Letting things go and knowing when to do this is an important part of wellbeing, in my view, and we probably need to do it on a regular basis. Doing so frees up space to focus your energy on things that really do matter and things that will make a positive difference to your life.
What is the best way of doing this? Especially with something you may be finding difficult to let go – perhaps because it was a very negative experience or something in your past that has created trauma in your present.
Here are some ways that can help you let go and release any past pain or trauma:
- Acknowledge your emotions: – this can be hard for us to do – making time and space to acknowledge the emotions you’re experiencing about a situation or person you’re trying to let go of, is crucial. Be still and reflect more and notice what those emotions are. Just be with those emotions, you don’t have to do anything.
- Make space to process emotions and change: – you can do this by walking (your brain needs that space to process stuff) or by journaling which can be a very powerful way.
- Be gentle with yourself: – be kind to yourself. A regular breathing practice with both hands on your heart space can be grounding and caring. Notice if your experience a particular sensation in your body (trauma from the past can be stored there) and breathe into it and be still.
4. Focus on what you can control: – get your energy there. What’s one small thing you can do right now to move yourself forward? It might be as simple as choosing to process emotion or choosing to journal. Or it may be a choice about your behaviour or thoughts.
5. Reframe your thoughts: – challenge any negative or unhelpful thoughts that may be holding you back. Replace them with more positive and empowering thoughts. For example, instead of dwelling on what went wrong, focus on what you’ve learned or how you can grow from the experience.
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5. Practice self-care: -take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Engaging in activities you enjoy, practicing mindfulness or meditation, exercising, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can all contribute to your overall well-being and make it easier to let go.
6. Seek support: – talk to trusted friends, family members, or a therapist about your feelings. Sharing your thoughts and emotions can provide a different perspective, offer support, and help you process your emotions more effectively.
7. Forgive: – as far as you can, try to do this. Holding on to grudges, resentment or pain does not allow you to be fully YOU right now. Forgiveness can come from understanding and healing. You may find it helpful to do a loving kindness meditation both for yourself and that situation and what it taught you or brought you.
Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting or denying the past. It means accepting what has happened and choosing to focus on your own growth and well-being. It’s about healing and integrating all of our experiences that make up who we are.