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Gratitude Increases Happiness, Even During Divorce.




by:
Sam M. (Trey) Yates
Law Office of Sam M. (Trey) Yates, III, P.C. - Houston Office

 
April 4, 2014

Previously published by CHANGE Magazine on Spring 2014

Over the years, I have come to realize that women going through divorce often benefit from a wide range of expert advice and counsel throughout their divorce process. I created the "Guide to Good Divorce" program to be a source of encouragement, hope, strength and community for divorcing women as they transition out of marriage and into the new phase of their lives.

We share many practical tools in our seminars to help women handle the stress and terror that come with divorce. We also offer ways to shift perspective from fear to gratitude. From my own experience, as well as observing the experience of others, I have learned that gratitude is vital to our inner peace and overall happiness. That is why cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a unique hallmark of out program and an important segment of each seminar.

In a new book entitled Thanks, Dr. Robert A. Emmons conducted several studies on the psychology of gratitude and found that being thankful can increase one's happiness. In one study, people who took the time to write down five things they were grateful for in their week felt 25 percent happier than those who focused on challenges or neutral events over the same time period. The grateful group was also more optimistic about the future, felt better about themselves, and even exercised more per week than the other. In another study, Emmons found participants who expressed gratitude also were more satisfied with their lives overall and slept better.

I encourage my clients to not only practice gratitude, but also seek out a community of supporters. For my women clients, the comfort and power available from a community of like-minded women experiencing similar challenges offers peace that comes from shared solutions. Divorce is difficult, but it also can be a transformative experience.

One very important segment of my law practice involves helping clients navigate the choppy waters of divorce. As one might expect, this is typically a very difficult time when my clients often feel overwhelmed, anxious, flawed and dejected.

As their attorney, I listen intently to each of them as they pour theirs hearts out to me. The pain they feel is very real and I readily acknowledge it, but I don't leave them there. Many years in this role have taught me a lot about the divorce process, and not all of it has to do with divorce law. What I have come to know is that divorce, with all its difficulty and pain, is an opportunity for both individuals to begin again - to reboot their lives, so to speak. I offer them encouragement, a place to calm and security, and hope future happiness.

 

The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.
 

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Author
 
Sam M. (Trey) Yates
Practice Area
 
Family Law
 
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