8 Powerful Ways to Let Go and Feel Less Pain

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“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Would you agree that we create and replay problems because they give us a sense of identity?  We replay these old stories like a broken record, repeating over and over painful memories, sad stories or limiting beliefs.

Enough already! Aren’t you tired of that song yet?

Why do we hold onto things that cause us pain?  Why do we hold onto stories that do not serve us beneficially?

After listening to the same song over and over even the sanest person’s fluid dance eventually become disjointed and anxious.  Fears, depression, anxiety, addictions, avoidance, and jealousy are all outpoured from the dance.

So why do we continue to play the record?  Let’s look at 8 ways to rewrite a new song.

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Finding You & Letting Go:

1.  Don’t be afraid to let go of relationships that no longer serve you

There is an end to all things no matter how much we want to hold on to them.”

Your values, morals, and interests are likely different than what they were 10 years ago.

Have you made the appropriate changes to keep up with your shifting values?  Are you still trying to be the same person you were when you were 25, hanging out with the same people?  Is it possible that your routines are no longer in line with your values?

Who you hang out with has a great impact on the person you are and the person you become.  For example, if you have developed an interest in being healthy, instead of feeling obligated to continue your usual routines of chicken wings and beer at the pub you could consider joining a running group or a sports team.

If certain relationships are negative or unhealthy you might want to realign yourself.  It’s okay to admit you’ve changed and that a relationship might not be in line with where you are or want to be.

Don’t be afraid to get out and meet new people.

Don’t beat yourself up about it, put yourself out there.  Be you and don’t apologize for who you are or for any changes you have made.

 2. Accept that people grow apart

“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.”

Ally Condie

Acceptance of change doesn’t mean that you forget those who were important to you. It just means  you understand that nothing in life is permanent, everything is in a constant state of flux, people change, people grow apart, sometimes they find their way back to each other and sometimes they don’t. In saying goodbye you can always open up the door to say hello to someone else.

This can be hard to accept, some friends we’ve known since grade school, but time changes us all and this relationship might clash with who you are now, or it may simply just be over.  Trying to keep it alive could turn into an awkward un-enjoyable chore, and that’s not what friendship is all about.

3.  If you are carrying anger or resentment.  It’s time to move on.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”


Anger arises when our minds experience unpleasantness.  Our mind experiences unpleasantness when something conflicts with our mental stories of right or wrong, good or bad, fault, blame, who did what.  The problem with reliving this mental story is every time you do the ending gets a little bit worse.

Anger leads to heaps of problems; in body, mind, and spirit.  Anger is a destructive mind with the sole intent to harm, but in the end, like a boomerang, it flies right back at you.

The path to forgiveness can be a long road of mindfulness, counseling, and reflection, but we can get there.  See 10 tips on how to forgive.

4.  Accept what is 

“Today I will not stress over things I can’t control”

Accept that life is not always meant to be perfect.  Learn to live, laugh at yourself, and stop giving yourself such mental anguish by worrying about all the things you cannot change.

Think about all the things in life you love, or can change, and put your mental energies towards creating positive changes.

In letting go we can remember all the experiences that helped shape us into who we are. The experiences that allowed us to laugh and cry.  Find power to smile at the past, but leave it there, in the past where it belongs.  Don’t dwell, fixate or give your pain too much attention.

We need to embrace the present moment.  Live without fear of the future or regrets from the past and truly accept the present moment and everything beautiful upon you right now.

5. Take some space

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”

C. Joybell C.

Sometimes when you are in a thick fog of a heavy problem you can’t see clearly.  Take some space and gain some clarity to see what your values are. Evaluate if you are on the right path and generate some stillness, silence, and peace which will equip with you better tools to deal with your problems.

What do you want out of life?  And I don’t mean what does your spouse want, or your kids or friends or co-workers, what do YOU want?

If need be, take a small break from your friends, hobbies, and routines; generate some stillness in your life, remove distractions and connect with your inner voice. (A good way to do this is through a meditation practice.) When you come back you might see things completely differently.

6. Admit your faults

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”

Robert Anthony

Stop being the victim.  You are the only person who can invoke change in your life.

I’m sure you’re blaming or clinging to your ex-boyfriend, your parents, your friends, anyone who ever betrayed you, hurt you or wronged you.   Why are you allowing these past experiences to have such power over you?

Is anyone else really responsible for how you feel inside?  Really ask yourself that question, we all love to blame and truly we believe somehow others have control over our experiences.

Your ways, opinions, and views are not the only way, and maybe not the best way.  Just because someone’s actions offended you and didn’t align with what you deemed as best for you doesn’t mean they are wrong. Look inward and gauge your reactions, chances are you’re stuck to your views.

Breaking free from our limiting views creates room for peace and happiness.

7. Look inside

“Ditch the timeline you think you should be following Trust that everything is unfolding as it should.”

Michelle Maros

Letting go is up to you.  Whatever letting go means to you, you are in control.  For me letting go means to stop the mental story in my head.  It’s exhausting. All the fixating, dwelling, and exaggerating.  I’m stuck in a world of mental busyness and constant distractions.

For me, practicing mindfulness and meditation are the keys to letting go of anything that is no longer serving me.  I can truly gain the insight to watch my mind and see how my habitual thoughts keep me trapped in old sad stories or current limiting beliefs.

Through meditation, I can relax the energy in my mind, and this physical release is like nothing else I have ever experienced.

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8. Take chances

You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out, you will never know there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something, may be why you don’t have something better.”

C. JoyBell

So often we base our decisions on the emotion of fear instead of the emotion of joy.  When you are faced with big or a little decision do you base your decisions on what will thrill you or do you base your decisions on the fear of losing a, b or c?  Chances are living a life based on fear might leave you drowning in a pool of regrets, dwelling on old decisions you just can’t seem to let go of.

So next time you are faced with a decision, whether big or small, ask yourself, will this thrill me or am I playing it safe?  There is no right or wrong answer, but just asking the question sometimes is the answer.

There is one goal of all humans and that is the desire for happiness. To allow happiness to find us at this very moment, right now, we need to start to let go of what is holding us back.  Let go, relax, and stop taking life so seriously.

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