Our health as we age has a lot to do with how we live, from what we eat to what we drink and also our thoughts which dictate how we feel. Our mind and body are linked, our psychological state is reflected in our physical body and vice versa. If negative emotions are not dealt with they get stored in the body and can lead to a host of health problems from chronic pain to stomach problems, fatigue and bladder issues to high blood pressure and some forms of cancer.
Letting go is something that means different things to different people. Through my work at Motivation Weight Management I’ve seen a stark difference in those who have been able to let go and those who haven’t. Life is full of ups and downs, a rollercoaster of experiences that shape us and give us wisdom if we choose to learn from them.
Negative experiences can hurt, leaving us sad and full of whys. Often there are no answers and we are left with open wounds, heartbroken at what we or those we love have been through. We can be bound by the chains of despair for the rest of our lives or we can manoeuvre our thoughts to a different place, choosing to live instead of exist.
We spend our lives making decisions, small and big, and facing the second half of life gives us a nudge to make decisions based on what has gone before. As you wake up each day I challenge you to let go of the chains of the past and live each new day with renewed hope, acceptance and satisfaction. Make decisions that are in the best interests of your health as a clearer mind allows you more energy to live a life you love.
Here are the let go’s I think we all need to let go of in order to live a happy life rather than a mediocre existence. Feelings that are buried alive do not die, they fester and play havoc with your emotional health. Many illnesses are indicative of your emotional state, so strengthen your mind and your body will be in a healthier state as a result.
- Let go of anger:
No-one gets through life without things going wrong and being let down in some shape or form. Carrying the weight of anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Freeing yourself from the influence of the offending party comes from letting go instead of burying the anger which will only surface when you least expect. It can manifest itself in irrational bouts of fury and result in pushing away those whom you care about most. You will live with a constant feeling of frustration and inability to tolerate small annoyances. Write it down, talk it out, exercise and meditate.
- Let go of guilt:
Guilt erodes your self-esteem, it is the greatest destroyer of emotional energy and leaves you feeling immobilised in the present by something that has already occurred. Challenge your guilty thoughts, do your past actions really warrant the torment you’re putting yourself through? Taking responsibility and feeling remorseful is healthy, believing your behaviour makes you a bad person who deserves punishment is destructive and debilitating. Often our thinking can become distorted or irrational, and we need to counteract negativity with more positive thoughts about the good things we have done.
- Let go of self-doubt:
When things don’t work out as we’d hoped, confidence can take a knock and cause us to retreat into our comfort zone. Personal growth and happiness comes from pushing ourselves and realizing our potential so don’t let past perceived failures stop you from enjoying something new. Set small goals, then allow the sense of achievement to push you on towards bigger ones. Success breeds motivation so start with the easier things and progress toward your dreams.
- Let go of jealousy:
Whether it’s material possessions, status, family support or financial stability, it’s tempting to fall into the jealousy trap. Being the inquisitive type, I’ve found out so much about people who appear to have it all. And I’ve realised there’s no such thing. The only people who have it all are those who have chosen to view the world and other people in a certain way. They are secure in their own skin, happy for other people and their achievements but never threatened. The winners are those who realise they are amazing, unique individuals who see the best in themselves and in the people they encounter.
- Let go of regret:
Phrases such as “should have” are not helpful to your emotional state. Going over the past can cause a woodpecker effect which is the constant repetition of negative thoughts going around in your head. This can become your prison, a mind locked in negativity and “what if’s”. Every one of us is deeply imperfect, every one of us is flawed and has made mistakes. There is no-one in this world who has no regrets, the point is not to hate yourself for having them. Acceptance calms the negative mind-set, especially when coupled with goals and aspirations for the future. Use your mistakes to guide others, to do better in the future and accept your younger, less wise decisions as part of the learning curve of life.