Why is letting go so hard? And it could be for anything. Letting go of an ex who’s finally moved on, letting go of that notebook with all your old cringey journals in it, or even letting go of clothes that no longer serve a purpose in your life but still hold so many memories. We as humans, love to make ourselves miserable. It’s easy to be miserable; you don’t have to take accountability for your emotions or thoughts, you don’t have to try to be happy, it takes very little effort and energy and thus we get stuck there. But this is a choice. When you hang onto things and wallow in misery it’s mindless and comforting. You have to choose to let things go when they come up and make you feel any type of way. This takes mindfulness on your part because you have to be aware of how you feel, when you feel these things and you have to take action immediately. Have a conversation with yourself before you react to those feelings or thoughts and ask yourself, “Why do I feel this way?”, “What caused me to feel this way?”, “How can I move on from these feelings?” Here are 7 tips so you can master the art of letting go!
7: Be Aware of How Things Make You Feel
This will take practice and energy and it will be the hardest part of learning to let go but you have to be mindful of how things make you feel. Once you identify how things make you feel and what stirs up those emotions, you can begin to let it all go.
So how do you overcome this? First, start with identifying and naming your feelings. Identifying those feelings goes far beyond sad, happy, joyful, angry … find the words that clearly and concisely describe your feelings. Break out that thesaurus and find out what your feelings are and understand them! You can’t fix something if you don’t know what it is, so once you can truly identify what those feelings are, you’re healing process has begun.
6: Figure Out What Causes Your Feelings
This will be easy and at first, it might seem like everything makes you feel something but that’s good! That means you’re human, and part of learning to let things go is knowing that you will have a feeling about almost everything but then you let it go. So again, this takes mindfulness and awareness on your part but is far easier to identify than the feelings themselves but part of letting go of those feelings is knowing what causes them. Like I said, this is easy because this is the reactive side of things. You will know right away what causes your feelings; make the choice to reflect rather than react.
If seeing old pictures stirs up those feelings, don’t not look at them. Look at them, but understand your feelings and how the feelings affect you; be mindful of how they affect you and then stop letting it affect you. But in the same sense, if you have to unfollow some people do it, if you have to stop seeing certain people, do it. You’re healing process is your own so do what makes sense for you but do it mindfully.
5: Forgive Yourself
If you can’t forgive yourself for feeling the way you feel, you will never be able to move on from those feelings. Forgiveness is so healing and even though you may not have been the best person in your past, or maybe your thoughts are super toxic and cruel or maybe you find yourself mentally bullying someone. Whatever it is, if you catch yourself doing it and make the right strides to correct your actions, thoughts, feelings … forgive yourself. We are human and we will make mistakes. That is part of the learning curve but forgiveness is a big key for letting go.
4: Forgive Those That Have Hurt You
We can argue about this all day, but as long as you are holding on to whatever happened to you, you will not be able to let it go. This is very hard because you may feel like you’re accepting what happened and what they did to you but you’re not. Just because you forgive someone for hurting you, doesn’t mean you’re accepting what they did. You’re accepting that it happened, you’re acknowledging what you learned from the experience and that it’s time to move on.
3: Live in the Present
How many of us reminisce on the past? Everyone. How many of us let those memories affect our current mood/mindset? I used to, that’s for sure. But ask yourself this, how can I move on with my life, if I’m still consumed with the past? You can’t and it’s basic physics. An object cannot move forward if being held back by an equal or greater force. Appreciate your past, and thank it for getting you to where you are but don’t revel in it. Don’t wish you could go back, and don’t let the emotions that come with those memories affect your current state. It’s ok to feel what you’re feeling, but don’t hold on to it. Identify those feelings, identify what brought it up, thank your past for those memories, take a deep breath, and let it go.
2: Recognize that Change is Constant
If you can master this, letting go will not only be easier but you won’t have to do it as much. The only thing that is constant in this world is change. People come and go, things come and go, animals come and go. Nothing in the world is permanent, even the mark you leave on the world will one day be replaced. So don’t worry about it! Why worry about something that you have no control over. Don’t become so attached and so emotionally dependent that when things or people exit your life, it’s earth shattering. I’m guilty of not mastering this but non-attachment and accepting change makes letting go of those feelings and people and memories so much easier.
1: Accept That Where You Are Right Now, Is Exactly Where You’re Meant To Be
Whether you believe it or not, there is something bigger than us out there and it’s nudging us in the right directions. Even if you have hit rock bottom and you’re reading this thinking, “Yeah effing right.” There is a plan for you, but you can’t fight it, you have to be mindful of where you are and what you’ve been through and be willing to move forward. Be grateful for your experiences, as bad and painful as some of them are, and be thankful for those learning experiences and know how those things impacted your life and how you grew as a person from them.
I really hope this helps some of you. Personal growth and development is such a personal undertaking that each person’s path will be totally different. These are things that helped me grow from my past and leave those emotions in the past and it’s really impacted my life in a positive manner.
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