How to detach from the world

Practicing Detachment for a Happier Life

Often we attach ourselves—and our ability to be happy—on a desired outcome, only to find ourselves disappointed when that outcome doesn't happen. Learn how you can let go and start living from a place of happiness.

Detachment reveals the great paradox of life: In order to acquire something, you have to relinquish your attachment to having it. When you recognize that the only genuine source of security is living as your true self, then you can more easily detach. But what exactly is meant when we talk about detachment?

What Is Detachment?

The Oxford Dictionary defines detachment as “a state of being objective or aloof.” Being objective is powerful in practicing detachment; however, being aloof is not terribly useful. When you become emotionally aloof, you are disconnected from your feelings. You are not really getting involved in decisions, actions, relationships—life. I recommend you get entirely emotionally immersed in whatever it is you want.

True detachment allows for deep involvement—because of the lack of attachment to outcome. The trick is behaving like an Oscar award-winning actor playing a role: become fully emotionally immersed and recognize that you can step outside of the character and be objective. The emotions in that moment are just as real as your dreams, goals, and plans. But you can step outside of them if you need to. This ability to recognize that you can step outside and reflect—to detach who you are from a desired outcome—is what true detachment is.

As author Ron W. Rathbun wrote, “True detachment isn’t a separation from life but the absolute freedom within your mind to explore living.”

Clues You Are Attached

When you are attached to an object, a goal, a dream, or another person, you can feel that, “If I don’t have that, I won’t be whole.” This creates feelings including:

  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Jealousy
  • Hopelessness
  • Sadness
  • Disconnection
  • Pride
  • Vanity

What Do We Attach to?

Many people are attached to relationships, money, social status, jobs, and more. Basically, anything you can use to describe who you are can be a sign of attachment. I might say: I am a blonde, mother, wife, daughter, and sister who is physically healthy and socially vibrant. I am a teacher, a writer, a speaker, and a student. However, if my brother dies and I was no longer a sister, I am still me. If I change what I do and stop writing, I am still me. Recognizing that the “me”remains without all the descriptors is the goal.

How to Detach: 5 Steps

1. Observe your mind: Become aware of what kind of thoughts you habitually think. What things or descriptors do you identify with most? Become a student of self and heighten your awareness of where attachment happens more frequently for you. Recognize attachment comes with an emotional charge. Notice where you feel this in your physical body. It’s different for each individual and learning your patterns is a useful tool in creating change.

2. Distinguish between ego and actuality: Your ego might tell you that not getting the job you want has ruined your career. The actuality is: you are disappointed because you didn’t get something you wanted. Nothing has changed except your thoughts about your future potential. The actual situation is the same as it was prior to not getting the job and you can still advance your career.

3. Embrace uncertainty: Only a willingness to embrace the unknown provides security. As Deepak Chopra says, “Those who seek security in the exterior world chase it for a lifetime. By letting go of your attachment to the illusion of security, which is really an attachment to the known, you step into the field of all possibilities. This is where you will find true happiness, abundance, and fulfillment.”

4. Meditate on it: Meditation is a vehicle to help your mind release patterns of thought and action that no longer serve you. Spend some time in meditation each day and watch how the patterns in your life begin to change.

5. Don’t beat yourself up for falling into old habits: The first step in making change is recognizing what it is you want to change. Instead of getting frustrated or disappointed when you fall back into an old habit, celebrate that you are now noticing when you repeat the pattern of thought or habit. In time, this will allow you to transform your behavior.


When you begin living a life that starts with happiness from an internal place rather than attaching your ability to be happy on external conditions, then you have understood detachment. Remember, it’s a practice. Happiness is the journey and not the destination, or as Wayne Dyer said, “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.”

Expand your consciousness with guided meditations and personalized practices in the Chopra App, available now.

How to detach yourself from worldly worries before opening the gates of your consciousness?

Via your cellphone, you can open your Instagram, scroll to my profile and read my article. However, if you drive while using your cellphone, you won’t be able to concentrate on either driving or reading, and you will likely end up in an accident.

Similarly, there is something similar to a cellphone in our body – ‘consciousness.’ We, as evolved beings, have the ability to open the gates of our consciousness and learn everything that this universe offers. However, there is not possible if you are attached to worldly worries. Like you need to stop your car, park it somewhere safe, and then read the article in silence to enjoy without any distraction, you need to learn how to detach yourself from worldly worries in order to gain free access to the universe.

How to Detach yourself

Before we answer this, you must know that here ‘detachment’ means removing yourself from results, not goals. This is possible with Sanatan Dharma’s greatest contribution – Bhagavad Vita. Bhagwan Krishna says, “he is the same in pleasure and pain, cold and warmth, victory and defeat, for he is detached.”

Picture this! You’re an old bird who recently experienced an abnormal loss of wing feathers. This has affected your ability to fly beyond repair. All you can do is crawl. One eventful afternoon, a hungry wild dog is approaching you. You only have a few seconds to save yourself. Would you spend those few seconds thinking about your past days when you could’ve just flown away to the endless sky? Or Would you think about the future pain the approaching predator would inflict on you? These two are must-lose scenarios for you, right?

However, if you, in those few seconds, try using your legs to run, you may have a chance to survive. The chances are low but not zero.

Detachment starts from removing the thoughts pertaining to the past and future.

Let’s first learn how to stay in the present:

First thing in the morning, when you wake up, try some simple breathing exercises. Then, sit on your balcony for some time without your cellphone and try reflecting on your body and surrounding. If past guilt or future worries hit you, sit with a flat back, close your eyes, and inhale slowly through your nose. Hold your breath, and then release it slowly. The calming feeling will bring your mind back to the present.

If you’re losing yourself and drifting away while talking with someone, remember that you’ll miss the moments right in front of you. To avoid drifting away, start by not using your phone when you’re a part of some conversation. Don’t use your phone to capture memories at a concert.

Use your eyes.

Now you know (NYK) how to stay in the present. It’s time to understand how to detach yourself before controlling your consciousness.

We tend to experience certain emotions that control our conscious mind when we are in the present. To tame these emotions, you must first be aware of the reason for your feelings. If you are angry, find out the reason behind it. Find out why exactly you’re sensitive to certain situations or people in life. After knowing the reason, try to take control over the emotion. This is important. Awareness must be followed by seeking control. However, sometimes some intense emotions are uncontrollable. If that’s the case with you, express your feelings in a safe place. Please write it down or share it with someone you trust. Practice crying alone.

Next, concentrate on watching yourself from an objective stance like an outsider. This is called the “third eye,” where you have an extra vision of yourself from the outside. Ask yourself, “What am I thinking about? How am I doing today?” Answers are inside; all you need to do is ask. Self-validation is an essential component of detachment. Positive self-talk is a game-changer. Once you’re done with this, take a deep breath and meditate.

Find lush grass in a favorite corner of a garden or any other tranquil environment. Do some warm-up exercises like stretching, similar to warming up before hitting the gym. Meditation tones your mind and helps you detach from worldly worries, just how gym tones your body.
Next, sit, straighten your spine, follow your breathing and
focus on mental images. Wait for the image to turn still. This is your gateway to the universe. This is when you’ve entirely detached yourself.



Views expressed above are the author's own.


  • Big B, bigger message: Govts can’t join ‘outrage brigade’ targeting films

  • Six things to learn from BJP: You can critique the party but you should acknowledge what it is doing right

  • The semi-reinvention of Rahul: His yatra is in Delhi. He seems more focussed. But will this matter politically?

  • 2024 is not 2004: Opposition unity is tough to achieve, even tougher is for opposition to counter Modi in a national vote

  • A few lessons on happiness after a lifetime of chasing it

  • Galwan, now Tawang: Xi’s China will continue to be aggressive on LAC. India needs to seriously boost border infra

  • Is Opposition unity possible, and does it matter?

  • Why do we break our unity in God’s name? 

  • Covid: Xi’s tied down. We aren’t – That democratic India handled the pandemic better than autocratic China is now clear

  • Fever pitch: Messi, Mbappe, Morocco & Qatar deliver a great World Cup. When will India join the party?

Get off the ground | Pravmir

Someone will say: "Well, He returned to where He came from." Not certainly in that way. From Heaven He came as God; to Heaven He ascended as a Man. God the Son has always been in Heaven with the Father. From now on, from the day of the Ascension, the Son of Man abides at the right hand of the Father. So, in His person, all mankind has its Fatherland in Heaven.

Once in the aviation museum a guide showed the first models of airplanes and spoke with inspiration about the long-standing human dream of learning to fly, about how numerous and helpless, and sometimes even tragic were all the attempts of people to become like birds. nine0003

Archpriest Igor Gagarin

He spoke about how inquisitively and persistently the human mind tried to calculate what is needed in order to get off the ground. “And in the end,” he triumphantly concluded the story, “people learned how to fly, learned how to climb into the heavens and even higher than the heavens!”

Learned, that's right. No birds can rise to such a height where a person rises today. And yet… is it that high?

Once a granddaughter ran to a wise believing old woman from school and said: "Grandma! There is no God! The teacher told us that the astronauts flew in space and did not see Him. Grandmother smiled: "Well, that means they didn't fly high."

Yes, of course, the Heaven in which the Lord resides is unattainable by any aircraft invented by mankind. They are immeasurably higher, but it is not at all a matter of distance.

There is a height that is measured in kilometers. To overcome it is a matter of calculations and technique. But how to measure the height at which the temporary becomes eternal, where Love, Truth, Beauty reign supreme! This is a completely different height, a completely different Heaven. There the entrance to the person has always been forbidden. He could fly to the clouds, to the moon, to the stars and other planets, but not to God. nine0003

Everyone knows Cosmonautics Day. On April 12, 1961, the first man went into space. Then the newspapers wrote: “From now on, the road to the stars is open to us!” "Humanity has gone into space!"

But allow me, one could object, a specific person, and not humanity, went up into space. Yuri Gagarin - yes! What about me and everyone else?

But everyone rejoiced in those days, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority could not even dream that they, too, would be in space.

And right! Because everything done by at least one of us is relevant to each of us. Both good and bad. Not everyone is able to understand and feel this on a universal scale. Here in smaller groups it is much more obvious. Let's say family. If here one of the family members does something shameful, all family members are ashamed. And if one of them says that he has nothing to do with it, such a statement will be perceived as immoral. nine0003


If one of us is to blame, we are all to blame. Because we are all one in some way. This, I repeat, is quite obvious in the family. But all mankind is one family! And if we do not feel this, this is one of the consequences of original sin, which split humanity, did to us what, in the words of A.S. Pushkin:

We honor everyone with zeros,

And ourselves with units - .

But the Son of Man came into the world “in order to gather even the scattered children of God into one” (John 11:52). And the more we are Christians, the more we feel our involvement in everything that is happening on earth by our brothers and sisters.

“I believe that every person is a representative of all mankind. We differ in intelligence, health, and talents. And yet we are all one. We are all saints and sinners, adults and children, and none of us rises above the others and does not judge him. We are all awakened with Buddha, we are all crucified with Christ, and we are all killed and destitute by Genghis Khan, Stalin and Hitler” (Erich Fromm). nine0003

These words were spoken by a person who was not a Christian, but it seems to me well said. With Christ, however, we are not only crucified…. With Christ we are RISEN! Orthodox Christians lived through the experience of this joy during the forty days of the celebration of Easter, again and again reminding themselves and each other: “Christ is Risen! He is truly risen!" The celebration of Easter ended and immediately, the next day, the ASCENSION OF THE LORD. We remember how the first Man ascended to Heaven!

Not to those visible skies dotted with stars, but to those Heavens where only the Lord could stay before. In order to make this possible, God Himself descended to earth, became a Man, lived for 33 years among people a truly human life, full of truth, love and goodness, died for the life of the world, rose from the dead. And on the fortieth day after His Resurrection, Jesus Christ led the disciples out of the city as far as Bethany, and lifting up His hands, blessed them. And when he blessed them, he began to depart from them and ascend into heaven.” (Luke 24:50-51).

Someone will say, "Well, He returned to where He came from." Not certainly in that way. From Heaven He came as God; to Heaven He ascended as a Man. God the Son has always been in Heaven with the Father. From now on, from the day of the Ascension, the Son of Man abides at the right hand of the Father. So, in His person, all mankind has its Fatherland in Heaven.

Before His departure, the Lord said to His disciples: “…I will take you to Myself, so that you too may be where I am” (John 14:3). And then He prayed to the Father for the disciples, and for those who believe according to their word, that is, for all Christians: “Father! whom You have given Me, I want them to be with Me where I am…” (John 17:24).

Do we fully understand the power of these words? If God Himself says “I WANT”, can anything interfere? Maybe, as we have already said, there is only one thing - when a person answers Bogovo "I want": "But I don't want to. "

The Lord ascended into Heaven. There is the Father, there is the home. Not only His house, but now also ours. And only one thing now matters: what do we ourselves choose - heaven or earth?

Let us ask ourselves this on Ascension Day. And if we say that we choose Heaven, are we not deceiving ourselves? The sincerity of the choice is not difficult to verify. It is enough to carefully observe your feelings. What do we worry about, what do we worry about, what do we rejoice in our life most of all? When we get angry or sad about something, let us ask our hearts - why is it? Is it temporary or eternal? If it is because of the temporal and the earthly, it means that they have not yet realized themselves as citizens of Heaven. nine0003

If we really, really want something, we ask again: is it what we want? The Lord said: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

What kind of treasures do we want to have? What kind of wealth do we want to acquire? Is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit or the acquisition of material goods the main concern of our life? If we are looking for the spiritual, then “The fruit of… the spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22-23). If we are looking for this, then we are looking for Heaven, if we are looking for something else, then we are rummaging in the earth.

So, the God-Man in Heaven wants us to be with Him. What, then, can prevent us from entering Heaven? Only our unwillingness, our laziness, or rather, lack of faith. We can overcome all this with God's help, if we make an effort. Our earthly life was given to us in order to make this effort, for “The Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force, and those who use force take it by force” (Mt. 11, 12).

Pravmir Dictionary - Sky

Since you are here. ..

We have a small request. This story was told thanks to the support of readers. Even the smallest monthly donation helps editorial work and create important content for people.

Your help is needed now more than ever.

"Who am I?": How to break away from a toxic family and become yourself


Separation from toxic parents is not a goal, but a means to start an autonomous life. A person who merges with a parent in his life uses the individual features of his mother or father. He adopts and transmits their attitude to the world. Follows their rules about how to behave, who to learn from, how to act in various situations, marry or not marry, whom to communicate with, whom to love, how to dress and cut your hair, and so on.

Separation naturally starts a parallel process, individuation. The individuation of adults who grew up in a toxic environment is the embodiment of their individual characteristics, delayed due to circumstances. This is a process in which a person listens to himself, discovers his desires and fulfills them. During separation, the psyche "allows" itself to have and show those qualities that were previously forbidden by the parents. nine0003

At the same time, we renounce what was instilled in us by force. From an unloved profession, an unloved partner, an unloved lifestyle and appearance, behavior in society that does not suit us. Artificially imposed attitudes and values ​​begin to gradually fall away, like an unnecessary husk.

Individuation can be compared to the work of a sculptor who removes unnecessary material to give a stone a new shape. When a person is in symbiosis with his parents, he bears the unnecessary burden of their problems, projections, aggression, hatred. And in the process of separation, he gradually sheds the excess, leaving what belongs to him - his individuality. nine0003


Finding individuality is the process of accepting one's strengths and characteristics without trying to change them to please anyone. Transformation concerns the attitude towards the body, sexuality, peculiarities of thinking, humor and spontaneity, appearance, hobbies, forms of recreation, work and career, everything else.

In other words, individuation is finding our own unique life that suits us. This process is endless, it goes on for years, as we are constantly learning something, gaining new experience and continuing to change. nine0003

A person separated from toxic parents joins a huge stream of people who independently determine their lives. Individuation becomes a constant normal process of self-knowledge, the manifestation of one's abilities and talents, the discovery of new qualities in oneself during the passage of age transitions (30 years, 40 years, 50, 60, and so on).


The process of returning to oneself is often accompanied by fears, and this is normal. Here are the moments that make you anxious and afraid. nine0003

Temp. Any change frightens the psyche. Accordingly, the faster the changes, the stronger the fears. Therefore, the psyche has developed a protective balance: we separate and go through individuation at a pace acceptable to our mental apparatus. If we move slowly, we are not satisfied with the low speed. If too fast, fear makes us slow down. Everyone finds their golden mean.

Feeling of unreality. Another feeling that often accompanies individuation is the feeling of the unreality of what is happening. For example, a man who separates from his mother becomes more active at work, offering a solution to a problem the department is facing. He has a desire to take care of his physical form. Tastes in food change, a new hobby appears. At the same time, he feels these changes as something that is not happening to him. nine0003

It's like watching a movie where he suddenly becomes the main character living a different life. This sense of unreality is natural and should not be feared. It means that the psyche is actively rebuilt, assimilating new experience. This is a marker confirming that a person is being "reassembled" in accordance with his own goals and desires, this is how separation and individuation work, which work simultaneously.


The fears listed above are growing pains. If you are scared when separating from toxic parents, then you are on the right track and can praise and cheer yourself up. He who does not separate is not afraid! nine0003

Individuation is like a second birth. Just as a woman first bears a fetus, and then worries when a child is born, so we first “breed” the desire to separate, and then we worry, “giving birth” to ourselves anew.

And with time the psyche becomes more whole. It does not conflict with itself and is therefore more stable. It is easier for us to endure anxieties, we spend less energy on them. Resources are channeled into productive channels, and as a result, we feel empowered to do business, earn money, build relationships, and live.

Learn more