This article on Mindfulness and Divorce was first featured on Huffington Post and North House Coaching website .
Supporting someone through a Divorce can be a difficult process, as can supporting anyone through an emotional trauma. This is because everyone is different, so there is never a one size fits all approach.
I recently had the fortune of chatting to Sara Collins (a qualified solicitor, coach and mindfulness practitioner) about Mindfulness and how this can support people through Divorce. Here is what she told me:
The Mindfulness Association describes it as “knowing what is happening, while it is happening, without preference.” Being mindful is a way of being and draws together both eastern and western psychologies.
Sara was introduced to Mindfulness after supporting a friend to attend a mindfulness based stress reduction programme. She became intrigued about the benefits of mindfulness and realised the benefits this could have to herself and her clients when dealing with the relentless pace of modern living. She learned that by being present and responding with compassion can help people to set themselves free from their own constraints.
Sara’s knowledge and passion on the subject convinced me that the benefits of practicing Mindfulness when going through Divorce are multi-dimensional;
• It provides a framework to help manage the stress of a relationship breakdown.
• It helps people to pause and step back from being reactive and enable them to make thoughtful and sound decisions for themselves and any children involved.
• A person who uses mindfulness is able to develop an awareness of their perceptions and subsequently challenge those perceptions and forces that play in their minds.
• Practicing mindfulness also offers a reminder of the constant state of change that a person will go through and helps them to let go, accept the situation and move forward.
• It provides an attitudinal shift towards positivity, gratitude, kindness and compassion towards self and others.
Mindfulness is based on formal and informal practices and you can start immediately. I asked Sara to share with us some Mindfulness exercises that you could try. So, have a go at some of the following:
• Sit in a different chair than normal in a meeting
• Take a different route to work
• Plant some seeds and watch them grow
• Play a game instead of watching the TV
• Go for a walk somewhere new
• Try walking with your shoulders back in a very erect way, swing your arms a little more, walk a little faster or a little slower than you would normally.
Be curious about how this feels. Notice how it encourages you to break some of the unconscious habits of thinking and behaving. By gently breaking a few of your daily routines, you instantly become more present in the moment.
Sara also suggests that it is important to have access to impartial emotional, legal and financial support when going through Divorce. Being mindful in the decisions/choices about who is in your legal team can have a significant impact on the emotional, financial and practical outcomes from your Divorce. It is important to take time to ensure that you have the right team of experts to support you and who you feel confident in and who are concurrent with your values. As a Solicitor and now Divorce Coach, Sara can testify to the benefits of having a coach as part of your team.