40 Ways to Let Go and Feel Less Pain

Eckhart Tolle believes we create and maintain problems because they give us a sense of identity. Perhaps this explains why we often hold onto our pain far beyond its ability to serve us.

We replay past mistakes over and over again in our head, allowing feelings of shame and regret to shape our actions in the present. We cling to frustration and worry about the future, as if the act of fixation somehow gives us power. We hold stress in our minds and bodies, potentially creating serious health issues, and accept that state of tension as the norm.

Though it may sound simple, Ajahn Chah’s advice speaks volumes:

“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.”

There will never be a time when life is simple. There will always be time to practice accepting that. Every moment is a chance to let go and feel peaceful. Here are 40 ideas to get started:

Let Go Of Frustration with Yourself/Your Life

1. Learn a new skill instead of dwelling on the skills you never mastered.

2. Change your perception—see the root cause as a blessing in disguise.

3. Cry it out. According to Dr. William Frey II, PH.D., biochemist at the Ramset Medical Center in Minneapolis crying away your negative feelings releases harmful chemicals that build up in your body due to stress.

4. Channel your discontent into an immediate positive action—make some calls about new job opportunities, or walk to the community center to volunteer.

5. Use meditation or yoga to bring you into the present moment (instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.)

6. Make a list of your accomplishments—even the small ones— and add to it daily.You’ll have to let go of a little discontentment to make space for this self satisfaction.

7. Visualize a box in your head labeled “Expectations.” Whenever you start dwelling on how things should be or should have been, mentally shelve the thoughts in this box.

8. Engage in a physical activity. Exercise decreases stress hormones and increases endorphins, chemicals that improve your state of mind.

9. Focus all your energy on something you can actually control, instead of dwelling on things you can’t.

10. Express your feelings through a creative outlet, like blogging or painting. Add this to your to-do list and cross it off when you’re done. This will be a visual reminder that you have actively chosen to release these feelings.

Let go of Anger and Bitterness

11. Feel it fully. If you stifle your feelings, they may leak out and affect everyone around you—not just the person who inspired your anger. Before you can let go of any emotion you have to feel it fully.

12. Give yourself a rant window. Let yourself vent for a day before confronting the person who troubled you. This may diffuse the hostility and give you time to plan a rational confrontation.

13. Remind yourself that anger hurts you more than the person who upset you, and visualize it melting away as an act of kindness to yourself.

14. If possible, express your anger to the person who offended youCommunicating how you feel may help you move on. Keep in mind that you can’t control how to offender responds; you can only control how clearly and kindly you express yourself.

15. Take responsibility. Many times when you’re angry, you focus on what someone else did that was wrong—which essentially gives away your power. When you focus on what youcould have done better, you often feel empowered and less bitter.

16. Put yourself in the offender’s shoes. We all make mistakes; and odds are you could have easily slipped up just like your husband, father, or friend did. Compassion dissolves anger.

17. Metaphorically throw it away; i.e., jog with a backpack full of tennis balls. After you’ve built up a bit of rush, toss the balls one by one, labeling each as a part of your anger. (You’ll need to retrieve these—litter angers the earth!)

18. Use a stress ball, and express your anger physically and vocally when you use it.Make a scrunched up face or grunt. You may feel silly, but this allows you to actually express what you’re feeling inside.

19. Wear a rubber band on your wrist, and gently flick it when you start obsessing on angry thoughts. This trains your mind to associate that type of persistent negativity with something unpleasant.

20. Remind yourself these are your only three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it. These acts create happiness; holding onto bitterness never does.

Let Go Of Past Relationships

21. Identify what the experience taught you to help develop a sense of closure.

22. Write everything you want to express in a letter. Even if you choose not to send it, clarifying your feelings will help you come to terms with reality as it is now.

23. Remember both the good and the bad. Even if appears this way now, the past was not perfect. Acknowledging this may minimize your sense of loss. As Laura Oliver says, “It’s easier to let go of a human than a hero.”

24. Un-romanticize the way you view love. Of course you’ll feel devastated if you believe you lost your soul mate. If you think you can find a love that amazing or better again it will be easier to move on.

25. Visualize an empowered single you—the person you were before meeting your last love. That person was pretty awesome, and now you have the chance to be him or her again.

26. Create a space that reflects your present reality. Take down his pictures; delete her emails from your saved folder.

27. Reward yourself for small acts of acceptance. Get a facial after you delete his number from your phone, or head out with friends after putting all her things in a box.

28. Hang this statement somewhere you can see it. “Loving myself means letting go.”

29. Replace your emotional thoughts with facts. When you think, “I’ll never feel loved again!” don’t resist that feeling. Instead, move on to another thought, like “I learned a new song for karaoke tonight.”

30. Use the silly voice technique. According to Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap, swapping the voice in your head with a cartoon voice will help take back power from the troubling thought.

Let Go Of Stress

31. Use a deep breathing technique, like ujayii, to soothe yourself and seep into the present moment.

32. Immerse yourself in a group activity. Enjoying the people in your life may help put your problems in perspective.

33. Consider this quotation by Eckhart Tolle: “Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.” Questioning how your stress serves you may help you let it go.

34. Metaphorically release it. Write down all your stresses and toss the paper into your fireplace.

35. Replace your thoughts. Notice when you begin thinking about something that stresses you so you can shift your thought process to something more pleasant—like your passion for your hobby.

