***Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not provide medical, legal, or health advice and is not a substitute for mental health services
In our daily lives, we can be so wrapped up in the daily grind and our obligations and commitments that we find it hard to slow down and think about our lives from a critical yet compassionate lens.
But, if we don’t do this, we end up just going through the motions – doing what we think we are supposed to do or what others want us to do – without really checking in with ourselves about if this still makes sense for us at this point in our lives.
Think about what it would mean for you to give yourself permission to let go of things that are not enhancing your life anymore but could be detracting from it.
This blog post explores just a few ideas for you to reflect on in your own process of learning what to let go of as you build a more fulfilled, meaningful, and peaceful life.
Let go of who you used to be
You are not the same person you were 1 year ago, 6 months ago, and even yesterday. Your daily experiences, major life events, school/work, and home life can have far-reaching effects on you.
We are meant to change and evolve. Life is not static. Get to know the “new” you that has been shaped by your experiences and embrace the little nuances that occur over time.
Let go of your mistakes
Your mistakes don’t define you. You are not your mistakes. They are not impossible to overcome. Just because you made mistakes doesn’t mean that you can’t grow from them, adopt a different approach or mindset, or learn how to handle things differently.
There is always room and hope for growth.
Let go of your unrealistic expectations
You may notice that you have unrealistic expectations of yourself – and sometimes of others. Perfection is not the goal.
If you find that you are holding yourself or the other people in your life to unrealistic expectations, it’s time to let go of them. No one can be perfect – not even you – no matter how hard you may try.
Consider how more reasonable expectations could improve your life. Would you be happier? Less stressed? Not as anxious?
Ease up on your expectations and see how this change helps you and your relationships.
Let go of your guilt, shame, and negative self-talk
In our lowest moments, there can be feelings of guilt, shame, and even negative self-talk that can have a strong hold over us. Our lives are complicated – we can go through hardships and blame ourselves for what we did – or didn’t – do.
Learn to release that guilt, shame, and negative self-talk that keeps you from reaching your full potential and limits your ability to see yourself in a more balanced way. You will feel much lighter and peaceful.
Let go of things that no longer serve you
As we grow and evolve, we need to decide what to keep and what to let go of as we reflect on who we are at this unique point in our lives. One thing to let go of is anything that doesn’t serve you in terms of your psychological, emotional, physical, or spiritual health.
Are you in a toxic relationship or have a friend who is always putting you down? Let those relationships go or invest more of your energy in other relationships where you feel cared for and supported. Feeling underappreciated and stagnant in your job? Perhaps it’s time to consider a job or career change.
Concerned about the state of your health? Make some lifestyle changes that are in line with the goals you want to reach. Are you depressed or anxious and is this affecting your daily life? It could be time to seek support from a mental health professional.
Think about the different aspects of your life and re-evaluate what you want to change and what you want to keep. To help you do this, ask yourself if you are feeling fulfilled and content with the way things are or if your current state is making you feel sad, anxious, stressed, or some other emotion that is a signal that something needs to shift.
Taking a step back and looking at your life under a magnifying glass can be a vulnerable and difficult process.
As challenging as it will be, doing this will help you feel more confident, less overwhelmed, and more at peace in knowing that you are making space for the person you are becoming and want to be.
Wishing you well on your mental health journey.
Davina Tiwari MSW, RSW, CSFT
Registered Social Worker and Certified Solution Focused Therapist
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