Each day stands for new opportunities. I love seeing it as a white canvas waiting to be painted in the most vivid, bright, and harmonious colors. But to allow room for this, I always aim at letting go of all that’s holding me back. I take time to appreciate what I have and look forward to what’s coming next. Letting go, however, ain’t easy especially when it comes to people and emotions. Still, the power of letting go is exceptional. Let me walk you through my practical guide of how to let go of things and emotions and make your internal world lighter, brighter, and happier.
Things to let go of
When it comes to letting go, I focus my efforts and thoughts on both the emotional and physical burdens that need to be processed. I usually start with the physical ones as they seem easier to me. And once I am done and feel empowered and cleaned, I move to the emotional side of letting go for which I always need a special state of mind. One that is still, sensible and empowered.
Letting go of the physical things that hold me back
All these memory boxes containing tickets from the Eiffel Tower, the Vatican Museums, and all sorts of similar rubbish, which were obviously an emotional wink from fate once.
The cosmetics opened more than 6 months ago but still taking place on the shelves went straight into the bucket.
When we moved to the UK a couple of years ago, I was afraid that I would not be able to find and easily get all the medicines I might need. Hence, I carried a small suitcase with such extras from my home country. Well, they were all expired so I brought them all to the pharmacy for recycling.
I carefully packed about 70% of my husband’s, child’s, and my own clothes that seem old, worn, or else and brought them to one of the Charity Shops on the main street as a donation.
Perfumes I don’t like
I had at least a few perfumes that I was gifted but did not like, so my friends and mother were delighted to have them.
These I simply threw in the bin. I only donated my daughter’s shoes to a Charity Shop as they were almost like new.
Some time ago I was obviously very impressed by such things. Nowadays, I would rarely put on any jewelry other than my wedding ring. I sold everything I did not want anymore to a jewelry shop.
Unnecessary/expired ingredients from the kitchen cabinets
Just think of all the spices, sauces, and other stuff that you keep in your kitchen cabinets but never use. I was shocked to find old cereals, halves of cookies, and the sort that all went to the bin. This emptied a quarter of my shelves.
Linen, sheets, pillows, and towels
Everything used for over a year went in the trash. An entire section in the closet was emptied. I’m telling you, I only saw the apartment so clean and tidy when we moved in!
Letting go of the emotional stuff that holds me back
Now, that part takes a lot of contemplation and focus but is sooo worth it!
Dwelling on the past and worrying about the future
Living in the present moment seems a simple solution but we rarely find ourselves there. We are more often digging into the past or worrying about what might happen tomorrow, next week, next month… Realizing that the NOW is all we have is a major milestone for becoming happier and successful.
Keeping our personal and professional credibility means standing up to our promises. Do not overpromise and do not overdeliver.
Comparing with others
That’s a waste of time. People and circumstances are too different to allow for an adequate comparison. Let go of that detrimental habit and invest effort and thought in comparing to who you were yesterday and who you want to be given your present position.
To accomplish goals and bring dreams to reality we should stop waiting (for whatever) and start doing.
Meaningless social contacts / toxic people and relationships
Negative people are everywhere, but most of the time we don’t have to be in a relationship with them. Exercise this right of yours!
Regardless of what we feel we can control, the reality is we can exercise control over a limited set of things such as our behavior and personality.
While mistakes are something we can actually learn from, regrets can haunt us.
Advantages of letting go
Getting emotional delight
Letting go offers us freedom. I always feel lighter as if a huge stone has fallen from my chest. This usually goes along with a feeling for arising inspiration, happiness, and calmness.
Finding old but dear stuff
Digging into our soul and emotions might be painful and unpleasant but putting things in order has its perks. Sometimes I get this light bulb moment when I get a better understanding of why I do something or how come life happened the way it did. It puts things into perspective and brings some much-longed clarity and insight. When, it comes to the physical aspect of things – letting go often pops up on the surface things we have forgotten about but still find dear and important.
On a funny note, I asked my daughter to get rid of all the unnecessary toys at home and in doing so she found a couple of well-hidden chocolates which you bet she considers her secret treasure now 😀 For adults, this (hopefully) is something more meaningful.
Opening up space
Letting go opens up “air” and a lot of space both physically and emotionally so that I can welcome new things, feelings, and people in my life.
Some of the greatest joys in the world come from giving. The things that you have no need for can help others. Donate. Make a stranger happy.
Tips for letting go
Here again, I differentiate between the tactics I use to deal with the emotional and the physical side of letting go.
When it comes to emotions and people I feel that these tactics substantially improve my ability to deal with my issues and move ahead.
Create a positive mantra to counter painful thoughts
It could be something simple as “I am strong and I know this shall pass too”. Repeat it every day out loud so that you can hear yourself.
This has the potential to empower you as doing joyful and pleasant things acts as a barrier to unpleasant experiences and thoughts. Here you can read more about my fave morning self-care routines that I love to indulge in.
Be good to yourself
Refrain from criticizing yourself and looking for guilt in you. It is time to show some self-compassion.
Allow for negative emotions to flow
Shutting down negative emotions disrupts the process of letting go. Allow them to let go out of you, do not fight them.
When we practice being present, our hurts have less control over us.
On the physical aspect of letting go, if you hate throwing away your things because they bring you nice memories or you will just be sad to see them in the trash, you can apply one of the following tricks and then think of it.
Hang all your clothes on hangers inside out
After wearing a garment, return it to the hanger again, but put it hanging properly. So in a month, you will have a clear idea of which clothes you do not touch at all and you can move them to the trash or give them to people in need.
Make a list
List all the things or places in your home that you need to review, arrange, and dispose of. Something like my list above. After you start and arrange one of these things/places, take a break and continue another day with the others.
Use the principle 12-12-12
Grab 12 things to throw away; 12 things to donate and 12 things to put back in their place.
Now, roll up your sleeves and enjoy the process. The results will exceed your expectations, I promise!