopping” technique. Try to think of a time when you felt really healthy and really happy. It could be lying on a beach, beside a cool mountain stream, in front of a cozy fire, or in your own bed. Try to remember that scene with all of your 5 senses. Think of the smells, tastes (you can add your favorite food to the memory), sights, and sounds of your safe comfortable place. Then think about everything you feel against your skin. Now imagine how you feel inside your body, imagine that your heart is at peace and your mind is flat calm like a lake.

Go into this scenario daily. At first you may need to do it several times a day. Whenever you have a negative thought, or a worry, or feel anxiety, go back to your vision of your safe comfortable place. Once you feel a little calmer, re-focus on the task at hand. The more often you use this tool, the more powerful it will be for you. Use this image every time you are worrying – Use it 2000 times a day if needed.

4.Use a RELAXATION CD daily. I recommend:

www.elibay.com

He has one called “Let Go” which covers the basics of breathing and muscle relaxation. He has a free "EMPOWERED BREATHING" audio file that you can download from his web site. His other CD’s are good too. Or you can look at your local library or bookstore. (His CD's are just his voice, no background music, so you may look at your local library or book store for something that suits you better.)

Eli Bay is Canada’s “Relaxation Guru” and he offers a fabulous course in Toronto for anxiety and stress reduction. He also has a workbook to go along with the CD's and he is now offering a special price on his new extensive course on DVD – Tel: 416-932 2784 Fax: 416-932-2971 1352 Bathurst ST Suite 201, M5R 3H7

Kelly Watt wrote an excellent book on walking meditations:
http://www.amazon.ca/Camino-Meditations-Kelly-Watt-ebook/dp/B00D9U3N9S

Another guided meditation resource recommended by a client is: http://www.meditainment.com/
She said the woman has the voice of an angel and she has really good guided visualizations about self esteem and all kinds of things. Some have music and sounds of nature. Eli Bay (above) has only his voice, I think.

This one is also excellent:
http://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddicombe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes .html



LF32

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Old 12-16-2014, 09:43 PM
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My methodology for coping with divorce stress:

Sex.

Lots and lots of sex.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuinghappiness View Post
My methodology for coping with divorce stress:

Sex.

Lots and lots of sex.
Not going to lie. It helps in the best way. lol I believe that to be a remedy for almost anything.
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:33 AM
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Good post LF32, I especially like #3 thought stopping technique when the mind gets stuck on the never-ending loop of worrying over things that we have no control over.

I find that decluttering around the house helps me to clear my mind of useless garbage- that and talking long walks. Fresh air, fresh thoughts.

I agree with you, that the divorce process is traumatizing and for a lot of us it taints our perceptions of others and society ... You lose friends, people take sides, the court system reduces us to a file number - it's dehumanizing.

I now have serious trust issues and know that it will be an ongoing battle to repair my emotional compass - all in good time.
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:48 PM
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I like the ideas. One item has already been reduced. It's the one championed by Pursuinghappiness. That will improve in time.

I love shovelling snow. Thank God I live in Canada! The exercise takes me into another zone away from the worries and anxieties. Today was a great day!
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:57 PM
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I look after my body.... a good bottle of Cabernet, pack of smokes and a good book. Sleep? Pop a zoplicone and I'm off. Next morning a few cups of freshly brewed coffee and I'm 'good to go.' Exercise? I walk back and forth to the car and I've been known to push a shopping car around the grocery store every now and then.


Breathing exercises sounds like something I can do while I enjoy all of the above, therefore I will try it soon.

Thought stopping technique: reading ODF works for me!
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:14 PM
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I like any kind of physical activity as well. Shovelling snow is very therapeutic. Long runs with my dog. Trips to the gym. I'm a magician on the side so practicing my card sleights, etc helps out a lot as well.

Oh .. and of course PursuingHappiness' wonderful advice!
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:06 AM
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Great suggestions.
One thing I did was write a contract to myself and signed it. It covered the basics. Look after myself physically, pay the bills, for me it was no sexual relationships, keep the house in repair and clean and be civil.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:06 AM
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The hardest day for me is when D3 goes back to her mom's for 6 days without seeing or hearing from me (when I give her back on Wednesday and its not my weekend).

After having such an amazing time and hearing how she doesn't want to go back with that big hug. I always express the appropriate things to her (i.e - your mom loves you, etc). But I'm torn apart knowing I wont see her for a good while. Nor hear from her. Even more torn apart knowing she'd like to see her father during that time.

It's tough to go that long without seeing your little one every other week. How do others cope with that?
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