The Women's Journal

Gratitude In The Midst Of Divorce – It’s Possible, I Promise

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By Regina DeAngelis, Esq.

Founder, Family Transitions Divorce Coaching & Mediation

No matter what I read from the world of personal development, it ALL talks about how important feeling grateful is to your overall well-being. I also know that, for so many of us, feeling grateful in the midst of the stress of everyday life, or worse, in the midst of an extraordinary stressor such as divorce, does NOT come naturally.

Nonetheless, both my personal experience, and that of my clients, has taught me that developing a daily practice of feeling grateful resets your perspective and gives you the courage to face whatever life is throwing at you that day.

There are many ways to develop a practice of feeling grateful. And it’s important to FEEL it– not just say it. Really enjoy the feeling of joy and peace that being truly grateful for something brings you. I like to start first thing in the morning, before I even get out of bed. It takes just a second after your alarm goes off, to focus on how good the covers feel and enjoy the feeling of being grateful for your warm bed. Then, once I’m up, I try to purposely take a few seconds to just watch the sunrise out my back window. I try to soak in the privilege of witnessing that gorgeous scene every day. These two little things get my day started with a positive attitude, makes me feel happy, and makes me less likely to get irritated at life’s inconveniences.

I also try to make a practice of gratitude as a conversation starter for family dinners. On the nights my kids are home for dinner, we take turns writing down what we are grateful for that day. It makes the kids focus on something fun or funny, gives us all something to talk about, and has us all feeling good about the day. I find that when we fall away from doing this (as of course we do), dinners become a battle to put phones down and to force the kids to be present.

So how in the world can you feel grateful if you’re in the midst of something like divorce? I’m not gonna lie– it takes deliberate action. However, it is SOO worth it! One of the most important ways to keep from being swallowed up by the toxicity of divorce is to maintain a focus on gratitude throughout the process. Deliberately feel grateful that you have great kids. Feel grateful that you are brave enough to take steps to build a new life. Feel grateful that you are finally moving forward into a healthier version of you. You can even feel grateful for the challenge, because you WILL survive, this chapter WILL come to an end, and there’s no question that you WILL be stronger when it’s over.

You might be reading this thinking that I am totally crazy. But trust me– I know you can’t always see what you are supposed to be grateful for, but this is a skill that you can learn. In fact, I’ve developed an eight-week digital course that brings my clients from a place of anxiety and fear, to one of calm and control. By taking deliberate steps to learn empathy (for yourself and others), compassion (for yourself and others), and gratitude (even in the midst of challenge), you develop grit you didn’t think you had. This Fresh Start System™ allows my clients to develop the mindset they will need to transform their divorce from contentious to a healthy Family Transition. If you or someone you know is facing divorce or separation, reach out and find out how I and The Fresh Start System™ can help reframe your circumstances and allow you to feel gratitude where you didn’t think you could.

Regina DeAngelis was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. She is a graduate of Archmere Academy, George Washington University, and Widener University School of Law. After practicing family law for seventeen years, she could no longer ignore the toxic effects the divorce process had on all the parties involved, and transformed her practice from traditional family law to divorce coaching and mediation. In this capacity, she coaches clients through the divorce process, helping them to take control of their circumstances while lessening the adversarial nature of traditional divorce.  With her practice “Family Transitions Divorce Coaching & Mediation,” she focuses on bringing positivity and hope to those going through the difficult transition of divorce.

Find Family Transitions on the web at, on Facebook at Family Transitions, or give Regina a call at 302-438-7734.

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