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.
1. 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.
2. Focus all your energy on something you can actually control, instead of dwelling on things you can’t.
3. Change your perception—see the root cause as a blessing in disguise.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 you could have done better, you often feel empowered and less bitter.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. Identify what the experience taught you to help develop a sense of closure.
12. 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.”
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. Hang this statement somewhere you can see it. “Loving myself means letting go.”
18. 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.”
19. 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.
20. Use a deep breathing technique, like ujayii, to soothe yourself and seep into the present moment.
21. 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.
22. 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.”
23.Learn to trust again — by trusting yourself. Dr. Phil tells a man who's having a hard time letting women back into his life: "Trust is not about how much you trust one person or another to do right or wrong.
24.How much you trust another person is a function of how much you trust yourself to be strong enough to deal with their imperfections." Have enough faith in yourself to be able to put yourself on the line with someone, without any guarantee of what will happen next.
25.If you're playing the game with sweaty palms, it's because you're afraid of what you can or can't do, or dealing with your own imperfections — it's not about the other person.
26.Know that you will get hurt if you're in a relationship. There is no perfect person without flaws. Even a well-intended guy is going to hurt his partner.
27.He's going to hurt your feelings. He's going to say things that you don't want him to say. He's going to do things you wish he wouldn't do and not do things you wish he would do.
28.A relationship is an imperfect union between two willing spirits who say, ''I'd rather be in a relationship and share my life, share my joys, share my fun, share my activities, share my life than do it alone."
29.If you want to be in a relationship, know that getting hurt comes with the territory. You just have to decide that you are durable enough, that you have enough confidence in yourself that you can handle it.
30.Don't beat yourself up. You got through your last experience, you've learned from it, and now it's time to move forward.
31."You'll move on and be a champion in your next endeavor as you did in your past ... Life is not a success-only journey. You are going to get beat up along the way."
32.Focus on yourself. All of us come into relationships with baggage, but you need to have closure on past experiences before you can start a new relationship with the odds in your favor.
33.Are your standards too low? Dr. Phil asks a guest who's waiting around for a man that's let her down time and again: "What is it about you that causes you to settle for somebody that you know will cheat on you, know will lie to you, know will make a commitment and then break it? What is it about you that you believe about yourself that you're willing to settle for that?"
34.Recognize that you're settling and that you deserve more. Set a higher standard for yourself.
35.Does he really even make you happy? Be honest with yourself about the extent to which he's really meeting your needs.
36.Chances are you're longing for the relationship that you wish it could be, and that you want to be in love with the person you wish he was.
37."There are times when you break up with somebody and you start missing them and you start thinking about all the good things.And then you're back with them for about 10 minutes and you go 'Oh yeah! Now I remember why I hate you!'" Don't kid yourself about what it was really like or glorify the past.
38.Don't put your life on hold. Every minute you spend focusing on your ex is a minute that's holding you back from a better future.