Are you trying to hold onto your past and wish that things were different? Have you recently encountered a painful experience that is too gut-wrenching to let go of? Do you have a hard time letting go of things you cannot control?

Experiencing different types of heartaches and emotional pain is a part of everyone’s journey in life. Human life is filled with all sorts of physical and emotional pain and it is a part of human nature to feel frustrated about the experience. But, holding onto the pain encountered in such situations and replaying the situation over and over again is where things go wrong.

Holding onto the hurt you have experienced and wishing that things were different does not work. Instead, accepting things and letting go of what is hurting you is the ideal option to go with. So, the question arises of how to let go of things.

Healing from the traumas that you have faced in life can be quite difficult. But holding on to the pain is the worst thing you could do to yourself.

However, you need to realize that holding onto things does not fix anything, rather it can destroy your physical and mental health to the point where it is irreparable. Learning how to deal with the pain you are going through and accepting the situation is vital for your growth. It will help you focus on your present instead of your past, allowing you to move forward and not look back.

If you are trying to move forward but do not know how to, here are 6 tips that will help you let go of things.

7 ways to let go of things that bother you

1. Counteract your negative thoughts into positive ones

Changing your mindset and the way you perceive a situation and the thoughts accompanied by it is the first major step that can help you let go of things.

The human mind is the most complex tool that can act as the biggest hindrance in your journey or can become your best friend. It is your mind that controls your reaction to the surroundings and the experiences you have encountered in your life. Training and reconditioning your brain is where you can gain full control over your thoughts. Ultimately letting you go of the anger and hurt you have experienced.

You need to understand that your thoughts are merely just thoughts. They do not define your value and your identity. Your past experiences do not summarize who you are. Just because something did not work out does not mean that you are a failure and do not deserve the best in the world.

Watching and observing closely what you think and deciding what to do with these thoughts marks your journey of acceptance and letting go. Transforming such negative thoughts into positive ones that you can benefit from without attaching any identity to them will make it easier for you to let go of things eventually.

How to counter negative thoughts?

So how do you counter negative thoughts? Countering your negative thoughts is not as easy or prescriptive as you think. Shifting the way you think means that you are switching gears in your brain so that you do not fall into loops of negative thoughts over and over again.

Learning your thought patterns and recognizing the automatic negative thinking that is ingrained in your brain is where your practice of letting go starts. Reciting a positive mantra can help you a lot, for example, instead of saying “I cannot cope with this”, try saying “I will try my best to deal with this and will figure my way out”.

Another practice that you can work on is to feel your emotions instead of blocking them out. Once you acknowledge how you feel you will be able to find a solution to the situation and the thoughts occurring in your mind. Instead of forcibly fighting back and draining your energy try to embrace your thoughts and emotions. This will take a lot less energy saving you from mental and emotional exhaustion.

However, oft-times while trying to let go of things we overdo ourselves. This is the reason people say why can’t I just let things go? Probably because you are shutting the negative emotions instead of feeling them.  Do not force positive thoughts on yourself. Trying to shift your thought from “I am sad” to “I am happy” is not going to work.

Rather sometimes all you need is to recognize your thought pattern and take a break. Take small steps towards your goal. Try to move past these thoughts by recognizing the root cause and finding workable solutions.

Related: How to stay positive | 10 smart habits for a positive mindset

2. Create distance to let go of something that makes you angry

Some situations might not be easy to handle and you might feel like you will explode at any time. At times, you might feel like you cannot handle the situation and you might not be able to cope with the frustration and hurt that you are feeling. So, how do you let go of something that makes you angry? The best solution in such cases would be to walk away from that person or the situation that is unable to bear and try to gather your thoughts.

How does creating distance help you let go of things?

Creating physical distance between yourself and the person or the situation that is bothering you might help you pave your way to let go of things. It can help you be free from your cycle of negative thoughts that are replaying in your mind again and again. Distancing yourself from the person or the situation can help you for the simple reason that you will not have to think about it, process it, or be reminded about it daily. You will be able to let go of the anger and the hurt that you are trying so hard to forget.

Replaying the moments that have hurt you so much will get you nowhere. Moreover, clinging to feelings of shame, regret, and frustration will drain your energy making no room for your growth and progress in life. You often tend to hold onto stress in your mind and body which can lead to potentially serious health issues. Instead of falling back again and again into the deepest pits of anxiety, stress, and hurt, the best thing you can do to move forward and never look back is to accept everything as it is.

Separating yourself from the person or the stressful situation will help you cope with the amount of damage your body and mind have gone through. It will help you retrain and condition your thoughts and emotions and will guide you through to success. Once you have gathered your thoughts it is easier for you to focus on what is good rather than on what is bad for your mind and soul. Ultimately, it will help you overlook the hurtful situation and will help you let go of things.

3. Forgiveness is the key to letting go of everything

Forgive yourself and the person or situation that has caused you so much hurt and anger. Forgiveness plays a major role in the act of letting go. Sometimes you have to overlook your mistakes as well as the mistakes of the people around you to truly let go of things. You will have to accept an apology that you may never receive for the sake of your peace. Forgiveness helps you in acceptance and letting go like no other thing. Moreover, it is vital for your physical and mental health to forgive forget, and move on. It is essential for your healing process to forgive yourself and others.

So, when someone asks me how do I let go and be happy? My instant answer is ‘by forgiving’. Because holding onto resentment will only hurt you while the other person moves on with their life.  Also, forgiving others does not mean that you are weak rather forgiveness is an attribute of the strong. It means that you are freeing yourself of all the negative emotions built up inside you instead of holding onto them, truly letting it all go.

