post written by: Angel Chernoff

9 Unconventional Ways to Let Go

9 Unconventional Ways to Let Go

by Vincent Nguyen of Self Stairway

Letting go is difficult, but it’s something you constantly have to do as you live from one day to the next.  It’s a necessary process of adapting to the ever-changing environment you live in – leaving behind the old to make way for the new.

There are many reasons you may want to let go sooner rather than later.  Maybe someone wants you to be someone you’re not, maybe you’ve had your trust broken too many times by the same person, or maybe you’ve simply been living a lifestyle that makes you unhappy.  The possibilities are obviously endless.

The idea of letting go can seem daunting, but it can be done if you approach letting go from an effective, creative perspective.  It’s not just telling yourself to “get your mind off of it by doing other things.”  That advice is too vague, and if it were that easy you’d already be doing it.

Let’s take a look at some unique approaches that work – ten unconventional ways to learn how to let go and move on with your life:

1.  Write down your troubles and torch them.

Pour your heart’s troubles out onto a sheet of paper, make a paper ball, and toss your troubles into a fire.  A very cliché movie-type scene is what I describe this as, but it provides an amazing sense of closure.  I’ve actually done this before during some very difficult times in my life.

I took my pain and bled honest thoughts into my writing.  I wrote words that I was too afraid to say out loud because I knew no one would get the chance to read it.  After that, I rolled them into a ball and tossed them all into a small backyard bonfire.

The key is to connect your sorrow to that sheet of paper as you toss it and watch it burn.  That’s you making the choice to move on.

2.  Sing your own feel-good song.

Literally, write your own lyrics to a feel-good song and start rocking.  You don’t have to be a talented singer or writer to do this.  Find some alone time and start singing like there’s no one listening (because there isn’t!)

Make the lyrics about how you’re going to move on from the struggles and become stronger tomorrow.  Or make it even cheesier on purpose so that every time you sing your song, you can smile and laugh.  It’s goofy fun and it’s great as a mood lifter.

You can also write lyrics to remind yourself that there are thousands of amazing things happening at this exact moment in time.  It will be the perfect pick-me-up.

Singing releases endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that can help you feel good.  So naturally you should sing your sorrows away, and associate your feel-good song with happiness and the perseverance of moving on.

3.  Flip a coin.

Play a game with yourself.  Heads you move on.  Tails you let go.  Every time you find yourself pondering about yesterday’s sorrows, you have to play this game.  Keep flipping the coin and repeat it in your head.  Heads you move on.  Tails you let go.  It might sound a little odd, but it’s a great reminder.

4. People-watch and be inspired.

Pick a comfortable place where there will be a lot of strangers walking around.  The park is the perfect setting for people watching.  As you people-watch, you have to keep one thing in mind:  Realize that every single person on this Earth is a complex character living out his or her own real life movie script.  They are the protagonists of their own story, each complete with their own set of ideas, struggles and choices that led them to where they are now.

They’re living an elaborate life filled with moments of celebration as well as hours of darkness, just like you.  You’re not alone in this world; we all work to move on from things every day.  Perhaps you’re just the background character in these stranger’s stories, but you’re definitely not alone in your struggles.

5.  Tell yourself a horror story.

Turn on the creativity muscle again because this one’s another artistic challenge.  This is where you envision that you stayed on the same path that made you realize you needed to let go and move on in the first place.  Picture the worst-case scenarios possible in an alternate universe.  If someone recently broke up with you, imagine how unhappy you’d be ten years down the road if this same person had led you on for a decade before they broke up with you.  If you had to cut out a toxic friend recently, think of how much more that person could have drained from you if you had let the relationship fester.

Picturing the worst-case scenario can give you new perspectives on your current situation.  Who knows how much worse it could have been?  Be glad there are still new opportunities out there and the future is going to feel exciting again.

6.  Think about something positive happening now.

Think of all the wonderful things happening.  There are thousands, probably millions, of wonderful things happening at this exact moment in time.  At this exact moment, there’s a high chance that somewhere in the world someone is in the exact situation you are, except they have accepted their situation and let go enough to move on.

