Are you ruminating endlessly about the past?
We all have things from the past that we hold onto. But past hurts or old injustices keep us stuck in our tracks and prevent us from moving forward and experiencing joy and happiness.
Wouldn’t you rather be an active liver of life and let go of that anger, unrequited love and desire for revenge and release those emotions, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. No matter what the reasons for holding on are, we need to realize that we are only hurting ourselves and a lot of times block ourselves from bigger and better things.
Letting go is one of the most self-loving and empowering things you can do for yourself. Keep in mind, letting go has nothing to do with giving up, but rather is a powerful demonstration of strength. When we let go and break free from the past, toxic people, limiting emotions, feelings and thoughts, we unleash a healing power that takes us into an incredible future.
Letting go can be difficult, but remember that every moment of every day is an opportunity to create a new you, cut off the baggage from the past and open up to new possibilities. We may understand intellectually that letting go is important and hugely beneficial for us, but knowing it and actually living it are two completely different things, that’s why we came up with our TOP 10 ideas to help you to let go.
#1 Be Present
The most powerful antidote to the past is having the ability to be truly present in the here and now. If we have the ability to focus on the present and not be limited by the emotions and feelings of the past or the future, we will be able to let go. Instead of rehashing the emotions, feelings, thoughts and behaviors of the past, be completely immersed in the present moment. How do you feel right this second? Not yesterday, not last week or last year. How do you feel right now? That’s your anchor every moment of every day.
No matter how hard we try to avoid it, there will always be people who hurt us. And when someone upsets us that triggers a plethora of emotions and feelings like anger and sadness. While it is hard to control those emotions and feelings as they arise, we need to learn how to let go of those emotions and feelings in order to move on from any given situation. Instead of feeling anger and resentment towards the person who has wronged you, try to show them empathy and compassion. We know it can be hard, but practicing loving kindness and cultivating an attitude of compassion promotes your ability to let go and helps you on your path towards happiness and life satisfaction.
#3 Change Your Narrative
We are our story. And we are not talking about the events that happen in our life, but the story we tell ourselves about the role we play in those events. Are you the hero or the victim of the story? Do you paint yourself as being loved or unworthy, competent or incapable? If you want to let go of the past, you need to rethink the story of the past with a more compassionate and balanced perspective. Don’t be the victim of your own story. Rewrite your story without changing the facts. Simply see the facts more objectively, empathetic and mature.
#4 Anchor Yourself in the Future
Having a positive view of the future will make it a lot easier to let go of the past. Create a vision for your future. The excitement about what’s going to happen in your future will give you the energy to push beyond the past. It does take some deliberate mental focus, but if you give yourself a goal to work towards, you will be able to move beyond the past a lot easier.
Whether we didn’t get the promotion we wanted or a relationship didn’t work out, it is in our human nature to get angry when something doesn’t go our way. And that’s ok, it’s natural to feel sad or angry in those moments, but we have to make a conscious effort to move past them. A lot of times we have a hard time to let go of negative emotions and feelings because we aren’t accepting the situation. In many situations, like losing a loved one, we can’t change the situation or walk away from it. The only option we have is to accept reality. Letting go is really hard until we accept the situation. It doesn’t mean we have to like it, but we have to accept it in order to be ready to move on. Acceptance eases your physiological and emotional response and helps you to let go of negative feelings. You may not always be able to control a situation, but you can most certainly control how you react.
When you find yourself stuck in the past or angry about something that is happening in the present or worrying about the future, do something that makes someone else’s day better. Simple activities like opening a door for someone, dropping off food at the food bank, working at a soup kitchen for an hour or two or even simply offering a smile to someone you cross paths with, can have a huge impact on you and help you put things in perspective. If you contribute in some way to the well-being of others, you will be able to align yourself with your best self and it will become a lot easier to let go.
#7 Indulge in Things that Make You Happy
What do you like to do to brighten your mood? Regardless of how caught up you are in that downward spiral of negativity, there is always a list of things that you can do to pull yourself out of that slump. Be your own hero and make yourself happy. Indulge in doing something that you know will put you in a good mood. Once you engage your mind in that particular activity, you will gradually start to replace all those harmful, negative and useless thoughts in your mind with positivity and you can start to break free from obsessing about the past and can begin to let go.
#8 Be Grateful
No matter what is going on in your life, there is always someone or something to be grateful for. Gratitude works. Instead of focusing on the negativity in your life, focus on what is positive. Incorporate a gratitude practice in your daily routine. Every morning when you wake up, think about three things that you are grateful for. And don’t just think about those things, make sure you really, truly feel grateful. Do the same at night right before you go to bed.
#9 Change Your Circle
Life is always changing and we are ever evolving and sometimes we gradually evolve away from some of the people in our life. There is no right or wrong, it is just the sad reality. However, it would be wrong to hold on to relationships that no longer align with your core values. Remember, you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with. Make sure that those people are inspiring and empowering you and support you on your path to realize your core values.
#10 Believe in Yourself
Know that your life is unfolding as it should be. Believe in your purpose and trust that the universe is always on your side, making your dreams a reality. You may not always get what you want, but you will always get what you need. Love yourself, love others and love your life. Believe in your strength and realize that holding on does nothing for you and your future but holding you back from living your purpose.
Letting go is a process and it doesn’t happen over night. It can be scary and uncomfortable, but it is a powerful step that will change your life forever. Don’t get discouraged if you need some time to let go and remember that once you do let go, you’ll be amazed at the wonderful things that are waiting for you. You are more than your past and we promise you, you are so worth it.
LET GO AND EMPOWER YOURSELF
Joschi & Monika