5 steps to let go quickly
In this article, you will learn how to let go. The stress reaction is an adaptive reaction that prepares to have an adapted response to a triggering event, called a stressor. We tend to use the term “stress” to refer to the difficulties a person has in coping with any change. Many people have maladaptive ways of reacting to their stressors. Their problem then is not the stressor itself, since it is normal, and often desirable, for things to change and there to be surprises, but rather the way they react to events. This is the case with people who seek to control everything, who lock everything up. In this way, they seek reassurance, but in fact, this leads them to fear the future, to have no confidence in themselves or in others.
What is letting go?
What is commonly called “letting go” is the acceptance and adaptation to change, the ability to see reality as it is without letting oneself be dominated by an imaginary reality where everything would happen exactly as one had planned, imagined.
It is also a way to get rid of your fears and anxieties. Because by “controlling”, you believe you are protecting yourself from what is going to happen and thus not suffering or being exposed. It’s time to let go…
You can let go in love, at work, with your family, with your friends, in front of a particular person or even to lose weight. Letting go means distancing yourself from what hurts, torments and prevents you from moving forward.
But let’s be clear: letting go does not mean sinking into passivity, quite the contrary. To let go is to see the problems that confront us as they are, to take stock of what we cannot change and that we must therefore accept, and of what we can act on. Letting go means being able to adapt while persisting in wanting to conform reality to our ideas, beliefs and desires is most often a way of getting stuck in a dead-end.
Here are 5 solutions to adopt on a daily basis to let go
Identify the source of your anxieties in order to let go of them.
What are your stressors? What makes you unable to adapt to them? Most often, in the beginning, there are different beliefs, inner discourses, judgments about what you are experiencing, about what is happening. These cognitions induce emotions: anxiety, despondency, anger, and this leads you to words or actions that only add fuel to the fire. New judgments then set in motion, which lead to painful emotions and inappropriate behavior. You are trapped in a vicious circle.
It is important that you can list the starting points, i.e. your stressors. But also that you can identify the vicious circles in which you quickly find yourself trapped. Write down on a piece of paper your stressors, then your inner thoughts and dialogues, then your emotions, then your actions and what follows. You will have already taken a big step…
1. Accept your suffering your stress reaction
No need to fight ineffectively. Your discomfort does not deserve any guilt. Observe the thoughts that overwhelm you without judging them. Are you on the verge of tears? Do you feel your throat closing? Do not resist. Let yourself go. No one else can grasp what you are going through. So live the emotions you feel to the fullest.
2. Let go and breathe
Breathing is a great tool for letting go. Have you ever noticed how a deep breath followed by a deep sigh can bring relief when a stressful situation is over? Practice abdominal (or belly) breathing. It frees the diaphragm and gives us an immediate feeling of relief and well-being.
3. Stop controlling everything and get rid of your stress.
How about you stop trying to control everything? Certainly, painful events are getting in your way. But is it more control to ignore what’s happening and try to go back to the way things were? There’s no going back, you have to adapt to change. Whether it’s the mourning of a loved one, a layoff, a family conflict or a disappointment in love, what has happened is what has happened. Accept it and draw the consequences so that you can move on.
3. Take action to let go
Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the tensions that paralyze you. Take stock of yourself and set realistic and attainable goals. Get rid of your beliefs: “I’m no good, I’ll never make it, I absolutely have to be up to it, everything has to be perfect”. No need to play the hero. You only need to accept your limits and determine what you can do. Trust yourself, turn your weaknesses into strengths, don’t refuse failure and instead draw the consequences, give yourself the right to doubt or make mistakes. In short, act knowingly without deluding or underestimating yourself.
Letting go exercises
How can you develop your ability to let go?
In many ways! But the first and most important one is awareness. Becoming aware of your emotions about what is happening and being able to express them is an important step.
Becoming aware of the absurdity of wanting to control what you can’t change or influence. Becoming aware of all the loss of energy and well-being that perfectionism and relentlessness represent.
For example, you go on a trip abroad with the specific intention of taking advantage of it to make photography, one of your passions. As soon as you arrive, your camera stops working. It is impossible to have it repaired on the spot or to get a new one. Maintaining frustration, anger, and frustration within yourself can waste your vacation and will not correct the situation.
So, isn’t it better to reframe the situation? For example, is it not better to tell yourself that you can perhaps enjoy the beautiful images that are offered to you in a different way? Perhaps you’ll be more sensitive to the brochures, postcards, videos you can get your hands on? Perhaps not being embarrassed by a photographer’s outfit will allow you to do different activities? Perhaps cutting out those gloomy thoughts will help you avoid missing your vacation and, next time, leave with a plan B: a second camera or simply a disposable camera?
Simple logic, you may say, but why is this simple behavior so difficult to do? That’s where the next strategy comes in, which is essential, that of accepting to mourn something you care about.
Grieving: A Monkey’s Story
Here’s a metaphor that explains quite clearly why it’s hard to let go.
It is said that in the rainforest, a man was hunting monkeys. Since he knew one of its shortcomings, he could catch it alive and without the slightest injury. After he had hollowed out a squash and filled it with rice, he attached it firmly to a tree. The monkey, attracted by the food, would approach and insert his fingers through the opening.
Grabbing a handful of rice, the monkey could no longer remove its full hand, which was now too large to fit through the opening. While he was at it, the hunter approached and grabbed the monkey that was being held. You probably think that the animal only had to give up the rice to easily regain its freedom. Of course, but in order to do so, it would have had to give up something important and even vital to it: its food.
Does that mean that letting go imply giving up your goals, your objectives? Not necessarily. Letting go, immediately, may be perfectly compatible with the action, but will sometimes imply a different or delayed action.
Here’s a simple example to help you understand. You’ve probably already had a name on the tip of your tongue and spent long minutes trying to find it, but to no avail. It seems that the harder you try, the less you remember it. Then you move on, you let go of your search. Suddenly, the name you’re looking for arrives on its own and without any effort.
Obsessively thinking about a problem is most of the time completely ineffective and doesn’t solve it. This is called resistance. On the contrary, detaching yourself from it temporarily can allow your brain to bring out certain solutions and above all leave room for originality and creativity.