Divorce and Separation: Stopping the Negative Mental Loops


How can you stop the negative loops recalling what went wrong (and what was so right)? How do you stop trying to ‘fix’ it in your own mind?”


Divorce, heartache, grief and rebuilding your life – it’s all part of the healing journey everyone must travel when your relationship ends. The mind is a beautiful problem-solving tool. But when it comes to matters of the heart and relationship, our brain is often not well-equipped to help us heal.

Having those cyclical thoughts and questions of “What if….?” or questioning what might have turned out differently if you’d made different choices in the past is quite natural. It is simply the brain sifting, sorting and trying to find patterns and solutions from past experiences it has stored to find a way out of the situation you find yourself in. Sometimes you know your relationship is on the rocks, and sometimes you don’t. So our powerful brain is literally scanning its memory banks to find pieces of data that might help you to create a solution and get to the other side of your heartache.

But your power and choices lie in each present moment. The problem with unchecked cyclical thoughts is that they keep you replaying the past or projecting yourself into a fantasy future that is sheer speculation. The key to making empowering choices for yourself and navigating through your divorce is when you stay present, moment-to-moment.

If you find yourself caught in a mental spin cycle, a great way to break out of it is to write it all down. Use a journal to capture your thoughts and questions. This will assure your brain you’re doing something productive with all of its gyrations and help loosen the grip of these negative loops on your mind.

You can also set some boundaries around this kind of thinking. Give yourself a time limit of some kind to fully review the good, bad and ugly about your situation and how you got there and then once your timer goes off, stop. Break your physical and mental state by putting on some great tunes and dancing, or do some jumping jacks, and then undertake another kind of activity.

It’s also important to ask great questions. Setting your brain to the task of “How could I “fix” things?” assumes that something is broken that you are responsible for fixing. Redirect your powerful mind to answering the question “If this experience is part of my soul curriculum, what are the gifts in it for me and my personal evolution?” or “What can I learn from this that will serve me in all future relationships?”

Have a question about divorce you’d like to see answered? Submit yours to Thrive after Divorce by sending an email to askthrive@ThriveAfterDivorce.com.


3 thoughts on “Divorce and Separation: Stopping the Negative Mental Loops

  1. The mind can be a person’s own worst enemy if they allow it to do so. All the negative thoughts that keep repeating themselves inside will do nothing but remind you of what could have been, chastise you for not doing things differently, and take away any chance of happiness. Conquering these thoughts is a step in the right direction towards healing and the rest of your life. A divorce isn’t the end of the world. Even if you still love your spouse and think that there is no life without this person in it, you’ll find that you’re wrong if you only give yourself a chance. If you are thinking a particularly negative thought over and over, such as what you could have done differently to save your marriage, stop and ask yourself if the thought is really productive in any way. Answer honestly, and if you can’t see a logical reason for this repetitive thinking, do something active to get your mind off of it. Life can be good again!

  2. If you are passing through a divorce, it is best to stop rethinking the facts related to it from wandering inside your mind. Never sit empty minded as that can further fill up your mind with negative aspects of life. Give yourself a chance and move on to dating someone so that you find a desirable companion for yourself.