Seriously, think about it.  There are over seven billion people on this Earth.  There are countless people fighting the same battle you’re fighting, simultaneously alongside you.  Use this thought as inspiration.

7.  Get lost with a group of friends.

Note: This may be a bit more dangerous than the other suggestions here, so take precautions.  Bring a GPS device just in case and never do this alone.

I used to have “Friday Adventures” on a weekly basis with several of my most amazing friends.  We would bike around town and try to get ourselves lost.  It was a fun way for us to do something together and share a common goal.

You and several of your trusted friends need to go out in town and try to get lost (during the day).  The hard part isn’t just finding your way back; you’ll be surprised how hard it is to actually force yourself to get lost.  It’s an adventurous game that can help your mind let go of your comfort zone and needless worries.  You and your friends will be busy laughing, focusing on how to get lost, and then working together to find your way back home.

8.  Use a private blog to brain dump and delete.

Create a private blog, write about what’s bothering you in an unfiltered stream of consciousness, read what you wrote, and then hit delete.  Much like the paper ball idea, get your ideas down into writing where you know it won’t be seen by anyone.  Be honest, don’t hold anything back, and just type whatever pops up in your head.  Read it ONCE, and then delete the post.

That’s you acknowledging all the emotions, the sadness, and the attachments while making the conscious decision to let go.  Do this as often as you need to as the feelings resurface.  And of course, be sure to private this blog so that only you can see what is written.

9.  Use a reminder charm.

Choose an object that you can keep in your pocket, like a special quarter, an interesting rock, or even your phone.  Every time you feel like your thoughts are dragging you down, catch yourself, put your hand onto your charm and imagine all those negative thoughts leaving your brain and traveling down your arm to your fingertips, and finally into the charm.

This is personally what I do during public presentations, except I pretend it is my confidence charm.  I hold onto it and picture that it is feeding me confidence and power so that I can get through the presentation in stride.  Your charm can empower you and remind you to let go and be strong.  It can remind you how to be yourself when your thoughts cloud your mind.

Final Thoughts

Stop reading and start implementing.

It’s easy to read twenty articles in one day on the subject of letting go and improving your life and then fool yourself into believing you’re making progress.  No, you need to take the advice, internalize it, and implement it.

Your turn…

What would you add to the list?  What has helped you let go?  Please share your insights with the community by leaving a comment below.

Author Bio:  Vincent Nguyen is a student, a writer and a teacher of life.  He is the author of the personal development blog, Self Stairway, where he provides profound insight through his own life experiences.  You can also follow him on Twitter.

Photo by: Axel D.

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  • I created a SFGTD box. It’s a medium sized box which I wrapped in beautiful keepsake silver paper with a BIG pink ribbon, then cut a slit in the top. When something bothers me to the point of upset and I finally realize it is out of my control, I write the problem as a sales pitch in 3-4 sentences and drop it in the box. SFGTD stands for , “Something for God to Do!” I realized a long time ago that He or She doesn’t need my help to solve all the problems of the world. Then I literally forget about it. Really. Most of the time, it gets solved no necessarily the way I hoped or in my time frame but either way, I worry no more.

  • Pretty interesting points!

    The traditional way of letting go would be you thinking of the negative and asking yourself, “Do I really want this?”

    This has been a mantra for me when things get too complicated. Now, I think I’m gonna write lyrics to Michael Bolton’s Go the Distance (no, Adelle’s someone like you is too cheesy).

    Great post, as usual :-)

  • All of your points are good! I particularly like “people watching” and “torching.”

  • I check your blog every single morning, whether I’m happy or down. And every time your posts give me an answer and a little inspiration - the kind of advice I would hear from a best friend. Thanks guys!

  • Mary, that is really awesome! Thanks for sharing your method with us and it’s crazy cool to see how strong your willpower is! How many of us can really say we can just drop a piece of paper into a box and call it a day? Too cool.

