Emotions like fear and anxiety are a normal part of being human. When you are in the midst of a high-conflict divorce battle, these emotions become part of your daily matrix. This is incredibly taxing, so it is imperative to learn the tools for managing fear during divorce. Today I want to show you how to get control of your “runaway brain”.
The part we don’t control
We have very little control over circumstances:
- The things that people do and say
- The pandemic on earth
- A court order
- People getting sick or dying
- The sentences in the letter from your ex’s lawyer
- What your ex says to your kids
If you believe that these circumstances are the cause of your fear, you will spend a lot of effort trying to control them. Unfortunately, you will be spinning your wheels. The truth is, all of your power comes from managing how you choose to think and feel about these circumstances. It is these thoughts, not the actual circumstance, that is causing your fear. It is your interpretation of the circumstance that is inducing fear.
You are creating the fear yourself
Did you know that you are creating your own anxiety and fear? It doesn’t seem that way, but it is true. Your brain is feeding you some 60,000 thoughts per day. Several of these thoughts are provoking fear. This is not to say that you need to change this, only to suggest awareness of this. Your brain has a very important job of keeping you safe, and it is constantly scanning the universe for danger. It alerts you to potential danger with thoughts, and often doesn’t slow down to assess the validity or merit of these thoughts.
Getting some authority over your brain
- The first step to managing fear during divorce is to separate the thoughts from the facts. This takes some practice because most of us think that our thoughts are factual. But, a fact is something the entire planet would agree is true. It is indisputable. My ex is up to something or the judge is going to believe him/her is never a fact. It is a thought of the unmanaged mind.
- Once you have separated out the facts, explain the problem using only facts. You will see just how neutral it is without all of the thoughts adding drama.
- Now you get to decide deliberately how you want to think about these facts. Do you need to think they are a problem? Do you want to think thoughts of the worst case scenario that induce fear?
Here is an example:
fact/circumstance: I received a letter from my ex’s lawyer that said I was controlling and abusive to my wife during the marriage
unmanaged thought: They are going to have me criminally charged = FEAR
managed thought: A letter is just her narrative – not the truth, if it becomes necessary, I can set the record straight.
Letting fear run shotgun while in court
I think it is normal to feel anxiety and fear when performing. Court is a good example of this. When my clients are in a case conference or trial I don’t try to convince them not to feel fear and anxiety. Instead I show them how fear can ride shotgun. Fear can be present, but as the passenger and not the driver. Buckle it in and allow it to be there. Fear is not a problem. It is just a vibration that you feel in your body.
The unmanaged mind is the cause of excessive fear. Allowing your brain to feed you thoughts willy-nilly (that feel an awful lot like facts) is the cause of so much suffering. Let me help you gain some authority over your mind to become a boss at managing fear during divorce.