The Art of Letting Go
One of the hardest, yet healthiest things we can do in life is to let go of people and situations we have no control over. This is especially pertinent when it becomes apparent they are more of a drain on our time and resources than a help. Humans tend to find comfort in routine and situations “staying the same” however, that mindset is not always the most beneficial for leading a happy, productive life. In order for us to get the most out of life it is important to know when to hang on versus letting go so you can move forward into better situations.
Ironically, the more we try to control every situation in our lives the more out of control they can get. This is because we get an idea in our head of what the desired outcome should be instead of accepting that life rarely turns out exactly how we want it to. By loosening our grip, we allow ourselves to be open to accepting various possible outcomes instead of being disappointed because things didn't turn out how we wished they would. By learning to free ourselves of expectations we have no control over we can eliminate extra stress, worry and obsession in our lives.
One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself when dealing with a situation you can’t control is whether you are hanging on because it is actually impossible for you to let it go, or because you simply will not let it go. It is very rare that you will not have some autonomy in a situation to make a change or let it go completely. Usually our inability to cease control stems more from a fear of the unknown versus an inability to make a positive change. Once you start realizing the power you have in your life to switch gears and let go of things that are no longer serving you the easier it becomes to let go.
Staying positive and focusing on the things you can steer are important tools to utilize as you begin to make changes in your life. When things get rocky in the middle of the chaos of change it can be very easy to focus on the negative aspects of the situation. By putting focus on some of the positive aspects of letting go of control you do not undermine your talents and abilities to see yourself through hard situations. Staying positive allows you to think more clearly and problem solve better, often resulting in you being able to pick out the aspects of the situation you can control like your attitude.
Speaking of attitudes…finding humor in a situation you are removing from your life can be one of the best ways to deal with the uncertainty. Humor can cut tension in any difficult situation, lightening the load as you navigate your new “normal”. Remember, even the bleakest of times there is something to be grateful for and find pleasure in. By practicing this mindfulness you keep your power with you thus enabling you to accept change a little easier.
For more tips and ideas on how to worry a little less about things you can not control check out this article from Psychology Today.