During an appearance on TODAY with Hoda and Jenna, the 44-year-old actress opened up about when exactly she knew that something had to change in her life in order to remain true to herself. Mowry said a number of things culminated in the realization that a separation from Hardrict was the answer.
"There was this sadness, and I knew life is short," Mowry revealed. "I had actually lost my grandmother. We had lost [her niece] Elena Horsely [in a 2018 mass shooting] and both of them, at the same time, there was just an 'aha' moment in me where I said, 'You know what? You need to tap in, see what's going on with your happiness. Life is short, let's go, let's start working on you, and really focusing on what really, really matters here, which is, at the end of the day, your peace, your joy and your happiness.'"
She added, "It's not easy. It's a hard journey. But at the end of the day, I feel like it is so, so worth it."
Mowry and Hardrict share two children -- 11-year-old son Cree, and 4-year-old daughter Cairo. Mowry shared news of her divorce with her fans in a note on her Instagram on Oct. 4.
But, despite the divorce, Mowry doesn't see her marriage as a failure. Quite the opposite, actually. In fact, she called the divorce a celebration and likened it to a college or high school curriculum where "you're learning, you're evolving and you're creating."
"And I was able to create with Cory some beautiful, amazing children," she added. "And, at the end of that curriculum, there's a graduation. There's a celebration. So that's basically how I'm looking at it now. And I feel like people, when they look at marriage, that success equals longevity, but no. At the end of the day are they happy? Are they thriving? Are they growing? I feel like that is what is most important."
Mowry's twin sister, Tamera, recently revealed to ET's Denny Directo that Tia is the happiest she's been in years following her divorce.
"I told her, I said, 'Tia, I'm looking on your Instagram, this is the happiest you've been in a long time. You are glowing!'" Tamera recalled. "'You look different, but in a very positive way!'"
"I think it's because -- no, I know it's because she is living her authentic, true self," she added. "And I think that is what everyone should do. And it's not easy! That's the thing, it's scary."