    Thanks, Leopard, Bj, and Janice!

    Glad to have been able to provide some of my insight with you guys and I hope this helps people out there who need it. :)

  • Great advice. I would add indulging in simple pleasures. Getting lost in nature, star gazing, relaxing with your eyes closed outdoors on a peaceful, breezy afternoon. Sometimes I find the greatest escape from life’s troubles in the little things.

  • I enjoyed reading and found it good advice. I also would like to add that sometimes it is just OK to accept that the person was part of your past. They were part of your life, your thoughts and your emotions.
    As a journey we all go through, meeting people is part of life. Today though it is time to change as part of a choice to ensure my path remains as I would like it.

    The person will be part of my past, they will have taught me things for the future both for myself and how I view others.
    However much I might feel negatively about this person it is important to also feel positively about the lessons they taught me.
    I can move forward in a positive way and find others who will be more suitable for the path I see myself taking.
    I think what is important is that bitterness, anger, resentment, hurt and disappointment does not continue, these are what to let go of.
    Best wishes

  • For me, letting go is all about getting involved in something positive. Instead of constantly reviewing the past, I do something enjoyable and worthwhile with my present.

    Good read.

  • In situations where I feel like I’ve been let down by someone else, I used to think about what I would’ve done differently if I was in their situation. However, that’s a pretty useless exercise as it just adds to my frustration.

    I’ve found that for letting go it’s important to remember that if I literally WAS the other person I would’ve acted the exact same way.

    This helps me put myself in the other persons reality so I can act out of compassion instead of frustration.
    Great stuff Vincent, keep it coming :)

  • I have been really focusing on setting clear boundaries about what behaviors I will not tolerate from others and sharing that with problem people. This also includes what consequences will result if the behavior continues. The real challenge for me is to re-train myself to respond to situations in full calm control, not just react, which gives my peace and power to the other person . I’m getting better, but am not consistent yet.

  • #5 is key. About a year ago, I dumped two toxic friends. One toxic, and the other sided with the toxic friend, after I took a chance and confided in him about why the friendship was ending. In the end, it worked out - I wasted so much time on toxic friend #1’s issues -which he brought upon himself, and realized that it was a one-way street. If I was having a bad day, there would be a moment of faux concern, and then the topic would switch back to his problem du jour. Friend #2 feeds into it, and now I realize that talking to him was a waste of breath.

    In the end, I’ve channeled the time and energy I formerly reserved for them into other, more healthy relationships and projects I really enjoy working on. I wasn’t until recently that I saw how much of my free time was wasted on needless drama and how emotionally draining it was.

  • Go and start working on your hobby. Even if you haven’t picked it up in a long time. Every time you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, stop; go do something regarding your hobby. Be it looking at a running magazine, picking up your crocheting; looking through a cookbook. Anything related to your hobby. Don’t have a hobby? Start one, even if it is just a magazine or book about something you are interested in. If you can get online, google what you are interested in. Don’t know what subject you would like? Google ‘looking for a hobby’.

  • Have a little red envelope in my Bible and whenever I have a botheration, I write it down, fold it up, carefully place it in the red envelope and hide it inside my Bible. This is my way of consciously letting go. A few months later I would open it up and read it and then laugh at how once upon a time I thought I had a problem, when it was in fact just an opportunity to grow - a blessing in disguise.

    Thanks for the great post! I love the idea of getting lost with close friends… I’m craving a little adventure of the sort :)

    May blessings & smiles be yours,
    Raylene xo

  • Thanks for the tips all…

    I focus myself mind on other activities, trying to let go of the bothersome one… It really has worked marvel well for me - like “never should you pine and whine for the sour grape vine”..

    “No fall is greater than how we fathom it to be..” We have our own lives to live and need to believe that we are the creator of our own destiny..and no one can hurt us without our permission.


  • Thank you for your wonderful insights. I look forward to your mails every day.