36. Take a sauna break. Studies reveal that people who go to sauna at least twice a week for 10-30 minutes are less stressed after work than others with similar jobs who don’t.

37. Imagine your life 10 years from now. Then look 20 years into the future, and then 30. Realize that many of the things you’re worrying about don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

38. Organize your desk. According to Georgia Witkin, assistant director of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, completing a small task increases your sense of control and decreases your stress level.

39. Use it up. Make two lists: one with the root causes of your stress, and one with actions to address them. As you complete these tasks, visualize yourself utilizing and depleting your “stress supply.”

40. Laugh it out. Research shows that laughter soothes tension, improves your immune system, and even eases pain. If you can’t relax for long, start with just ten minutes watching a funny video on YouTube.

It’s a long list, but there’s much left to be said! Can you think of anything to add to this list—other areas of life where we need to practice letting go, and other techniques to start doing it right now?

Can we escape from our biology and become more evolved?

Neuroplasticity challenges the idea that brain...

Image via Wikipedia

My blog today is written from a place of seeing the pain that some people close to me are going through……..love and light to them.

Can we escape from our biology and become more evolved? – To coin a very well known phrase “YES WE CAN”

Why is it that when 2 factory workers sit side by side and are exposed to the same carcinogenic chemicals for 20 years that one manifests cancer and the other doesn’t? Maybe, just maybe, there is some kind of internal order at work that supersedes the  continual environmental exposure to harmful chemicals which are known to genetically alter tissue. Is it possible that managing our own internal environment, regardless of the external environment we can maintain or change our genes?

There is a growing body of studies & evidence that points to the effect of stress on our bodies and it points to the fact that most species live in a primitive state of survival. This limits our evolution as the chemicals of stress alter our internal state and pull the trigger of cellular breakdown thus chronic long term stress weakens our bodies. Over a period of time we begin to like and cannot shake the internal state of turmoil and we rely on the chemical state that drives us to experience confusion, unhappiness, aggression even depression etc.

So, why do we cling to relationships or jobs that that logically no longer work for us? If it is the conditions of our job that we dislike so much, why don’t we just get another one? If there is something in our personal life that causes us to suffer, why don’t we change it? why does changing ourselves and our conditions in life seem so hard?

The answer to those questions are that we choose to remain in the same circumstances because we become addicted to the emotional state they produce and the chemicals that arouse that state of being. Is change easy? For most people I would say the answer to that is no which is why some people choose to stay in situations that produce the kind of troubled states of mind that plague them for their entire lives – Ouch, that’s gotta hurt!  People choose this state of ‘ being stuck’ partly because of genetics and partly because a part of their brain has become hardwired by their repeated thoughts and reactions that limits their vision of what is possible. Everyone probably knows someone that isn’t happy unless they are unhappy !

When it comes to evolution, change is the only element that is universal, or consistent to all species on earth. To evolve is to change by adapting to the environment. Our environment as human beings is everything that makes up our lives. You know, all those complex circumstances that involve us, our loved ones, social status, where we live, what we do for a living, how we react to those around us & even the times we live in.

When we change something in our life, we have to make it different than it would be if we left it alone. To change is to become different, it means that we are no longer who we used to be. We have modified how we think, what we do, what we say, how we act and who we were being. Personal change takes an intentional act of will, and it usually means that something was making us uncomfortable enough to want to do things differently. To evolve is to overcome the conditions in our life by changing something about ourselves.

We have an innate ability to be neuroplastic – the ability to rewire and create new neural circuits to make substantial changes in the quality of our lives. Our ability to be neuroplastic is equivalent  to our ability to change our minds, to change ourselves and to change our perception of the world around us; that is, our reality. In order to accomplish this we have to change how the brain automatically and habitually works. When you effect neuroplasticity your brain has permanently changed; it neurologically tracked a new way to fire off circuits, by making new neurological patterns that work in a different pattern.

Here is a great example… what do you see when you first look at this image? Now, look at it again and what do you see?

Maybe you first saw a candlestick or maybe you saw 2 people looking at each other !

What you first see in the form of a picture will be what is the most familiar pattern in the shape you are looking at. Just above your ears, the temporal lobes (the brain’s center for decoding & recognsing objects) locks in a memory. The picture activates a few hundred million neurological circuits, which fire in a unique sequence and pattern throughout specific parts of your brain, and you are reminded of a candlestick or 2 people looking at each other – cool !

So, going back to neuroplasticity,  what if you saw the candlestick and I told you to no longer see that object and to see 2 people looking at each other instead. For you to accomplish that feat, your frontal lobe would have to force your brain to “cool off” the circuits that are related to candlesticks and reorganise it’s circuitary to imagine 2 people looking at each other instead. The ability to make the brain forgo it’s habitual internal wiring and fire in new patterns and combinations is how neuroplasticity allows us to change.

Breaking the habit of thinking, doing, feeling, perceiving or behaving is what allows you to see the world and see yourself differently. You change your mind by altering the brain’s typical firing pattern and by strengthening new chains of brain cell connections, and thus who you are has changed as well.  Umm, does this then mean that change, neuroplasticity and evolution all have similar meanings?

Put Yourself in Good Hands – Your Own !

www.chi-me.com.au