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Practice Gratitude and Realize the Benefits Even In Divorce

by Houston Divorce Attorney Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III

My experience and science have proven it: practicing gratitude makes us happier; even while going through tough times in our lives, such as divorce.

One very important segment of my law practice involves helping clients navigate the rough and choppy waters of divorce. As one might expect, this is usually a very difficult time for most couples and families. Often, my clients feel overwhelmed, anxious, flawed, and dejected.

The pain they feel is very real and I readily acknowledge it, but I don’t leave them there.

The many years spent in this role have taught me a lot about the divorce process, and not all of it has to do with divorce law. What I have come to know is that divorce with all its difficulty and pain, is an opportunity for both individuals to begin again – to reboot their lives, so to speak. So, I encourage my clients to focus on the many blessings in their lives and be grateful.

In a recent book entitled Thanks, Dr. Robert A. Emmons conducted several studies on the psychology of gratitude and found that being thankful can increase one’s happiness. In one study, people who took time to write down five things they were grateful for in the past week felt 25 percent happier than those who focused on “hassles” or neutral events over the same time period. The grateful group was also more optimistic about the future, felt better about themselves, and even exercised 1.5 hours more a week than the others. In another study, Emmons found participants who expressed gratitude also were more satisfied with their lives overall and slept better.

Over the years, I have come to realize that women going through divorce benefit from a wide range of expert advice and counsel throughout the divorce process. So, in 2011, I created The Guide to Good Divorce  program to be a source of encouragement, hope, strength, and community for divorcing women as they transition out of marriage and into the next phase of their lives.

During our seminars, several experts share many practical tools to help women handle the stress and difficulties that come with divorce. We also offer ways to shift the perspective from one of fear to one of gratitude. I know in my own life and in the lives of many people I know, gratitude is vital to inner peace and overall happiness. That is why cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a unique hallmark of our program and an important segment of each seminar.

I encourage my clients to not only practice gratitude, but seek out a community of supporters. The comfort and power available from a community of like-minded women experiencing similar challenges offers a peace that comes from shared solutions. I have found, again and again, that divorce is difficult, but it can be a transformative experience.

Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III is a Houston-based Board Certified Family Law Attorney and creator of The Guide to Good Divorce  seminars for women. If you have questions about your Texas divorce, please contact The Law Office of Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III, P.C. for a consultation. If you’d like more information about Trey Yates’ 2015 Guide to Good Divorce seminars, please visit or call 713.932.7177.

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