    I concur with Vincent- what a wonnderful idea Mary. I need to do something similar as it resonates with me. Cheesy songs really get to me, and i think that is exactly the reason I am going to give that idea a shot.

  • As a writer sometimes it’s helpful for me to let the negative thought or emotion come in, but instead of letting it take me over and put myself in the story, I start thinking about a story idea or a character. It’s “make pretending” as my daughter used to say when she was a little girl. Instead of me, a character is going through the pain and it’s fun for me dwell on them. This leaves me feeling elated and thrilled with the molecules of a good tale.

  • Oh Vincent, this is such an important skill. It seems like change is the hallmark of our times. I love all your great actionable ideas for shifting out of “stuckness”.

    What works best for me is drawing. I explore what’s bothering me by drawing a cartoon and then let go of it.

  • Great list!

    I love Point 2. Sing your own feel-good song. I’ll put my creativity to the test and write my own feel good song.

    I appreciate fire, but I never really connected with the whole idea of ‘write your thoughts and feelings down and burn them’ in a sacred ceremony. It never felt permanent to me, even though my thoughts/feelings went up in smoke. Perhaps it’s mind over matter.

    My reminder charm is the gold ring I purchased at a jewelry store on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. It was a fun trip; I traveled with my cousin.

    You can always use Esther (Abraham) Hicks placemat idea. You take a sheet of paper and divide it into two columns. On the left-hand side you right down the things you can handle (or need to do today) and on the right-hand side you write down the things for God, Universal Intelligence, etc. to handle. This is one way to let go and lighten your load.

  • For me, what works is to give it a bit of time and allow myself to feel what I feel, without denial, without running away.

    Then in the second stage I’m ready to fully let it go and enjoy the relief :)

  • I’ve done a few of these and they do help but I’ve also come to realize that my investment in “my story”, the one I’ve been repeating to myself and others through a bad break up, is the thing that is keeping me stuck feeling like a victim and preventing me from letting go and moving on. While there is some substance to the story, much of it is pure conjecture. A shift occurred when I decided to stop repeating it to others but in particular stop investing in it as absolute truth myself. I’ve actually engaged in “thought stopping” when I catch my mind going there and that has helped as well.

    When I let go of my story, my feelings are free to rise to the surface, be acknowledged, felt and then released. There is a certain bliss to this. It is only when I continue to attach meaning, self talk or dialogue to these feelings that they persist.

    I’ve also discovered though that the process of dealing with loss has a mind and time frame of it’s own and I need to be patient and compassionate with myself. Ultimately though, moving on and letting go become a conscious decision.

  • Dev: That is a great addition, Dev. You can perhaps merge that idea with getting lost on purpose. :) Enjoy the little things during your adventure.

    Dawn: Good point. Acceptance is the hardest part because it’s easy to get into denial or full-on anger. Now acceptance, that is tough.

    Dani: Hopefully my list gave you some good ideas for doing something enjoyable!

    Patrik: Thanks, Patrik!

    Karla: Boundaries is very important, Karla. I am sure most people are caught off guard when you first talk about this to them because it’s so unexpected to be given boundaries.

    Carrie: Cut out those who bring you down, bring closer those who raise you up, is what I always remind myself of, Carrie.

    Kimberly: This, this, this! I would have included this but that’s not very unconventional. :) Once I got back into Tennis after moving to Arizona, I felt like I always had an escape.

    Raylene: That’s a pretty unique way to let go right there! I love it!

    Asha: “…no one can hurt us without our permission.” Those words are very true. Remember that, internalize it, and you’ll be golden.

    Brian: Oh, you have to share your lyrics with us. Did I forget to mention that in my article? :)

    Sandra: That’s an awesome and creative idea right there. :)

    Sheila: Woohoo! More creative types. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    Amandah: Ah, I like that idea. I also enjoy the Stoic’s method of dividing things (similar to yours) into two categories: things you can control and things you can’t control.

    Cornelius: How long do you usually give yourself?

