Maintaining happiness (or some semblance of it) through your divorce might not be as difficult as you think. According to scientists, the following things make us happy:
- Virtues: Our sense of wisdom, justice, compassion for others,
- Gratitude: Appreciating what we have and expressing it to ourselves and others,
- Savoring: Enjoying the moment and taking time to smell the roses,
- Engagement: Being in our activities for the experience of it (“being in the zone”),
- Living a meaningful life: Doing things for others and helping others.
Studies of the Danish (the happiest people on earth) show that low expectations also make us happy. If our expectations are low, then we become happy when things go unexpectedly well. Also, Denmark’s social safety net ensures people the basic necessities of life.
How can you go through a “happy” divorce?
- Remember that you are in control of the things that make you happy (see 1-5 above).
- Approach the divorce—and the associated child-custody, division of property, maintenance issues—with realistic expectations.
- Reach an agreement with your spouse and litigate as few things as possible. This will save you money and—like the Danish—you won’t have to worry about the basic necessities of life.