Forgiving the person who has offended you and caused you so much hurt can be quite difficult. While resentment will only keep you stuck in your painful feelings. It will not let you grow and look up to your future. Rather it will keep you tangled up in your web of anger, guilt, shame, and frustration. Learning how to forgive can be quite hard but once you have accomplished this fleet you will become emotionally strong and will be able to let it all go.

4. Focus on yourself and your goals

The best thing you can do to let go of your past is to focus on what you want from life. Recognize your ambitions and your goals and move forward to achieve them and be successful. Staying in the present and accepting your past plays a key role in letting go of the things you have gone through. Focus on your dreams and your goals to truly move forward and put the past behind you.

Once you start focusing on yourself, your physical and mental health, and your ambitions in life you will feel free since you are no more feeding the negative emotions inside you. Focusing on the positive instead of the negative will help you get through the period of grief and anxiety that is eating you up from the inside. It will help you nurture yourself and grow into the person you so dearly wanted to be.

How you can focus on yourself?

You may ask yourself how do I focus on myself? Be kind and gentle to yourself. Listen to the tone you use on yourself. Ask yourself whether you would like to use that same tone for your best friend and treat them the way you treat yourself.

So, instead of blaming yourself and putting yourself down in front of others, acknowledge your feeling and feel compassionate about yourself. After all, you are the one staying with yourself for your whole life.

Create a self-care routine and tend to your needs. Take care of not only your body but also your mind and soul. Feed yourself positive thoughts and focus on the good instead of the bad.

Try on new adventures in life. Go on a vacation or a road trip to feel refreshed. Do what you love doing the most such as reading a book or listening to your favorite song. By following these steps you will be able to focus on yourself alone finally letting it all go.

Related; How to Improve Focus and Concentration | 12 Scientifically Proven Ways

5. Be mindful to let go of things

Mindfulness is a technique that helps you stay alert and focused on your present moment. It helps you be intensely aware of what you are sensing and feeling in the moment. But, that too without any judgment or interpretation. Practicing mindfulness can help you let go of the things that are causing you distress and anger.

It can help you become aware of your thoughts and your emotions letting you take control over them, ultimately allowing you to let go of what you are holding inside you.

Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness increases gray matter in the brain. An increase in gray matter, in turn, regulates your emotional and psychological well-being. Along with that, helps you combat certain psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. Moreover, being mindful can help your learning and memory process. Additionally, it can also affect your ability to take on different perspectives.

Staying in the present instead of ruminating over your past will help you get through any difficulties, allowing you to let go of past trauma. Live in the present and cherish every moment to let go and be happy in the NOW. Being present in the moment will help you take a step back and slow down.

It will also enable you to focus on what you have rather than what is lost. It will help you discover your thoughts and emotions, ultimately allowing you to find happiness and meaning in your life.

You can start practicing mindfulness by following this 3-Step-Mindfulness-Worksheet. You can follow this 3-step exercise anytime in your day to help you be present and aware of your surroundings.

Step 1: Step out of autopilot mode

Pause and take a break. Find a comfortable and relaxed posture and breath.

Step 2: Focus on your breath

Only focus on your breath. Observe how your body moves with each breath. Follow this step for about 6 breaths or up to a minute.

Step 3: Expand awareness of your surroundings

Now focus on your surroundings and observe the feelings and sensations building up inside of you. Be present at the moment and spread awareness of your environment.

6. Surround yourself with people who fulfill you

Most often what you feel is a direct reflection of the energy around you and the people in your life. The people in your life affect the way you feel and they certainly have a great impact on you as a person. You need to know that the energy your friends, your family, or any other person in your life radiates, slowly and gradually becomes your own. It becomes a part of your personality.

So, If the people in your life are easy-going, happy, and optimistic, you will have the same wavelength of energy. However, if the people in your life tend to be bitter and toxic about everything in general. Then you are most likely going to have the same mental and emotional state.

Allow yourself to lean on your loved ones in difficult times. Humans are social beings and without socialization, your life is bound to be colorless. Expressing your emotions and talking to a loved one will help you a lot. It will allow you to let go of all the pent-up anger. Thereby, allowing you to let go of the toxicity in your life.

Do not cut yourself off from people around you especially when you are struggling with your emotions. Rather try to meet people and go out as much as you can. Loneliness can be even more dangerous for your mental state than the actual hurt that you have gone through.

Related: How to deal with toxic people | Smart ways to deal with toxic people

7. Let go of things by attracting positive vibes

So, how to surround yourself with positive energy? As it is said, “Your vibe attracts your tribe”. It is quite true actually, you look for the type of people who emanate the same energy as you do. In the process of letting go, try to reach out to people having a positive vibe. People who can guide you through difficult times.

For this, you have to cut out the toxicity in your life. Set up your boundaries around such toxic people and learn to say no. be open and fun-loving. Go out on different adventures and connect with your friends and family. Express yourself instead of letting your emotions get the best of you. Eventually, you will be able to let go of the traumas you have faced in your life.

Related: How to let go of anger | 10 ways to help you let go of anger and hurt


Letting go of past traumas and hurtful experiences can be quite difficult but essential for your well-being. To grow and nurture yourself is paramount to let go of what is bothering you instead of hanging on to it. Holding onto negative thoughts and your past mistakes can be detrimental to not only your mental health but also your physical health.

There is a lesson in every experience that you face in your life. Instead of clinging to the negative, focus on the positive and learn from such experiences.

Realize that the pain you are feeling does not define you. It is your perspective and your mindset that can make you or break you during such situations. To live a life free of emotional and mental adversities you have to let go of so many things in life. It is a necessity for your survival to be able to let go.

With time and practice, you will be able to let go of things and not get attached to them. Once you realize how liberating it can be you are bound to let go of things before they harm your body, soul, and mind.

About the Author

Sara Khan

Sara Khan is a writer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. She aims to inspire and motivate people to live, love, and laugh wholeheartedly.

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