Why do we hold so tightly to things that no longer serve us? Whether physical objects, thoughts or emotions, it’s common to carry “stuff” that has long outgrown its purpose. Though it may have been valuable at one time, some things are simply no longer needed in our lives; not now, and probably not ever. Still, out of habit or genuine belief, we cling to the familiarity and false sense of need, frequently to the detriment of our physical and mental health.
Examples of unnecessary stuff could span many pages. It includes both tangible objects and emotions, too. Things like old grudges, false beliefs, clothing that has become too tight, and clutter displayed in plain sight are all examples of “stuff” it might be wise to finally let go. Physical objects are easy to clear as they’re a matter of discarding or donating unwanted items. It is the emotional attachment for the stuff that is different, warranting a deeper clearing of the emotions not visible on the surface.
Storing unwanted stuff begins at any age (some believe is inherited, too) and continues gradually over a lifetime. Affecting much of what we do, mental baggage remains in the background, ever present, growing heavier and heavier until it is no longer bearable. Layer upon layer, the stuff may even become entangled, causing situations more frustrating to unravel. The common expression, “carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders” is more accurate than you might realize. Though tipping points vary from person to person, the weight of old stuff eventually becomes intolerable, manifesting into the many ills and woes experienced by those unable to let things go.
Though letting go isn’t always easy, I have found it a necessary step to achieving balanced emotions and vibrant health. It isn’t a process that is completed overnight, but once becoming part of your awareness, can be worked on gradually over a period of time.
Even after feeling lighter, I find it crucial to frequently scan myself for unnecessary baggage, too. In this way, shedding no-longer-serving beliefs and other useless baggage becomes a lifelong process. I choose what to allow in my life, and which things it is finally time to let go. This liberation and freedom can be highly addictive. It becomes something most people welcome in, knowing the rewards are well worth the effort.
Some baggage can be difficult to release, requiring help from a coach or experienced practitioner to get to the root of blocks that are hard to let go. But other stuff is easy to clear, taking just a few minutes of your time.
A list of some of simpler things to release is found below, and you can use this list for some initial clearing and practice. See if you don’t feel a whole lot lighter after working through until the end, and be encouraged to continue the process after knowing how well you feel.
Work on letting go of the following of…
Trinkets, nic nacs, and unwanted collections
Unless collecting is your joy and passion, get rid of things that clutter your physical and mental space. Chances are you rarely look at much of it anyway, and feel a tremendous sense of lightness once it’s gone.
Books, board games, DVDs or unused media
Not all of them, just ones you no longer need. Creating space in a closet also creates space in the mind. More importantly, it rids the guilt and pressure of feeling the need to do those things, too.
Status symbol of any kind (car, home, membership, designer anything)
Discovering the why of a purchase aids greatly in the process of letting it go. Purchases made to satisfy the ego or impress others might need to go right away. Ridding symbols makes it easier to come home to one’s true self, bringing peace and calm with the new reality.
Old relationships, friends or distant relatives
Only those you realistically no longer see, nor want to see. This doesn’t mean you no longer care, just that you’ve let go of the effort of staying in touch. Releasing the burden of maintaining old and outdated friendships is tremendously liberating. Forgive yourself the guilt and strain of relationships that no longer contribute to your present life.
The need to be right, or have the last word
Remember back to the last time you engaged in a heated conversation or argument, and begin to tune in to the physical sensations you feel in your body, or shift in your emotions. Feel it? That’s why you need to let that stuff go.
Anger or resentment
When you feel anger or resentment, ask yourself whether the other party is worrying about the situation as much as you are. Upon discovering you’re the only party allowing in these emotions, realize it’s time to let them go. Why let someone else take up residence in your mind?
If happiness is a state of mind, just imagine the effects letting go can have on happiness! Your physical and body and mind will begin to say, “aaahhh” and you’ll be on track to being and feeling a whole lot better.
With much love,
As a coach, writer, recovered over-doer and busyness addict, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle while the mind tries to sabotage your success. In my journey to vibrant health, I created a personalized health system of nutrition and supplementation, lifestyle changes, and I retrained my mind and the energy of my body. I view my success as the formula to my happy, healthy life. I now empower other women to create their own personalized formulas, including the tools and strategies just right for them! Amazing life shifts come from our relationships. I look forward to helping you, too!