    Stephen: Yeah, that story we keep feeding ourselves and looping on replay is agonizing. There definitely is a timeframe that must occur before you can truly let go of that story, but with the unconventional methods, they can help speed up the process and lessen the pain. :)

  • Excellent.

    Somewhat unrelated, but I’m looking for the article on this site that contained the quote (or something to the effect): “Don’t associate with people that don’t want to associate with you.” Any identification of the article title would be appreciated. I’d love to re-read that article after reading this one.


  • “Stop reading and start implementing.
    It’s easy to read twenty articles in one day on the subject of letting go and improving your life and then fool yourself into believing you’re making progress. No, you need to take the advice, internalize it, and implement it.”

    This is without a doubt the best line in the post. I found this blog several months ago and immediately recognized its beneficial value. But I wasn’t ready to hear/read some of what it had to say, so I didn’t. I’d check in from time to time and take a little bite here and there, but (to exhaust a silly metaphor) I wasn’t ready to sit down and eat yet. I think I had to sort of dig half way out of my rut myself in order to see a little clearer and fully appreciate what was being shared here. I’ve been reading it pretty regularly for the last couple of weeks and even found myself quoting you (credited of course) in my own blog. Thanks for the regular reminders of the importance of positive thinking and actively living in the now. I appreciate it.

  • Mary C.,

    I LOVE this!!! I am going to create a ‘Letting Go’ box of my own today!

    Thank you, and all of you, for your comments/insight/advice.


  • Love this post and was exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you also to Mary’s comment about her box. It reminded me of my own process of writing down what I need help with in a journal I have for just this reason and then I shelve it. The literally helps me shelve things that are out of my control. I realized reading this post and all of the wonderful comments that I haven’t “shelved” anything for several weeks! No wonder I’m feeling stuck in a situation I just need to let go. Thanks!!

  • 1. Fill in the hole. When you let go, figure out how much time and effort has gone into the worry, fear and uncertaintly of what is next. Then check your bucket list ot to do list, and fill in the hole/s. Torching, singing, etc. are one time events. Filling in the hole with the hobby idea is more repeatable and permanent. Its a habit breaking mechanism.

    2. Spend more time with the people who are not toxic or are not part of the behavior pattern you are letting go. When I stopped drinking, I limited going to bars. I did not have a drinking problem, it was a medical decision. I still go out to bars, but only with people who know why I do not drink and support it.

  • I write myself a letter to be opened in a week… a month..or a year… setting out what I hope will have changed and how I will be coping with the issue by then… or how I will have grown beyond the worries of today!

  • I feel that whenever I find myself needing to let go, I must first grieve. Be it the loss of a loved one or a heart-crushing breakup, I can only start implementing the steps above and some of my own after I get all of the grief out. I take time to talk with family or friends and get out every single word, every feeling, every thought…and then I sob it out by myself. I weep. I get very, very raw. Then I start building. I take the steps (like torching or giving it to God or journaling) that lead me to the path (of my own life’s journey) that reveals the light at the end of the tunnel. Then I barrel through it! I come out on the other side and I can again see colors, taste food, laugh, and have a healed heart.

  • I read this the other day…..”LET GO OF LETTING GO”……it’s such an interesting one to ponder. Have I just been trying too, but it’s hard to let go! So, I’m letting go of all the wonderful hard work I have done over the last four months to let go of my ex and I wandered around in nature for two hours this morning, all the time asking to let God guide me through whatever the next stage of my life is. Apparently, (just realized this) the next stage is to listen to Wayne Dyer and his interpretation of the Tao. I have been fascinated by the Toa for years but have never studied it at all and this CD just jumped off the library shelf when I asked for guidance!! This doesn’t look one bit like it “should” - I thought I was supposed to be creating a stream of revenue - well maybe I am and this is just the beginning?!

  • Sometimes doing something as obvious is as the things you rightly point out is the only way to get through to our subconscious and loosen its grip on all those negatives that it thinks are protecting you.

