“Letting go looks different for everyone, I think. Sometimes it’s as simple as waking up one day and deciding not to let your past rule you. Other times it’s a process; slow moving and painful….”
– Allison J. Kennedy
While decluttering our homes is an important part of minimalism, we shouldn’t stop there. After all, decluttering of possessions is merely one tool to help us become more tranquil and content. An even more important tool is letting go of the thoughts and emotions that hold us back.
All of us have some intangibles we need to work on letting go of. Examples include:
- Seeking perfection.
- Preconceived notions of success.
- The need to be in control.
- Living in the past.
- Unreasonable expectations.
- Relationships with toxic people.
- Seeing everything in black and white.
- Being judgmental.
- The need to be right.
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”
– Havelock Ellis
Obviously, most of us can’t just decide that we’re letting go of mental and emotional baggage and be done with it. There are, however, a lot of things we can do to help ourselves through the process of letting go. Some directly address the problem, and some work indirectly by focusing our attention on something else.
- Practicing gratitude.
- Obtaining counseling.
- Engaging in regular exercise.
- Practicing mindfulness.
- Watching funny movies.
- Starting a new hobby.
- Letting out all the negative emotions (crying, yelling, etc.)
- Practicing the Buddhist theory of nonattachment.
- Forgiving those who have hurt you and making amends to those you’ve hurt.
- Writing it all down and burning the paper.
- Spending more time with loved ones.
- Taking a relaxing day trip or overnight vacation alone.
- Focusing on being kind and compassionate to others.