To let go of the negative in our lives we must first know how to identify it, what seems to be a simple step can become a difficult task when we realize that what we want to let go is also part of ourselves.
What is the negative? It is everything that conditions us, that does not allow us to reach our maximum potential, that makes us feel unable to carry out our deepest desires. It is all those beliefs, unjustified fears and speeches that do not belong to us.
How to let it go? Letting go of fears is the first step, according toOsho, life begins where fear ends. Once we let go, we must learn to question our own discourse. How much of what we say we really believe?
When one learns to question oneself, one not only begins to make use of discernment, but begins to form one’s own discourse that cannot be proclaimed or repeated by another in its entirety, since human beings exist as individuals and each one is unique.
Next, in the following article we are going to share some effective strategies that will allow you to learn to let go of what negatively alters you, so that you can achieve greater well-being and tranquility in your life.
What does it mean to let go?
Dr. Hawkins in his book “Let Go“, mentions that letting go is like the sudden cessation of an internal pressure or the fall of a peso. And that this is accompanied by a sudden sense of relief and lightness, as well as increased happiness and freedom.
To let go is to let go, to detach, to learn that we own our time and energy and that we can decide what to pay attention to. It basically means letting go, understanding that while there are situations where we can’t help but feel pain, we have the power to focus on the positive.
Keys to let go and live in well-being
To let go requires intention and identifying what we want to let go and why, what we would achieve by detaching ourselves from it.
The key question is what you want to achieve once you let go of the old. Once we recognize what we are looking for after we have established concrete actions, we must follow the following steps:
Accept and understand what happened
Hayes , the father of acceptance therapy, defines it as the voluntary adoption of an intentionally open, receptive, flexible, and judgment-free stance in relation to the present moment.
First, we must accept what hurts us and try to understand it from the simplest aspect. Focus on why we chose it and why in the present we want to let go.
Release emotions and feelings
Repressing emotions or feelings can bring us great health consequences, without going any further, diseases such as Takotstubo syndrome , the so-called broken heart syndrome, can be triggered by a painful experience that has led us to keep emotions.
We must understand that expressing ourselves is something necessary and of the utmost importance for our health, we must not anticipate what another may or may not think. Since, our emotions and feelings belong to us and we must assume them, take responsibility and show them to the world.
Expressing our emotions and feelings is positive, as long as we do it intelligently, using the correct ways and forms, and taking the context into account. It is useless to externalize if within us there is only chaos. That is why before knowing how to express ourselves, we must first accept ourselves.
Give yourself a time to mourn
Like any process, a duel is required. Letting go implies letting go of something that will never come back or, if it does, it will not come back in the same way. Quoting Heraclitus, “the only constant is change and we must assume it and take responsibility”.
Griefs consist of 5 stages according to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross , psychiatrist and pioneer in studies on death. These stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
It is necessary to go through each one of them. Understand that just as we are in a bargaining state today, yesterday we were in anger and tomorrow we are likely to be in depression. But each of these steps is natural and necessary in order to reach acceptance.
Keep distance from the source of suffering
One of the most popular sayings of the Buddha holds that pain is inevitable, however suffering is optional. This means that we cannot avoid pain, nor feel hurt, but that we have the power to transform that pain into something wiser.
The fact is not going to change whether we decide to move on or just sit idly by and cry. However, what will change from the decision we make is how we are going to feel about ourselves.
In this way, assuming our personal power and responsibility, we must establish healthy limits with everything that harms us and does us harm, establishing spaces and building from what makes us feel good and positive.
Avoid victimizing and judging yourself
Contrary to what we have learned and repeated most of our lives, having suffered unpleasant situations, having been injured or suffering the consequences of some traumatic event does not make us victims or weak or damaged people.
Using those negative emotions that we feel, in the face of an event that we consider unfair as a propelling force to progress and lift our spirits, is where we should focus.
Melchenson , one of the fathers of the study of Victimology in Criminal Law , establishes that the victim is a character, part of the personality of the individual or community affected by the social consequences of their suffering, determined by factors of physical, psychological, economic, political or social.
