Yoga as a healthy coping mechanism for managing divorce stress

Divorce is traumatic. Grief, anger, fear and anxiety are typical by-products of divorce. But you don’t have to get stuck in the emotional mess. There are coping mechanisms — some healthy, others not — that can help you move through the fatigue and discomfort of divorce.

Yoga, a mind-body practice, is a healthy coping mechanism that may help reduce stress and help you find some clarity, calm and balance when life feels out of control.

When facing the end of a marriage, it’s common for people to feel “less than” or like a failure. But you’re not less than, and you’re not a failure. And, you’re also not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40-50% of marriages will end in divorce.

Divorce is hard enough as it is. So, if you’re beating yourself or someone else over the head with judgment, find a yoga mat and give yourself a break.

Step onto your yoga mat and:

  • Tune into your breath. Have you ever gotten to the end of the day only to realize you were never aware of your breath? This is not unusual. Conscious, focused breath naturally calms the central nervous system. It can help you get through hard times.

Breath is the cornerstone of yoga. Discover how breath can help you relax and connect with yourself.

  • Show up and do the work. You have a great lawyer whom you trust. Regardless, it’s important to be an active participant in your divorce. Engaging in the divorce proceedings will help to ensure a favorable outcome. It’s not easy but it will get easier with time. Show up not only for your divorce, but for yourself as well.

Have you ever heard it said that yoga is nothing but stretching? Not true. Yoga can be a very challenging physical practice. But, when you show up on your mat every day, you’ll gain strength and flexibility.

  • Embrace the benefits. Divorce can be a messy, ugly experience. But when you’ve learned how to slow things down and show up for yourself, you’ll discover the benefits of your divorce. You’ll get your happiness back. You’ll realize your dreams. You’ll have more freedom and control. And you’ll gain a new sense of self-confidence.

The last pose in a yoga class is “Dead Man’s” pose. Here, you lie on your back with eyes closed and arms and legs resting comfortably. When you’re in this pose, it looks like you’re taking a nap. It’s harder than it looks, though. Holistic benefits of this pose include stillness in the mind and body. Tapping into this stillness can be hard mentally or emotionally during stressful times. In this pose, all the benefits of your hard work sink in.

How people process and deal with divorce varies from one person to the next. Consider yoga as an effective way to manage the stress of a divorce in a healthy, productive and sometimes transformative way.

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