In both love and life, we learn to pick our battles.
We learn what is worth fighting for and what we can let go.
It is a valuable lesson that can help us maintain healthy relationships and lives.
If we always fight for every little thing, we will quickly become drained and resentful.
Let’s discuss 11 ways to let things go to create a happier life for yourself.
Why Can’t I Let Go of Things?
We hold on to things for a variety of reasons.
But they all circle back to a few key emotions: fear, anger, and sadness.
These emotions are usually triggered by a fear of the unknown or a feeling that we are out of control.
When we don’t have control or certainty in life, we reflexively hold on tighter to the things we know.
Sometimes this is regardless of whether or not these things are healthy or helpful.
Let’s look a bit deeper at these emotions and how they might be affecting our ability to let go:
- Fear: We may be afraid of change or the unknown. We may be fearful of losing what we have. We may be afraid of being alone or not being good enough. Fear can stimulate our fight-or-flight response and lead us to hold on to things out of self-preservation.
- Anger: We may be angry at the person or situation we are in. We may be angry at ourselves for not being able to let go. Anger can make it difficult to see things clearly and make objective decisions. We are flooded with emotions and may act impulsively to try to regain control.
- Sadness: We may be sad about the past or the loss of what we had. We may be sad about change or the uncertainty of the future. Sadness can lead us to feel stuck and unable to move on. This emotion often manifests as slow, lethargic movements and general apathy towards life. We lack the proper energy or motivation to release what we hold on to.
All of these emotions are valid and natural responses to challenging situations. However, they can prevent us from living our best lives if we allow them to take control.
It is essential to learn how to manage these emotions to make clear-headed decisions about what is best for us.
What Are the Benefits of Letting Stuff Go?
Even though it may feel scary to let stuff go, getting to the other side of this release can be incredibly liberating. You may find that letting things go was the solution to your problems all along.
You’ll experience many benefits when you release pain and suffering from your life, and they all circle back to a general release of pressure and tension. In general, things will feel free, spacious, and non-rushed.
Here are a couple of ways this spaciousness and freedom may manifest in your life after learning to let go:
- Less stress and anxiety, leading to improved mental and physical health
- More time and energy to focus on things that are important to you
- Greater clarity about what you want in life and how to get it
- Improved relationships with yourself and others as you learn to communicate more effectively
- A sense of calm, peace, and joy as you let go of the past and move into the present moment
Learning to let go can be a challenge, but as you can see, it is worth it. You’ll experience many benefits that will improve the quality of your life. So how can you learn to let things go?
How to Let Things Go: 11 Ways to Release Control and Frustration
It’s easy to talk about letting things go, but it’s not always easy to do.
If you’re having trouble letting go of things, here are 11 ways that may help:
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
It’s important to acknowledge how you’re feeling and why you’re holding on. Once you understand your emotions, you can begin to work through them.
Sometimes, emotions such as anger are just masking other emotions such as sadness or fear. Once you get to the root of your feelings, you can begin to deal with them more effectively.
You can write down how you’re feeling and why you think you’re holding on. Once you understand your emotions better, you can begin to work through them.
2. Practice Deep Breathing
One of the first things to happen when we are holding on is that we hold our breath. It leads to us holding tension in our muscles and creates a feeling of being stressed and anxious.
Learning how to breathe deeply can help you to relax your body and mind and let go of the tension you’re holding on to.
Deep breathing is a simple but effective tool that you can use in any situation. Simply take a deep breath through your nose, filling your lungs from bottom to top.
Then exhale slowly through your mouth, letting all the air out. Repeat this several times until you feel your body and mind begin to relax.
3. Talk To a Trusted Friend
Sometimes, when we are stuck and holding on to something for too long, we get lost in our heads. This can make it difficult to see things clearly and make decisions in our best interests.
Talking to a trusted friend or family member can help you get clarity and perspective on your situation.
Your friend can act as a sounding board, allowing you to talk through your thoughts and feelings. They may also be able to offer some helpful advice or insight that you hadn’t considered before.
4. Talk to a Therapist or Counselor
Talking to a therapist or counselor can be incredibly helpful if you’re struggling to let go of something on your own. They can provide professional support and guidance as you work through your emotions.
