A Six-Step Guide to Letting Go

Most people would agree that letting go of old habits, whether these habits are people, places, or things, is often necessary for living a happy life.  So why do we have such trouble letting go?

What does it mean to let go?  It could mean letting go of a disappointment from the past, a relationship that is not working out, or it could mean letting go of a plan to change someone or something.

Letting go can also be less tangible. It might mean letting go of a way of thinking that creates a negative state of mind, or it could be letting go of trying to control other people’s perceptions.

Here’s an easy six-step mindfulness meditation you can use to cultivate a practice of letting go:

It’s helpful to remember that letting go is rarely a one-shot deal.  You may have a sense of acceptance around a situation one day, only to have an uncomfortable sense of clinging return the next day.  Your mindfulness practice can help with this process.

  1. Relax, and take a few mindful breaths. Use this free worksheet to learn more about mindful breathing.
  2. Feel the tension start to melt away from your muscles, bones, skin.  Feel your facial features relax.
  3. Remain in this relaxed body state for a few more breaths.
  4. Now, as thoughts arise – happy or troublesome – bring the same sort of tension-free awareness to them.
  5. Let go of the urge to control the thoughts. Allow yourself to flow with all the changes that come up as you sit.  Drop the story lines trying to grab your attention and, with compassion, focus only on emotions as they arise.
  6. Detach from your experience, as if you were watching a movie on a screen with pleasant curiosity. You wouldn’t jump into the screen, would you? This is what letting go mind feels like.

It’s helpful to remember that letting go is rarely a one-shot deal.  You may have a sense of acceptance around a situation one day, only to have an uncomfortable sense of clinging return the next day. This is why it’s helpful to practice mindfulness on a regular basis in a way that fits into your schedule and is helpful to you.

With regular practice, letting go will come to you with more ease.

Grab a journal, grab some friends, and join us for 40 days of letting go:  a late summer detox for the mind  starting September 1.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *