How to let go of something

12 Tips for Letting Go of the Past

One thing that connects us as human beings is our ability to feel pain. Whether that pain is physical or emotional, we all have experiences of being hurt. What separates us though, is how we deal with that pain.

Experts have found that when emotional pain prevents you from healing from a situation, it’s a sign that we aren’t moving forward in a growth-oriented way.

One of the best ways to heal from hurts is to learn lessons from the situation and use those to focus on growth and forward momentum. If we get stuck in thinking about what “should have been,” we can become immobilized in painful feelings and memories.

If you’re trying to move forward from a painful experience, but you’re not sure how to get started, here are 12 tips to help you let go.

1. Create a positive mantra to counter the painful thoughts

How you talk to yourself can either move you forward or keep you stuck. Often, having a mantra that you tell yourself in times of emotional pain can help you reframe your thoughts.

For example, says clinical psychologist Carla Manly, PhD, instead of getting stuck in, “I can’t believe this happened to me!” try a positive mantra such as, “I am fortunate to be able to find a new path in life — one that is good for me.”

2. Create physical distance

It’s not uncommon to hear someone say that you should distance yourself from the person or situation that is causing you to be upset.

According to clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, PhD, that’s not such a bad idea. “Creating physical or psychological distance between ourselves and the person or situation can help with letting go for the simple reason that we are not having to think about it, process it, or being reminded of it as much,” she explains.

3. Do your own work

Focusing on yourself is important. You have to make the choice to address the hurt that you’ve experienced. When you think about a person who caused you pain, bring yourself back to the present. Then, focus on something that you’re grateful for.

4. Practice mindfulness

The more we can bring our focus to the present moment, says Lisa Olivera, a licensed marriage and family therapist, the less impact our past or future has on us.

“When we start practicing being present, our hurts have less control over us, and we have more freedom to choose how we want to respond to our lives,” she adds.

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5. Be gentle with yourself

If your first response to not being able to let go of a painful situation is to criticize yourself, it’s time to show yourself some kindness and compassion.

Olivera says this looks like treating ourselves like we would treat a friend, offering ourselves self-compassion, and avoiding comparisons between our journey and those of others.

“Hurt is inevitable, and we may not be able to able to avoid pain; however, we can choose to treat ourselves kindly and lovingly when it comes,” Olivera explains.

6. Allow the negative emotions to flow

If you’re fear of feeling negative emotions is causing you to avoid them, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, Durvasula says that many times, people are afraid of feelings such as grief, anger, disappointment, or sadness.

Rather than feeling them, people just try to shut them out, which can disrupt the process of letting go. “These negative emotions are like riptides,” explains Durvasula. “Let them flow out of you… It may require mental health intervention, but fighting them can leave you stuck,” she adds.

7. Accept that the other person may not apologize

Waiting for an apology from the person who hurt you will slow down the process of letting go. If you’re experiencing hurt and pain, it’s important you take care of your own healing, which may mean accepting that the person who hurt you isn’t going to apologize.

8. Engage in self-care

When we are hurting, it often feels like there is nothing but hurt. Olivera says practicing self-care can look like setting boundaries, saying no, doing the things that bring us joy and comfort, and listening to our own needs first.

“The more we can implement self-care into our daily lives, the more empowered we are. From that space, our hurts don’t feel as overwhelming,” she adds.

9. Surround yourself with people who fill you up

This simple yet powerful tip can help carry you through a lot of hurt.

We can’t do life alone, and we can’t expect ourselves to get through our hurts alone, either, explains Manly. “Allowing ourselves to lean on loved ones and their support is such a wonderful way of not only limiting isolation but of reminding us of the good that is in our lives.”

10. Give yourself permission to talk about it

When you’re dealing with painful feelings or a situation that hurt you, it’s important to give yourself permission to talk about it.

Durvasula says sometimes people can’t let go because they feel they aren’t allowed to talk about it. “This may be because the people around them no longer want to hear about it or [the person is] embarrassed or ashamed to keep talking about it,” she explains.

But talking it out is important. That’s why Durvasula recommends finding a friend or therapist who is patient and accepting as well as willing to be your sounding board.

11. Give yourself permission to forgive

Since waiting for the other person to apologize can stall the process of letting go, you may have to work on your own forgiveness.

Forgiveness is vital to the healing process because it allows you to let go of anger, guilt, shame, sadness, or any other feeling you may be experiencing and move on.

12. Seek professional help

If you’re struggling to let go of a painful experience, you may benefit from talking to a professional. Sometimes it’s difficult to implement these tips on your own, and you need an experienced professional to help guide you through the process.

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To let go of past hurts, you need to make the conscious decision to take control of the situation. However, this can take time and practice. Be kind to yourself as your practice refocusing how you see the situation, and celebrate the small victories you have.

How To Let Things Go: 8 Ways to Move On

We’ve all have experienced physical and emotional pain at some point in our lives. It’s completely human to feel frustrated because of that pain. The difference is that some people hold on to those hurtful experiences and find it harder to move on with their lives than others. It’s natural to get stuck and relive your experience, but at some point, you need to stop thinking about the things that could or should have been and focus on the present. It’s time to learn how to let things go

In the long run, if you hold to that pain, you could hurt yourself even more. It’s vital to learn how to deal with that pain, put that individual situation in the past, and heal yourself by keeping only the things that’ll help you grow and move forward. This may sound easy, but you and I know that letting go can be one of the hardest things to do.

It’s time to stop going back and reliving our pain. Time to heal and free our minds from negative thoughts and emotions that hold us back from a happy and full life. So, keep on reading, and you’ll find tips on how to let things go. They’ll help you stop struggling with past emotions and leave behind all the previous bad experiences that hunt you.

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1. Put your pain into words

When you find yourself dealing with pain and frustration, don’t repress your emotions. Allow yourself to feel your negative emotions in the same way you do with the positive ones. It’s part of human nature to feel down at times and go through a grief process, but it isn’t healthy to let those feelings take over you and build new emotions.

Let your feelings out and express the things that make you hurt in whatever way you want. Find your voice and let your words be heard. Talk out to your friends, write down your thoughts, say them out loud, even if nobody is hearing, scream, cry, and do whatever you need to free yourself from the pain. This will help you understand how you really feel about the situation and why it hurts you so that you can accept it and put it in the past.

2. Make the commitment to let go

When you feel that those negative emotions are taking up too much space in your heart and mind, to make them go again once and for all, you have to start by consciously deciding that you want to make a change. To learn how to let things go requires a conscious commitment and decision. Make a commitment to yourself and to your decision. From that moment, try to stop reliving past experiences. Even if at first it’s hard, in time you’ll see your progress and how far you’ve come since you made this choice.

Willpower is crucial here. Whenever you feel like going over the details of a situation or frustrating again over the things that hurt you, deviate your thoughts and remember your commitment. Embrace a new healthy way of living and focus on learning from those painful situations.

3. Accept things as they are

It’s pretty common to find yourself reliving painful situations and going over every detail that makes you hurt. Wishing that these moments were different will only prevent you from living a full life. Unfortunately, no one can undo the past, there’s nothing that you can do to change previous outcomes. Accept the facts and stop going back to a moment that will forever be the same.

There’s no use in going back to a story with the same end: pain. This will only make you relive that pain and even hurt yourself even more. Instead of filling your mind with the same story, what you can do is acknowledge the situation and be prepared for the future. Suppose you ever find yourself in a similar situation. You’ll know how to handle things better so that you don’t end up hurting once again.

4. Stop blaming others

Most of the time, the easiest way to deal with hurtful situations is to blame other people. You can keep thinking that somebody did wrong by you and the other person might think the same way about you. It can even feel good to victimize yourself, wash your hands from responsibility, and put it on someone that might or might not be at fault.

In situations like these, it’s reasonable to expect an apology, make them acknowledge what they did, or feel the need for that person to suffer in the same way as you are. The truth is that by blaming someone else for your pain, you’re giving them the power to control your emotions. This only sabotages you from letting go.

Like I mentioned before, you need to accept that things are as they are and that blaming other people with not change what happened. So, stop blaming other people, take your role in the situation, and put it behind.

5. Forgive yourself and others

Part of learning how to let things go is knowing how to forgive yourself and others. When you stop blaming others and taking responsibility for your role in a specific situation, you can move on to forgiveness.

Resenting yourself or other people will only keep you stuck in your painful feelings. The only one who suffers when you’re unwilling to forgive is yourself. Remember that by forgiving others, what you’re actually doing is freeing yourself from negative emotions. Put yourself in the shoes of the other and look at things from their perspective to understand how they might feel. So, don’t just say that you forgive someone, but fully let go of those feelings of blame and anger towards them.

The same thing applies to you. If you blame yourself for your own hurt, accept that you can no longer change the situation. Beating yourself up only keeps you back from letting new things come and moving forward with your life. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion in the same way that you would treat someone on your position. Be gentle, learn how to forgive, forgive, and keep only with you the lessons that you learn from your mistake.

6. Find support in people who fulfill you

Surround yourself with people who love you and want nothing but good things for you. Remember that these people, either your friends or your family, will always be there for you.

Find support in the ones who fulfill you, talk to them, and share how you feel. Get every painful feeling out of your system, knowing that you’re in an environment of trust. Hear them out as they give you an outsider’s point of view that will help you see the situation from a different perspective. Take their opinions positively and with an open mind even if they’re not the same as yours.

If you find yourself living with people who don’t contribute positively to your life, the best thing you can do is take some distance from them. Sometimes creating this space between you and unnecessary people can be a big step for letting go.


Focus on the things that give you joy right now

I know that learning how to let things go can be hard, so to make all this process more comfortable, you should focus on the present day and try to make the best out of it. Go on with your day with positive thoughts and activities that feel good for you. Whenever you feel like the pain is taking over, distract yourself with the things that give you joy at the moment.

Putting the past behind by focusing on the here and now will make space for new experiences. This will empty your mind from all the negative emotions and make room for you to build new thoughts for growth. You’ll soon realize that letting go was the best choice you could’ve made as you’ll welcome joy and happiness into your life with open arms.

8. Don’t be scare to seek professional help

If you’re having a hard time letting go of the things that hurt you, there are alternative options that you can do. For starters, some professionals help people overcome painful experiences. Many people have taboos about going to a therapist. Still, there’s nothing wrong with turning to a professional, and there’s no reason to be ashamed of going. Many people should talk things out with someone they don’t know instead of recurring to a friend or trying to do it by themselves.

There are many benefits that you can get from going to an expert, not only for letting go of a bad experience and guiding you through your overcoming process, but it will give you a lot of positive things that you can apply in your daily life. Who knows, maybe it’ll even help you with something you didn’t even you were struggling with.

You can also try a guided meditation for letting go to help train you to let go of difficult experiences in between visits with a professional.

How to let go of the situation and bring harmony back into your life

Anita Dmitrieva, master of short-term systemic psychotherapy, practical psychologist, author of trainings and seminars, tells.

Dead ends arise in our lives all the time. We are haunted by economic storms, environmental disasters, and every day there is a chance to meet at least one of almost eight billion natural phenomena. Each with their own beliefs, plans, preferences and desires, at different ages and moods. nine0003

Expectations are at odds with reality.

Something went wrong.

The situation is out of control.

Hopes were not justified.

The result obtained differs from the original goal.

Familiar situations?

Any of these evokes negative emotions, at least impotence and irritation, and at the most – anger. At such moments, you dream that all this will end or change immediately. And you definitely want to stop worrying. And thoughts are constantly spinning in the same plane, without any hope of changing the plate. And generous imagination, being in uncertainty, paints pictures of consequences. One is grander than the other. nine0003

How can one be confident in something and maintain psychological stability in such an environment?

There are effective ways to let go of the situation, start a new report and get out of the swamp of worry and anxiety.

Consider the 4 stages of parting with the problem.

Stage 1. Accept reality.

Just because something exists doesn't mean that it has to please you, be fair or unfair. But that also doesn't mean you won't try to change things. You need to realize the limitations of your own strengths and capabilities and find out what depends on you personally and what you cannot influence. nine0003

Write an accurate factual description of the situation. Determine your responsibilities, competencies, abilities, information that you possess. If the situation is related to someone else, then share responsibility for the result with him. You cannot be responsible for the choices, decisions, or actions of another person unless it is your young child.

Stage 2. Acknowledge your negative emotions and respond to them in a socially acceptable way.

State how you feel about the situation. Such certainty will immediately bring relief. Use art therapy (especially plasticine and paints), music therapy, dancing. If necessary, throw out anger and irritation, do not spare soft toys and pillows - your nervous system will be grateful to you. nine0003

Stage 3. Learn to deal with anxious thoughts.

- accept uncertainty

You can't know anything for sure. Uncertainty is in everything that surrounds us, except for what we personally can influence.

Useful exercise : filling with uncertainty. Repeat to yourself phrases that characterize the unpredictable reality around you. In any sequence and options that are closest to you. For example:

"I'm not sure about her decision"

"I don't know how things will turn out"

"I can't predict the weather or the dollar"

"I'm not responsible for my boss's mood"

"Totally incomprehensible how long the crisis will last”

Do it every day, at the same time, without breaks and days off, for at least 15 minutes (according to the alarm clock) for at least two weeks in a row.

Through this exercise, you will get used to the fact that everything around you is full of uncertainty, you will make less demands on everyone and everything that surrounds you and begin to enjoy pleasant surprises. nine0003

- do not predict the future if it depends not only on you

Catch yourself thinking: "I predict the future" and return to the present for action.

- do not guess other people's thoughts

They may turn out to be completely unexpected. Check, all attempts at predictions may be in vain. Trust only the obvious facts.

- do not think about troubles and your reaction to them

Everything may or may not happen with an indeterminate probability. nine0003

- don't be fascinated so as not to be disappointed

Our expectations and interpretations cannot be taken as reliable reality. After all, the perception of events by one person is not at all a fact for another. Take into account only what can be objectively verified or proven.