    I love number 7. When I was a 17 yr old with a group of friends we would play a game called left/right, the idea was really simple to just drive the car following the decisions from each person in turn until it was getting late or we really needed to find a town we recognized the name of! The joy of communal fun and terror at some of the unfamiliar land with had to traverse still brings a smile to my face.

  • I like the list. Great suggestions. I do agree that I need to let myself grieve it first. Trying to torch things away could be dangerous if you already have a habit of stuff feelings in. I also recently realized that I had put so much pressure on letting go of my ex-boyfriend that I was getting hard on myself when I think about him or miss him. “I have to move on” was the pressure. It was coming from a fear that what if I get stuck on the “idea of him” even after he is long gone, FOR YEARS. This is coming from the knowingness that I have a hard time letting go of memories and people anyway. Maybe my brain is wired a certain way. I just had to accept that it may take me a long time to let him go, And so what?

  • In the process of letting go and discovering the joy of real liberation. There can be great freedom in being alone, without the need to compromise, or pander to, or cosset, or pamper, or listen endlessly to someone else who wallows in negativity and really doesn’t care what you are being subjected to in the process. You don’t always need other people. Solitude can bring blessed peace and the joy of being your own person.

  • Love all you postings! One practice I have learned is to write out in first person, as if your perfect life has manifested, with as much detail as possible. Example- “I am in a wonderfully loving relationship with a man I really love- as in respect, admire and adore. We have made many trips and have always had a great time. Our compassion for each other’s human-ness knows no bounds. We embrace each other in open, unconditional love. We have no financial issues between us- we are each independently wealthy and are forming a new business venture together that allows our mutual, substantial but differing creativity ( and business savy) to come to the fore. We have friends we see often, both here and aboard who are a great addition to our lives.”

    Guess what- it really opens the energy to having it all manifest…and has. Above was just an example- write out as much as you want…ie great sex life, eat same foods etc etc…One obviously (probably) cannot attain absolutely everything- but at least you get to see what is really important to you to manifest, and can FOCUS, from this exercise.

  • My wife recently left me after 15 years of marriage. She left me for another woman! The range of emotions are unbearable at times. Letting go… is a difficult and painful process. I can’t get the images out of my head. I can’t believe that it happened. The lies she made to me, our children, her friends and even her parents — are difficult to understand. She denies everything and blames me. My street is not perfect, but I did all I could to save the marriage. I just can’t figure out how to let it all go and move forward. Any advice — is appreciated.

  • Really enjoyed reading your article here, it contains some useful advice. I think it’s important we understand that life is not always perfect and the Utopian world of constant happiness in not natural, nor should we expect it.

    Once we realise that disappointment is inevitable then the ten steps you have mentioned here will help us deal with things a lot easier.

    My favourite technique and one that I often use is to think of something positive happening right now.

  • I love the song idea. Letting yourself be creative silly is truly letting go in that moment, and it’s fun! And I’m going to do the ideal writing exercise from NurseNice. I need to open the doors of possibility.

    I recently had a huge letting go from a decades long toxic, draining situation. A sea change. I am drawing on many things, but initially to get myself through, I posted a mini-manifesto stating my boundaries entitled AttentionUniverse! and posted it near each house phone and near my computer and read it daily, sometimes several times. I also did a lengthy writeup (kind of a life root canal) of why I was holding onto my end of the bond in this abusive, toxic relationship. It was tough to do but enlightening.

  • Great article! :) I’ll try doing the “Use a private blog to brain dump and delete.” I actually have done it before, but not in a blog. I used to type my thoughts in a text message and just save it in drafts. It is private (because I have the only one who can access my phone) and it actually helps me organize my thoughts. It provides me time to understand the feelings I have then and realize what I’m missing or what I’ve found. Anyway, thank you for sharing this. You’re a gem! :)

  • Rick: Wish I could help you with that, Rick!

    Greg: Yup, sometimes you just got to step back and stop reading until you’re ready.

    Jillian, Julie, and Mary: Looks like Mary’s box idea is doing awesome!

