By relinquishing our grip on things, we allow ourselves to see the world with new eyes. Letting go allows us to be more objective, to relax, to reflect, and to heal. There are many things to let go of, and many ways in which to do so. These skills and techniques all lead to a healthier and happier emotional life and a renewed sense of our real place in the world.
These many skills help you to let go. Try them all and find what works for you.
- Practice Breath Awareness Meditation, which encourages physical and mental relaxation.
- Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing, also encouraging physical and mental relaxation. You might also try Bellows Breathing / Breath of Fire.
- Now try the opposite. Try breathing with no control from the command center. Combined with relaxed, body aware meditation that just lets your body “do its thing,” this can have powerful results.
- Release tension from the body with Progressive Relaxation.
- Do “heartmath.” Inhale and exhale for equally long periods with centered on the heart with positive emotion.
- Practice Basic Relaxation Meditation.
- If you can, consider therapeutic massage or even Postural Integration.
Thoughts and Emotions:
- Identify from where wrong thoughts come. These facets of the personality may be the result of past trauma. Listen to them, comprehend what they say, and then quiet them. Try your best to realize intention.
- Argue with your wrong thoughts. If something comes up in your mind that you know is wrong, instead of ignoring it so that it can fester, confront it mentally. Sometimes the best way to let go of something is to engage with it.
- Be realistic. Accept what you can and can’t change. Get some perspective. Often the bad seems worse and the good seems smaller when we worry too much.
- Say goodbye to things. Let the past be the past. Perhaps make a formal farewell to mental patterns, banishing them gently but firmly.
- Use relaxing, centering imagery. Imagine yourself in a beautiful, safe place.
- Be compassionate and forgiving of everyone…including yourself. Transforming Ill Will can take you from negative to positive emotions.
- Decide that your thoughts and feelings are, at least in part, the result of choice. Accept that you have a part in emotions, and that you can often choose to have them or not.
- When dealing with a frustrating emotion, imagine it flowing away with each gentle exhalation, naturally waning until it goes.
- Identify the root causes of tension and frustration. You might want to try Emotional Journaling if the past overwhelms you.
- You might use your emotional journal to vent. Sometimes venting is even physical. Yell into a pillow, or even hit it. Just let go of the anger.
The Self and Wants:
- Recognize that your self is not the center of the world. Try to avoid personalizing everything.
- Each day, realize how connected you are to others. Remind yourself that we are, in the end, all in this together.
- If a want or a personality trait seems to dominate you, ask yourself if this is indeed who you really are.
- Assess your wants. Find the unambiguously positive ones and the ones that are actually needs. Keep them separate from those that spring from greed, anger, or delusion.
- Analyze desire. Consider the positive and negative ramifications of each (for example, it’s nice to have a big house, but having a big mortgage can be more trouble than the house is worth).
- Recognize that letting go of wants and negative emotions brings your self into a better place. Align yourself with the good.
- Be positive. Try Taking In the Good.
Much of Buddhist thought deals with the benefits of letting go; the Third Noble Truth reminds us that relinquishing our grip on the world is the only way to end suffering.
Many Christians speak of "letting go and letting God." Relinquishing the illusion of control doesn't require a higher power, however, just the recognition that our selves are not as important nor as powerful as we might sometimes think.