It’s natural for emotions to run rampant during a divorce; the end of a marriage signifies much more than the parting of two people. A divorce, for many, is accompanied by a tremendous sense of personal failure and an unshakeable fear of the future. The dreams and plans once envisioned so easily are now impossibilities, and people begin to express their frustration, heartache, and anger in ways that often make the process more painful. While some divorces may never end truly amicably, there are ways to remain in control of one’s emotions and find balance during this tumultuous time.

Find Balance
Acknowledge the pain of the relationship’s end, but do not stay with it. Getting over a divorce requires serious self-examination, compassion, and forgiveness. Rather than fixating on everything a partner did wrong, or running through the marriage and coming up with new regrets every day, it’s important to acknowledge wrongs and commit to learning from them. Once a lesson has been imparted from a memory, it’s time to move forward. People cannot begin to reestablish a sense of direction in their life unless they find ways to be content with the present.

Go to Therapy
Support from friends and family can be helpful, but they may encourage unhealthy habits like bashing an ex or rehashing events that contributed to the divorce. They may only be trying to convince someone that they’re better off without their former spouse, but constantly reflecting on the relationship prevents someone from healing and moving on.

Individual counseling can help people make healthy transitions into the next stage of their life. Overcoming divorce with a sense of inner peace and optimism for the future is possible with the right skills.

Have a Plan
Make immediate plans for the future that are not oriented around the dissolution of the marriage. Schedule lunch dates with friends, sign up for interesting classes and establish new habits that feel personal. A reimagined life won’t spring up overnight, but each day presents people with the chance to make new decisions about who they want to be.

Avoid dating right away; rushing into another relationship won’t take away the pain. Distractions are exactly that; they do not provide the healing or support necessary to move forward. Instead, focus on self-improvement and finding new sources of happiness.