- use relaxation techniques.

Stage 4. Find advantages and new opportunities.

The situation may seem like a disaster. However, in each failure there is only a fraction of the loss, the rest is experience, conclusions, prospects and opportunities. Thank those who gave you this knowledge and skills. Even if bitterness makes you wipe your tears, you may have been saved from big problems. Thank yourself for the effort you put into the solution. Don't devalue your work. Look for achievements. nine0003

Provide yourself with an emotional resource. Find and write down all the positives and benefits that you have received or see in the situation. Everything you find will evoke positive emotions in you, keep you from falling into despondency and become your emotional support in the future.

Mentally consult with your best friend, a look from the outside can open up even more options for positive emotions.

Be consistent and rational on your way to harmony.

If at the first stage you need professional help, contact a psychologist. It's faster and more reliable. nine0003

Anita Dmitrieva ( ) - master of short-term systemic psychotherapy (Mental Research Institute California USA), practical psychologist, author of trainings and seminars ("The Art of Ecological Communication", "Harmonious partnership", "Pleasure from work", "Confidence training"), yoga practitioner.

How to let go of the past and forgive yourself

Forgiveness is a process. In order to forgive yourself for your own past, it will take more than one day, and sometimes more than one month. However, no matter how long it takes you to start from scratch, the main thing is that you really want it. We offer a few simple steps to help you leave the past in the past and embark on a new and exciting journey called a fulfilling life with a light heart. nine0003

Mistakes are experiences too

The reason most of us feel guilty or ashamed of past actions is very simple: decisions made in the past no longer match our moral beliefs in the present. We have changed, and now we evaluate what we did and said in the past, from the position of ourselves today. The fact that we have grown and changed is already a reason for pride. So, in fact, the mistakes made once became the “key” to our development - it was they and the feeling of shame for them that determined our morality today. We have learned from our own bitter experience that it is impossible to act as we did, and therefore in the future we will not repeat unfortunate mistakes. nine0003

The past is in the past

At first glance, this statement seems obvious and therefore banal, but when it comes to real life, we forget about it and live the same scenario over and over again. We are trying to do the impossible, namely, to change the past, which cannot be "restored" for one simple reason - the past no longer exists. The only way out is to accept the past as it is. Acceptance is the only way to recovery. nine0003

Make a list of what you would like to "redo"

We never attach importance to this "list". And meanwhile, this is a fairly effective psychological move. Imagine that you have the opportunity to go back a few hours in the past and act differently than you did the first time. Think about what you would do now, what would you say to someone you once offended, or maybe keep silent at all, go a different path, choose a different profession, and so on - you never know the things that we regret years later . Surprising as it may seem, it is precisely such a “debriefing” that will help us get rid of the internal stress accumulated over the years, let off steam, and relax. Allow yourself to “rewind the tape”, analyze your mistakes: a meticulous analysis is a guarantee that in the future you will be able to avoid unpleasant situations. nine0003

Continue to act in accordance with your moral values ​​

The best thing you can do to say goodbye to your past and stop feeling guilty is to start replacing your negative thoughts with positive and harmonious ones without wasting a minute. Thanks to this, sooner or later you will come to the realization that you can manage almost any situation the way you want it. In addition, it will help you enjoy the decisions you make, and seeing a positive result - be proud of yourself. Not so bad for raising self-esteem, you see. nine0003

Identify the reasons for your reflection

Once again, returning to the past that burdens you is certainly a difficult and unpleasant task. However, you still have to overcome yourself, because only by turning to face your fears, you can overcome them once and for all. Highlight those moments that are the most unpleasant, oppressive for you, and look at them from the side. Imagine that a situation that once caused you a lot of pain is just an abstract story, not your personal one. Drop emotions, work with the "model" of the situation, not the situation. nine0003

Accept the obvious

Some memories that make us uncomfortable are not easy to deal with the first time. This will require a separate and rather lengthy work. Psychologists call this "general cleaning of the mind." This means that the time has come to talk openly with yourself about your experiences, not to be afraid of the past, but to try to cope with it. Yes, you made a mistake, because you are not a machine, but a living person. You have the right to make mistakes, you are morally responsible for them, but this does not mean that you should devote the rest of your life to self-flagellation. nine0003

Turn the page

As mentioned above, the past is gone, realize that it is not possible to completely correct the situation in the present. You did everything in your power to make it better, that's all. The present is the best excuse to turn the page and start over. Life goes on. Your past, no matter how terrible it may have been, helped you become who you are today. Learning to be thankful for the lesson taught is an important step towards forgiving yourself. nine0003

Give yourself a break

It takes a few tries before you can master a skill, like riding a bike.

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