Therapists are trained in helping people deal with their feelings and can offer valuable tools and techniques for letting go.
A couple’s therapist can also be a great resource if you need to learn how to let things go in a relationship.
They can help you and your partner to communicate more effectively and learn how to let go of the past.
If you’re unsure where to start, you can search online for therapists in your area or ask your doctor for a referral.
5. Start a Gratitude Practice
One of the best ways to let go of negativity is to start practicing gratitude. When you focus on what you’re thankful for, it’s difficult to hold on to anger, resentment, and other negative emotions.
You can start a gratitude practice by keeping a gratitude journal. Each day, write down three things that you’re grateful for.
You can also practice gratitude by taking time each day to think about the things that make you happy.
Focus on your heart and let the feeling of gratitude wash over you. You may also want to say thank you out loud for the things that you’re grateful for.
6. Get a Massage or Bodywork Treatment
Massage and other bodywork treatments can be beneficial for letting go of tension and stress.
When you receive a massage, your body releases all the pent-up tension it’s been holding on to. It can help you to feel more relaxed and at ease.
Bodywork treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic, and reiki can also help you let go. These treatments balance the energy in your body and release any blockages that may cause you to hold on to tension.
If you’re unsure which treatment is right for you, talking to a holistic health practitioner can help you make a decision.
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7. Take a Vacation
Our environments can have a significant impact on how we’re feeling. It can be difficult to move on if you’re surrounded by reminders of what you’re trying to let go of. Sometimes the best way to let go is to take a break and get away from it all.
Going on vacation can help you to relax and reset. It can also give you a fresh perspective and show you new things, which can help to take your mind off of what you’re trying to let go of.
If you can’t take a vacation, even a weekend trip or spending a day out in nature can be helpful.
8. Embrace a Spiritual Practice
Spirituality helps people to connect to something larger than themselves and find a sense of peace. If you’re struggling to let go, embracing a spiritual practice can be incredibly helpful.
This will help you feel supported and connected to something bigger that can help you through a challenging time.
There are many different spiritual practices that you can choose from. Some people find comfort in praying or attending religious services.
Others find that meditation, yoga, and nature walks help them feel more connected to their world.
You don’t have to be religious to benefit from spirituality. The important thing is finding a practice that helps you to feel more connected and at peace.
9. Get a Workout
Exercise is a great way to let go of stress and stagnant emotions. When you work out, your body releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.
Exercise can also help to improve your sleep, which can be helpful if you’re struggling to let go of something because you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
If you don’t enjoy going to the gym, there are plenty of other ways to get a workout. You can go for a run, take a dance class, or even just do some bodyweight exercises at home.
The important thing is to find an activity you enjoy that helps you release some of the tension you’re feeling.
Meditation, in a way, is a definition of letting go. You let go of your thoughts and focus on your breath. For a moment, you let go of everything that’s going on in your life and just be.
If you’re struggling to let go of something, meditation can help you find peace and calm. It can also help to improve your focus and concentration, which can be helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
There are many ways to meditate, so you can find a practice that works for you. You can try guided meditation, mindfulness meditation, or even just sit in silence and focus on your breath.
11. Give Things Away
If you’re the kind of person who hangs on to things, it can be helpful to let go of some of your possessions. Giving things away can help you to feel lighter and more at ease.
Think about what you’re holding onto and why. If there’s something that you’re holding onto because it reminds you of something or someone, try to let it go.
Focus on how your items can help others immensely. For example, if you have a guitar lying around that you never use, but you have a friend that wants to learn how to play, take joy in how you can give it to them and support their learning journey.
This karmic act will make you happy and fulfilled, and giving away physical items will eventually help you let go of feelings, thoughts, and ideas that no longer serve you.
Holding on is a survival mechanism. It’s how we protect ourselves from hurt and pain. But sometimes, the things we hold on to are no longer serving us. If you’re struggling to let go of something, try one of these 11 tips.
With time and practice, it will get easier to let go of the things that are no longer serving you so that you can make room for the things that do.
What do you find helpful when you’re struggling to let go?