How to Let Go in 6 Powerful Steps

how to let go

Sometimes, we fall slave to our regret: we can’t simply let go. The result: we’re trapped in a perpetual emotional and mental funk, from which there seems to be no escape. This is not really an insolvable situation: you merely have to know how to let go. The following steps can point you to the right direction.

1. Refocus your energy

Try to learn a new skill, build a new website, start a blog, buy art equipment, find some grassy meadow and paint the sunset. Learning how to let go is simply recognizing the things you can’t control (especially if they occurred in the past) and the things that you can, then proceed in doing the things you can. Dwelling in should-have-beens simply traps you in a vicious cycle, and escaping from this can be achieved from the simple recognition that there are fruitful things you can still do with your life, with your time, so do them.

2. Meditate

Meditation can flush out the pain and bad memories and can help your mind find inner peace and calm. With regular meditation (usually as little as five minutes a day), you can slowly but surely master your emotions and your mind. And if you think this is all psychosomatic, think again: meditation actually causes a real, measurable increase in the body’s production of feel-good hormones, such as melatonin, serotonin, GABA, DHEA and endorphins. These neurochemicals are responsible for giving us that deep sense of well-being, and provides protection from psychological distress and anxiety.

3. Just cry

Crying it all away can effectively release all the stress build-up (and this includes harmful chemicals) in your body, and of course, you will feel a bit better after a good weeping. Cry until you feel as if you’ve exhausted everything in your chest. Of course, this is not a one-shot deal—you may still feel the need to cry at certain times of the day, for many days or months, and in those times, don’t suppress it. Just find a nice quiet place to do it.

4. Volunteer

Another effective answer to the important “how to let go” question is giving your time to help others. Sign up as a volunteer at a local socio-civic organization or charity that feeds homeless people or raises funds for the education of kids in poorer communities. This works both ways: your effort helps your recipient and also helps you focus your mind and energy on something that’s not only fruitful, but also one that can make you proud of yourself.

5. Look at it squarely in the face

Being unable to let go is often due to one’s refusal to face the source of regret and look at it with a cold, critical eye. Gather your courage for a moment and try to look at the situation from an outsider’s perspective: look at it and see that there are only two things you can do: change it or accept it. If it’s unchangeable, as it often is, then begin the process of acceptance—acceptance is the only way to finally find some peace.

6. Get physical

Remember that old Olivia Newton-John song, “Physical”? Moving, running, walking or just doing anything that gets the blood pumping is a highly effective means of how to let go. You don’t even have to enroll in a gym—put on your trainer shows and start running a few laps around the neighborhood. Eventually, as you feel more and more healthy and peaceful, you become physically and emotionally ready to accept and understand the things you have undergone, and finally, you can move on.

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