Understanding when it’s time to let go

Life is full of surprises. Some bigger than others. And sometimes we’re hit with some unexpected or stressful news that can be difficult to let go of and move on from. But, letting go is important for our wellbeing.

Here are 5 ways to help you understand when letting go is the right thing to do.

1. Express your negative emotions

When you’re used to bottling your emotions up or letting them get the better of you, change can seem unrealistic. But a few tweaks to your usual reactions can make all the difference.

When you feel the need to vent, take a break. Step back and breathe. Then, try something new. Let go of your negative emotions by opening up to someone; a friend, family member, or someone you trust at work.

If talking seems too difficult, writing can help. Daily reflections through journaling or writing an open letter is a great way to express your feelings, rather than give in to them. You may even find that life feels lighter after articulating your emotions.

2. Self-acceptance

Being “you” is your superpower. So, champion that. When you want to let go and live well, be kind to yourself. Embrace your own beliefs. Stand by your values. Your individuality is a strength. Your unique views are a charm. And it’s time for you to accept that.

Hush your inner critic and make room for positive thoughts. Surround yourself with a support system that uplifts and comforts, listens and guides. Never feel inadequate for being yourself.

Everyday life is full of chances to let go. It doesn’t have to a big deal or grand gesture. Something as simple as forgiveness and forgiving yourself, can lighten your load.

3. Recognize the signs of living in the past

A secret to happiness? Living in the present. As they say: the past is in the past, so leave it there. Holding on to it only causes harm.

Self-blame should also be shelved. Reflecting on old incidents, stirring up history, and reliving unpleasant experiences is the one-way street you don’t want to be on. Leave it be, and step into today.

Constant comparison is another tell-all sign that you’re afraid to let go. But when you’re living in the past, you’re missing the chance to make today amazing.

Now is your chance to take a break from living on autopilot and make a positive shift away from what’s been holding you back.

4. Create a healthy life balance

To let go is to be mindful and present. And to do so, you need a healthy life balance that brings your mind and body together.

For the mind, encourage yourself to embrace positive thoughts. Say no to the negative, and practice gratitude instead. Celebrate with self-care. An indulgent bubble bath before bed. A quick meditation session before the day starts.

For the body, prioritize nourishment and enjoyment. Choose well-balanced, nutrient-rich meals that fill your stomach and your soul. Indulge in your favorite treats, but within reason. Find enjoyment in an exercise that encourages you to be active.

As you welcome balance into your everyday life, letting go becomes less of a chore.

5. Identify your emotional habits

Positive changes make an impression, but old habits easily reappear. To minimize the chance of that, identify your emotional habits with daily reflections. Monitor your thoughts and identify the emotional triggers that need more work.

To do this, turn to ideas like:

  • Journal. Writing out your thoughts and feelings for a few minutes each day brings them to the surface.
  • Mindfulness. Taking a few moments to breathe and process how you’re feeling helps. When you first wake up, as you arrive at work, or before you go to bed. Breathe and notice how you’re feeling, then consciously make a change.
  • Ask. Those closest to you know you well, so ask for their feedback. Your loved ones will often pick up on your emotional pressure points, even when you don’t.

When you take responsibility for your actions, everything changes. Positive thoughts will start to replace their negative counterparts. And only small steps are required to make it happen. Enjoy the process of letting go, you deserve it.

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