If you’ve been through a divorce or a breakup, you may feel emotionally damaged and vulnerable. That’s understandable and perfectly normal, but you don’t have to remain that way. If you were abused, you may be better off on your own. Even if you wanted to stay together, you now have a unique opportunity to change your life for the better.

While your past is out of your control, you can control what happens in your future. Make a conscious effort to let go of the thoughts of blame and guilt. Instead, focus on the life you want to create for yourself moving forward.

Emotions Can Be Overwhelming

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed for a while. This is especially true if you have children or if you now need to get a job after staying home. Take deep breaths and try to relax. You can come out of this healthier emotionally than you were before, as long as you stay positive.

There are many things you’ll need to consider. Some of the decisions you make in the heat of the moment can come back to haunt you later. Rather than let that happen, consider:

1. Sleeping on any big decision, instead of making it right away.
2. Asking friends and family for support to help you get through a tough time.
3. Focusing on what you still have, like your children or your job.
4. Selling the house and moving if there are too many memories attached.
5. Relocating to be closer to family and friends who can help you make it through to better times.

You can also join support groups to meet others who are experiencing similar circumstances. Just be aware that rebound relationships often happen this way and many of these can be unhealthy. Strive to get through the grieving process before getting involved with anyone else.

Divorce Can Be a New Beginning

While it’s true that your relationship as you knew it is over, it can also be the start of a new, positive direction. Many experiences await you. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones and remind yourself that you’ll certainly be happy again. Choose to think productively about your situation by learning from it and quickly heading in the direction of positive change.

Focus on what matters most to you: your family, friends, children, job, hobby, or anything that means a great deal to you. When you spend time focused on others, or on something that you value, you have far less time to feel bad about other areas of your life. You have much to look forward to in this new beginning.

As you focus your thoughts in a direction that supports your emotional health, you’ll feel better and be more interested in life. You’ll also be able to see how far you’ve come, which will make you emotionally stronger. Your divorce can lead you to other opportunities, if you choose to steer your thoughts in a positive direction. If you do, you just might experience the happiness you deserve.