The Art of Letting Things Go

Where “things” are words, material possessions, and feelings.

Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

As humans, we tend to focus more on what we don’t have, whether it is money, family and friends, or even feelings.

But have you ever thought that letting things go is more important than focusing on how to get more? It can even help you with achieving the same goal, which is ultimately getting what you want.

Initially, it may sound like an oxymoron that you can get more by having less, but there are certain things that once you “let go of them”, your life can be more full, and you will be on the path of achieving mental success if not also monetary. So, here are three of them.

#1 Letting go of words

I am sure that, whether it’s consciously or not, you may have found yourself talking without paying much attention to what other people say during a discussion. It’s often that many of us are in conversations only to respond to what others say but not listen. However, talking less and listening more can have a significantly positive impact on your daily life and there are plenty of studies and articles — scientific or otherwise — that discuss and prove that.

For example, in a pilot study, it was found that people enjoyed their conversations more when they talked less than their partners did. Sandstrom et al. (2016), the authors of the study, concluded this after examining data about 473 conversations of 36 individuals through an app called “My Social Ties”. What says this about the importance of you exercising “Letting go of words” systematically is that talking less can help you create happy interactions with others, and ultimately make you more likable to other people, too.

#2 Letting go of material possessions

The first thing that may cross your mind after reading “Letting go of material things” is that you have to become a minimalist. However, there is no need for that if you don’t want to. You just have to practice consciousness more. Just ask yourself: How often do you come across things that you don’t use and end up realizing they were impulse buys? You can better understand this when you lose something and in the process of searching for it, you find things in your room or house that you didn’t even remember buying and most probably you don’t need them, too.

#3 Letting go of feelings

The best way to achieve this is by purposefully spending time alone with yourself. During that time, you can develop routines that will help you detach yourself from unwanted feelings such as anxiety. Examples of such routines are meditation and walking sessions. For meditation specifically, there are mobile apps that can help you create such a routine; you can look for example the app “Headspace”. However, according to my experience, the process of emptying your mind of unwanted feelings works best when is practiced without devices, as they create distractions and, in many cases, contribute to the creation of feelings like anxiety. I know it may feel difficult since we are in the midst of a global pandemic, but, as many others have done, try to turn this into an opportunity.

And remember, if you embark on a journey to start letting go of these things, try to be patient with yourself and trust the process, as it is no different from mastering an art.

References

Sandstrom GM, Tseng VWS, Costa J, Okeke F, Choudhury T, et al. (2016) Talking Less during Social Interactions Predicts Enjoyment: A Mobile Sensing Pilot Study. PLOS ONE 11(7): e0158834.

Environment| Sustainability| Life|| LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/athina-kontolati

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