As stated by the author, we can come to the conclusion that only by leaving judgment and criticism of ourselves aside will we be able to get out of that place of victim to transform it into a tool that is as tragic as it is necessary, since, metaphorically speaking, what does not kill us, transforms us.
Give thanks and value the positive
The focus will be on what we decide to look at, life is full of emotions and nuances. The only thing we can affirm is that everything is constantly changing and that our time in this life is limited. We own what we do with our time and how we want to feel.
Being grateful makes us people capable of valuing each achievement and finding beauty in the darkest moments. A brief exercise to putgratitude into practice and to be able to value the positive is to celebrate each achievement, congratulate ourselves for meeting our small goals and each step we take, no matter how small it may be in favor of them.
Support yourself with family and friends
Human beings are social by nature, since we need others in our lives.
If we do not communicate with others, we will not be able to really make use of language which, quoting the hermeneutic philosopher Gadamer, “has its true being in conversation, which is the mutual exercise of understanding.”
After assuming that we could not be ourselves without others, we must accept our own vulnerability. We can be alone, but that is not pleasant nor would it help us to progress.
It is important to understand that no matter how lonely we feel, there is always someone willing to listen, be it a partner, a family member or a friend willing to listen to us.
Acquire the habit of thinking positive
According to a study by the American College of Cardiology a positive attitude reduces the risk of developing heart disease, since much of human health requires the patient’s state of mind and mental power, since it is one of the determining causes for for the placebo effect to work .
To acquire the habit of thinking positively, it does not take much more than asking yourself what we have achieved. By focusing on small goals we can establish and achieve what we set out to do.
Carry out recreational activities
Recreational activities help us calm the mind, relax the body, and give us greater clarity. It is vitally important to have a healthy body to achieve a healthy mind as you are mutually dependent on each other.
Lack of time is not an excuse, at least we should get used to taking a walk every day to exercise and clear our heads. To acquire a habit, it is required to carry it out for 21 days. What are you waiting for?
Set new goals and objectives
By letting go of old beliefs, patterns, or behaviors, we assume a new self. This new me is nothing more than the same old me, with the difference that we have learned to let go of everything that did not add to us or did us harm.
Assuming our new roots, without discrediting the old ones, and putting ourselves in a place of responsibility and self-affirmation, will inevitably make us set new goals.
Given that the old goals must be modified, either changed because they no longer represent us or reaffirmed because we feel more our own than ever, and in order to achieve them, in that case we are going to have to establish clearer and more real objectives.
Stay focused on the present moment
The only real thing is the here and now, inhabiting this place is assuming the most important role of our lives where we do not need proof, but empower ourselves and realize that this moment is unique and that we must make the most of it.
Focusing on the present moment requires assuming the weight of our decisions, leaving a place of lightness and escaping from that role in which we only make vague decisions and let ourselves be carried away by their unbearable lightness.
Enjoy the Little Things
What is it that makes you happy? To enjoy the little things you must be willing to give yourself the love you deserve, do some activity that motivates you and you like, have a hobby. Let’s not forget thatas it is inside, so it is outside and in order to better relate to our environment, we must learn to relate to ourselves.
A small recommended exercise is to make space in the agenda, either an hour a day or a space every other day to do some activity that gives us satisfaction.
It is important to understand that everything is fleeting and that after the storm the sun always rises. No matter how bad you feel, you should not suppress your emotions, just accept them and understand that it is a bad day but not a bad life.
Acknowledging that we are deserving of our happiness is an anchor that helps us to affirm ourselves and not collapse in the face of a world that tells you that it is not okay to be bad. Understanding it, facing it and letting it go is the only way to be able to lead a healthier and more optimistic life, and to be able to reach a higher level of emotional intelligence.
Why do you have to let go?
Letting go is not a mere whim or a banal matter of showing a more positive attitude towards life. Letting go of everything that hurts us is a matter of health.
Various studies show that everything we keep and do not externalize can have serious health consequences such as heart problems or dementia , among others.
On the other hand, studies show that people who lead a healthier and more positive life have a higher quality and life expectancy. Especially in the elderly where it is vitally important to take care of the mind and body.