Overcoming Fear and Anxiety on Your Path to Resolution
Managing your Anxiety:
When I'm personally anxious, my mind certainly doesn't paint a rosy picture of the future. Why is that? It is because our clever protective brains begin to search for clues and assess risks, leading to a lot of "what ifs." These thoughts usually spiral into scary scenarios and we start looking for horror stories of other cases and we google search down the rabbit hole of the the “what if” path.
Please remember this when you are inclined to do that: You are not doing yourself any favours because no case, no individual and no circumstances are the same. Every case is different. Every family is different. Every courtroom is different and even every judge is different. All you are doing is amplifying your anxiety. It's crucial to focus on the positive and block out the negative as much as possible.
Managing your Fear:
Recognizing your negative thoughts as fear based and anxiety-driven can shift your focus on exploring proven ways to soothe yourself and slow it all down. This is best done through your physical body. Personally, diaphragmatic breathing is super helpful to bring me back to the present moment. Inhale slowly through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale through your mouth. This can help activate your body's relaxation response. When you start feeling anxious or stressed…when you have scary thoughts or your thoughts start going haywire…go for a hike or do a physical activity to hit the reset button. Even a simple nap can bring you back to alignment. Research somatic practices for anxiety relief to learn what works for you.
When making decisions during a high conflict divorce, it's really helpful to gently and honestly speak with yourself before taking action. Ask yourself, am I responding, reacting or doing this out of fear, or because I really believe that this is the right decision irrespective of the consequences? Am I deciding from a place of love and self worth or from a place of fear and guilt? Yes, fear will be your companion. However, you need to be very conscious not to make it the driver. I'm not saying this is easy, but the fastest way to break the bond is to acknowledge the fear and act in spite of it anyway. “Yes fear, I see you. I acknowledge you. You will be sitting in my car as I drive through my journey, but you must remain in the backseat because I am the driver.” Never allow fear to be the driver.
Trusting your GUT:
Learn to listen, trust and befriend your intuition and your gut feeling. This is your compass and this is your guide. Always ask yourself: “what is in my best interest and my child’s best interest?” and listen to yourself. Try to differentiate between your conditioning of putting someone else's needs ahead of yours and your actual intuition. It's usually your conditioning that asks you to betray yourself. Your intuition will never ever work against you - it always has your best interest. So start exploring ways to connect with your intuition.