Zoe Neline

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Relationship

5 Social Strategies for Surviving a Messy Divorce

As mothers, we can’t completely avoid the idea of a divorce.  This is a reality of life and many women, with kids, often are thrown into a new phase of their lives when a marriage breaks down. So, here are a few suggestions – a different set of ideas – for dealing with divorce.

Pets

Inspired by stories in which people survive tragedy by being rescued by their pets, a recent blogger praised her dogs for serving as pillars of emotional strength throughout her divorce. And why not? The emotional bond may not be as strong with the canine species, but apparently, it isn’t negligible!

People

If you don’t have a dog, hope is not necessarily lost. Turning to people for support is extremely important, and extremely effective. We all know that a support system is important but what is sometimes lost in translation is the fact that even casual human interaction with acquaintances provides the relief needed in order to get through the day. We are, after all, social animals—this is true of even the most introverted individuals.

Television

This one is shocking but true: Watching human interactions on TV actually provides cognitive stimulation that is also experienced in real interactions. This has been confirmed by a scientific study of brain activity, monitored closely in the process of watching such shows as “Friends.” As it turns out, the same social brain centers involved in real social interaction are also involved in the passive experience of watching a TV show depicting the same.

Of course, TV is not a replacement for human connections, but it is perfectly understandable that you may not be ready for human interaction early on in the process of separating from the person you have heretofore been spending so much time with.

Social Media

That’s right: Social networking and microblogging have very beneficial (short term) cognitive effects that have also been scientifically documented.

Dopamine is largely responsible for pleasure-seeking behavior; it propels and motivates action. So anything that stimulates dopamine will be effective for purposes of giving you the pleasure you need in order to overcome your current state. And as it turns out, dopamine levels increase radically in the process of engaging in activities like Tweeting, and the effects are largely based on the face of quick reward (receiving a mention on Twitter!). Maybe virtual social networking isn’t so virtual after all.

Online Dating

The online dating community is inundated with divorcees and the recently separated. There’s a good reason for that: Not only is dating a great distraction, given its intricacies, but finding a date online results in real human interaction, which, as we saw, is ideal. So if you can handle the headache of listening to other people’s sob-stories and having to spring for your own drinks, online dating might just provide some temporary relief.

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