    David: Thanks for the suggestions! :)

    Karen: Whoa! That sounds a lot like an article I wrote a while back which was a future to my 2030-Self.

    Christi: That is perfectly normal, Christi. Don’t try to keep the pressure inside and hurt yourself by faking happiness. You’re meant to slowly work on it so one day you don’t have to hold it anymore. It will be gone with time and I hope my steps allow you to make the period of hurt easier on you.

    Gillian: Interesting idea, letting go of letting go.

    Igor: I’ve actually heard of that game! I’m going to have to play that soon. :)

    Banu: It may take a long time, but that doesn’t mean it has to hurt so much on the way there! My suggestions may help you through this time and ease the pain. :)

    Catrina: I agree, I definitely love my alone time. As you probably know, it is dangerous once you shut yourself off TOO much though. Finding the balance is hard, but it’s absolutely necessary to maintain your sanity.

    NurseNice: Great idea and thanks for providing an example! Very thoughtful.

    Brian: I am so sorry to hear about your recent hardships. The biggest part right here is acceptance. Accept that she isn’t going to just one day call you on the phone and admit fault. That’s okay, maybe it’s no one’s fault? Maybe it’s neither yours or her, but it happened. Once you stop looking for the right answer as to why or how she could’ve done this, you’ll be okay with it. There’s no magic formula or answer any of us can give you. Only thing that we all know for sure is you have to first accept it and time will eventually let you free.

    Nic: Indeed, Nic! Angel published a great article on amazing things happening right now which I’m sure you’ve already read in the link above. :)

    Leah: Here’s a new idea, Leah. Combine your drawing and lyrics! I’ll leave up the how to your creative imagination.

    Meyanna: Thanks! That works too, but I prefer typing on a computer/laptop because it is that much faster. Either way, it doesn’t really matter as long as you get to writing it somewhere!

  • I have learned that letting go allows you to see the bigger picture ahead. Sometimes we have to experience and overcome the “nos” , “not nows”, “not for you” moments in order to allow the many “yesssss” to happen.

    Looking back, I now just laugh at myself wondering why was I so upset during that one hardest “no” in my life. Everything indeed will fall into place. My decision to let go brought me to an environment, people and workplace where I couldn’t be any happier.

  • Great article, Vincent!

    I really agree with #5. I’ve had to cut out toxic friends in the past. And imagining how miserable I’ll be if they were to remain in my life made the decision to let go a lot easier. Your #7 is really unconventional indeed!

    Another effective way to let go is to give yourself one day to cry/vent/scream and let everything out (better do so in private though). After you’re done, go to bed.

    When you wake up tomorrow, it’s a new day. No more holding onto the past from then on.

  • People-watching is a personal favorite of mine. Seems to be especially calming to remind oneself that there are other concerns out there.

  • Kimberly, Thanks for your great idea about spending some time on your hobby. I googled find a hobby and have now come up with a wonderful idea and inspiration has hit. Thank You

    Marc and Angel, as ever your posts are daily reminders to live my best life, even when I don’t entirely feel up to it. Thank You Both.

  • First of all I am truly thankful for the inspirational knowledge that I’m getting from this blog.. My life is getting better post by post.

    There are some ways of letting go and moving forward that I use:
    1. Try to listen to inspirational music, watch an inspiring movie, or even read a motivation and inspirational book like the bible.
    2. Try to go watch competitions like football, swimming etc.
    I also fall into such difficult times in my life, and In such a case, I’m a Martial Arts (TaeKwonDo) Instructor by profession. So I usually take time in my instructing classes. This makes me relieve myself from the worries and tensions.
    3. Another thing is to visualize yourself as a moving object, and whatever obstacles you encounter on your way, you have to pass them freely. And don’t remember them, but be ready to meet more as you progress.

  • Hey Vincent, “Sing your own feel-good song” I love this. It’s remarkable how a great feel good song can change your mood in the moment. To expand on that some more, I don’t think you have to write your own song rather find a song that can help you.

