Letting Go Of Things You Cannot Control
Sometimes we hold on to feelings, thoughts or ideas about a person, incident or event to the point that it becomes disruptive to our sense of well being. We can clutch on to these thoughts, ideas or feelings so tightly that if they were actually material objects we would leave claw marks in them if they were pried out of our grip.
Holding on to feelings of anger or resentment can cause us to feel just as distressed as holding on to feelings of regret or distrust. Over time these feelings become poisonous to the soul. They can affect our relationships with our friends, co-workers, family members and others we come into contact with throughout the day.
It may seem nearly impossible to let go of certain feelings and if fear is involved it can be even harder.
The first step to letting go of painful thoughts or feelings or letting go of the outcome of a certain event is to make a conscious decision: Chose to let go of it. Start by letting go of it for 5 minutes. Once you have made a decision take an action step to focus your mind on something else, call a friend, take a walk, say a prayer. Each time you feel your grip tightening around the issue you are trying to let go of make the decision again to let it go for another stretch of time.
Sometimes it helps to talk to someone you trust. Sometimes just sharing about the struggle can take some of the power away from it. Try to challenge irrational thoughts that may make it hard to let go of the issue.
Become aware of how you feel when you are letting go of the issue.
Do you feel more peaceful or relaxed? Can you get through your day in a more enjoyable way when you are letting go of things from the past or upcoming events that you cannot control? If you do it will help to remind yourself if you begin to ‘take it back’.
We cannot change the past and we cannot control the future so learning how to let go of things can free up a lot of time in the present moment where our effectiveness as humans takes place.
Carly Borenkind, LCSW, CASAC-T