DivorcePLUS Logo

Overcoming the Spiral: A Guide to Regaining Your Footing

Recognize and manage anxiety, find stability, and embrace growth with practical tips and for regaining your footing.
DivorcePlus Decorative Image - Panic attack in public place. Woman having panic disorder in city. Psychology, solitude, fear

Going through a divorce may feel like being trapped in a spin cycle, where every thought and feeling circles around you, making it feel impossible to get your bearing. Have you ever felt that your mind was just like a merry-go-round of worries? You are not alone. This blog will help you understand the spiral while also providing tips on managing negative thinking and moving forward.

What Does Spiraling Feel Like?

Spiraling feels like standing at the center of a tornado whirling thoughts and emotions around you so fast that they blur into each other. It becomes confusing and exhausting since even normal activities like decision making become unachievable.

The sense of loss of control is central to spiraling. It might start with one concern about your financial future or effects of divorce on your children but before long, this single worry has given birth to dozens others. Every idea seems to lead to another -creating an endless cycle that’s difficult in breaking out from. You might lie awake at 3 am thinking about all those ‘what ifs’ and worst case scenarios racing through your head.

Emotionally, spiraling can manifest as a rollercoaster. For instance there are moments where one feels numb and disconnected from the chaos going around them while at another time they can experience strong emotions such as fear, anger, sadness or moments of irrational hope: “If I can only get the right solution everything will be alright”. Constantly changing moods without reason is exhausting leaving you tired but unable to sleep because it almost consumes his mental energy.

What Does an Anxiety Spiral Look Like?

An anxiety spiral could begin with one worry alone: for instance, about what your life will be like after divorce or concerns about your children. In fact this worry is then multiplied through other fears and doubts until it becomes overwhelming. It starts off subtly, maybe with just a single seemly manageable concern but soon swells into an intricate web of interconnected worries that feels suffocating. You may second guess every choice you make; visualize the worst case scenarios and always feeling tense.

Be cautious when an anxiety spiral begins to affect your external behavior and interactions. For example you quit talking to friends and family because you are tired of pretending everything is fine or dreading they will ask questions that perpetuate the cycle. Or alternatively, you might snap at coworkers over minor things simply because constant agonizing has worn thin your patience.

Anxiety spirals are self-perpetuating and each concern seems to affirm and intensify other issues, creating a feedback loop that is hard to break. The mind becomes so used to being on alert and negative that it appears to be generating new worries for itself in order to keep the spiral going.

How Do I Stop My Mind from Spiraling?

Identifying signs of a spiral is the first step in breaking its grip on you. This involves recognizing patterns of thinking and behaviors that contribute to the cycle and finding ways of breaking them up. These may include taking issue with catastrophic thoughts, concentrating on what can be done rather than dwelling on anxieties, and even talking with friends or relatives or professionals who can offer perspective and coping mechanisms.

Understanding what an anxiety spiral looks like is part of regaining control during tumultuous times like divorce. It reminds us however, that while this downward spiral might be a typical response to pressure and uncertainty, it does not also function as an inevitable black hole. Paths out of the labyrinth do exist which lead toward healing and clarity.

Such techniques could include mindfulness, breath control, or questioning your thoughts as necessary. Always consider seeking help from professionals such as divorce coaches for free consultations.

What Does It Mean When Life Is Spiraling?

When we say life is spiraling downwards we often mean everything around us feels chaotic or crumbling beyond our grasp. We feel trapped in a downward vortex where our daily lives fall apart before our eyes or become unhinged at any moment. This feeling may take on particular poignancy during major life events such as separation when all our foundational assumptions about life seem shaky at best if not completely broken down altogether.

This experience has deep sense of loss at its core. Perhaps you feel that decisions are being made without your input; maybe your choices have turned out differently than expected or wanted by you yourself—this could apply equally well to relationships, work, money or personal goals—whatever it is, you feel as if you are being driven instead of driving the car.

10 Ways to Manage Negative Thinking

Managing negative thinking is essential if one desires to get out of a spiral. Ten strategies which can help are:

1.      Emotional Acceptance – Recognize your emotions without judgment.

2.      Be Present – Focus on the present so future fears do not overwhelm you.

3.      Talk About Your Feelings – Look to friends, family, or professionals.  Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to let people in.

4.      Avoid Anxiety Activities – If there are activities that increase anxiety – then it’s fine not to engage in them anymore.

5.      Exercise – Physical activity can reduce stress and improve mood giving a healthy outlet for emotions.

6.      Reflection – Question your fears and introduce more balanced views.

7.      Practice Self-Care – Read a book, take up some hobby or just relax.

8.      Set Achievable GoalsSmall targets like doing chores could boost your morale by giving you a sense of control over what you do.

9.      Practice GratitudePracticing gratitude can be a healthy way of changing the perspective from worry and fear.

10. Consider Professional Guidance – In some cases, you may require assistance from a divorce coach or life coach to guide you with strategies.

Going forward

Divorce is disruptive to one’s life but also provides an opportunity for growth and new beginnings. Keep in mind that feeling lost or overwhelmed is normal during this process, but it does not have to dictate your journey. Understanding the nature of spiraling and implementing coping mechanisms for negative thoughts can help one regain stability and successfully navigate through difficult times filled with hope and resilience.

Consider setting a free consultation with a coach like Victoria Habib to get yourself on the right path; remember, you are not alone on this journey. With good support services at your disposal, along with appropriate tools, you will avert such pitfalls as downward spirals of self-pity which will make you stronger in the end coming out stronger and grounded well prepared for future challenges.

Victoria Habib is a paralegal, mediator, and Certified Life and Divorce Coach offering personalized coaching programs.  She finds fulfillment in working with clients to make sound decisions and reach their desired goals.

Recent Divorce 101 Articles
DivorcePlus Decorative Image - Close-up of a couple holding hands together while sitting on a couch during a therapy

Top 10 Reasons to Have a Marriage Coach

Discover the top 10 reasons to have a marriage coach and how they can transform your relationship. Learn the difference between marriage coaching and counseling, and explore the benefits of improved communication, conflict resolution, and proactive relationship care.

Read More »