    Geat read Vin

  • At one time, I found myself drowning in negativity and repeating negative thoughts to myself. I felt it wouldn’t end.

    So I attached a sheet of paper on a wall and drew two columns: in one I would note a dash every time I thought of a positive thought, and in the other I would note a dash every time I thought of a negative thought. Every day I would attach a new sheet, for each day, so each day would start with a blank sheet of paper.

    The negatives overwhelmed the first day. The next day the score was pretty much even. On the third day, the positives took the lead and kept it in the following days.

    If I thought I needed a check on the directions of my thoughts, I attached a sheet on the wall for that day. Otherwise, if I felt that the days were good, no sheet was necessary.

    I haven’t attached a sheet on the wall for years now.

  • I have been so inspired by reading your blogs. I have been going through a very difficult time the past 6 weeks and when I read your blogs I realize that I am not alone and that I do have the power to change how I react to my situation. I especially loved this blog and I am going to try some, if not all, of these suggetions. Thank you for your inspiration.

  • Looking at #7 - my own interpretation of that can be as simple as letting someone else be totally in charge of where we’re going/what we’re doing!

    As the person who has for years planned events for family, friends, DayJob, and churchJob - most recently, a family gathering for over 60 people - it is becoming increasingly pleasurable to “hand over my day” (or even an hour or two of it) to someone and to follow along without IMPROVING on it.

    It is most definitely a choice. The first couple of times were really disconcerting for my family, and for me too. But the results have been wonderfully worth it (”let’s ride the train AGAIN, Grandma”).

  • I agree that we should learn to let go and move on. It is not easy. Thanks for sharing the many ways to put aside those unhappy moments. I’m inspired.

  • Reminding myself “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best,” has helped me get through some rough times. I suppose doing that is in line with # 5. It’s good for my soul to not only think of the worst that is happening, but also the good that will come out of it. I believe there is a reason for everything that happens to me; I may not know why I have to endure emotional pain, and I may not ever learn why, but there is a reason. I just have to accept and move on. Karma is fair and good.

  • Thank you so much, I am going to try all of the above! I like the point about writing yourself a letter as well. I’ve been trying to let go of someone for months. I wonder why its so hard to let go of something that can be so painful? Its been darkening my otherwise wonderful life. This whole page has given me a lot to think about. Thank you.

  • Letting go is probably one of the hardest things to do in life, and this article is exactly what I needed as I let go of my ex-fiancee. It’s really hard but i will keep this article close to me and read it again and again. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hello,

    These are fun and creative ideas about how we can take our mind away from the memories of the past to the present.

    Writing my sorrows on a sheet of paper and setting it on fire didn’t work for me. Instead, starting a new hobby (salsa) and travelling abroad for a long weekend helped me understand that there are wonderful moments that wait for me to live them. Gradually, letting go happened in its own pace. :)

  • These are some amazing tips! I personally like to write down all my problems. Though I don’t set it on fire, I usually just rip it to shreds and throw in the garbage. I will have to give some of your other tips a try, Thanks for sharing!

  • These are all good ideas! I have used #1 before. The fire makes a powerful image that anything is permanently gone.

  • I loved the reminder charm idea, so I picked a pretty mind rock and I’m going to try it out! Thank you :)

  • The power of words cannot be underestimated…particularly in times of struggle when nothing else seems to help. I have just discovered this website and find it filled with wonderful practical inspiration….thank you.

  • Writing you problems on balloons and popping them!

    My friend went through a bad break up and I also went through the equivalent with someone whom I thought cared about me and we decided to buy some balloons (the inexpensive ones) and blow them up, write the guys’ names on them and then pop them. After months of constantly holding on to someone who no longer cared, I finally let go. It felt amazing! :-) I love your blog! It helps me more than you know!

  • Just what I wanted to read today… Amazing! I personally find it very difficult to let things go…
    I hope I will cope better after reading this.
    Thanks for writing this.

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