What is resilience?  Resilience is the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, challenge and adversity.  These challenges are certainly present in divorce.

Stress is present in daily life to an ever increasing extent, from technology and the speed at which we expect ourselves to perform.  Stress inhibits our brain function and affects everyone around us.  It saps our energy and makes us unhappy, reactive and depressed.  Does this sound familiar?

What has been discovered fairly recently is that positive emotions can reduce stress, help us relax and think more clearly and strategically.  It helps with executive functioning and makes things more tolerable.  This means moving attention from the head to the heart on a regular basis when aware.  It’s what we do in meditation or when enjoying time in nature, with music, reading, relaxing.  It’s self-care.  That’s why it’s important.  It makes what we have to do more tolerable or enjoyable and more productive,

Moving from the head to the heart on a regular basis charges our batteries so we have energy reserves when stress hits.  We can even raise our baseline for tolerating stress. It’s called emotional regeneration.   This is all helpful when going through divorce.  It can make the experience very different from what you would expect.

The effects are physiological.  Taking attention away from the head and focusing on the heart and positive emotion balances the autonomic nervous system and the hormonal system.

It’s the balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic parts of the nervous system and the cortisol (fight or flight) and DHEA (anti-aging)  of the hormonal system.  We feel better and more hopeful. That spreads to the others involved in the process as well.

A simple way to achieve this balance is by breathing in an attitude adjustment.  You can practice different attitudes you want to develop.  You can tell yourself to breathe in courage, or ease, or forgiveness, neutrality, dignity or whatever attitude you need.  Simply focus on the area around your heart and breath these feelings or attitudes in and out for a few minutes at a time as often as you think of it.

This will enable you to think about the best interests of all involved and will make each person happier with the result.  That means a more satisfied family moving forward, even though reconfigured.

To learn more about the importance of resilience, contact one of our Professionals at Bridges Collaborative Divorce Solutions.


Dona Cullen, Attorney at Law / Mediator
Financial Neutral
5200 Meadows Rd., Ste. 150
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

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