Have you ever wondered why you hold onto emotional and physical pain longer than needed? There is a belief that we create and maintain problems to give us a sense of identity – to define who we are – to give us purpose.
Do you know of anyone who creates problems and then swoops in to save the day? Or someone who creates problems to then play the role of victim for sympathy and attention?
These behaviors, whether in ourselves or around us are due to the need to replay our past mistakes like a broken record in our minds which in turn builds feelings of shame and regret. Carrying these burdens dictates the actions we take in the now. In addition, we hold onto worry and frustration about the future creating unnecessary stress. Stress has been linked to numerous health issues and the majority of us live with this fabricated stress every day treating is as our normal state.
We all know that if we put a little energy to something we get a little out… the same holds true for letting go. By letting just a little of your past and future regrets, you obtain a little peace in your life but if you let go of a lot, then you will bring in a lot of peace. More peace equals less stress! Isn’t the formula we all desire?
Here is a sampling of actions you can take today to begin to let go of the pain and allow peace into your mind and body:
- Physical Activity
- Learn a new skill
- List out your accomplishments and continue to add to the list daily
- Focus your energy on that which you CAN control and not that which you CAN’T control
- Engage in a creative project (painting, crafts, gardening, book club)
- Write a letter to whomever you hold your anger for, then burn the letter
- Take responsibility for you could have done better
- Wear a rubberband on your wrist and pull it every time you begin to obsess on the angry thoughts
- Have gratitude for the positive memories and know that life is a learning experience
- Visualize how you were before the event and know that you now can be that again
- Take deep breaths and focus on your breath when you feel angry
And lastly, fill a backpack with rocks representing your past hurts and take a hike. When you are ready, remove one rock at a time, naming the rock with a specific memory or person or event that has brought you pain and release it. You may find that you have packed more rocks than actual pains!
Letting go allows you to make space in your life for new and exciting adventures, experiences, loves, memories. Letting go brings you inner peace and reduces stress. Letting go allows you to view the world with new eyes ready to create, build and live that life you have always dreamt about.