A few years ago, I used to live under pressure, just like the average person. I was holding onto the past, reliving every situation, or spending time in the future, trying to predict what will happen and prepare for it. But that just meant I wasn’t living in the present moment, which is where life really is. As a result, I was quite miserable. Always overanalyzing what’s already happened and wishing it could have been different, or fearing tomorrow and trying to avoid it. None of this was real. It’s just an illusion we create for ourselves, an escape from reality, and for some people it lasts a lifetime. Fortunately, I found a solution. It was much simpler than I expected. It helped me simplify my life significantly, and be happier and more peaceful in general. The secret of finding joy in life and living it to the fullest was to learn to let go. Letting go means freeing yourself from something negative, something unnecessary, so that you can make room for better things — like simple daily joys, gratitude, peace of mind and contentment. Here’s what you need to let go of to have these:
1. Big expectations.
Most people live in a constant state of anxiety, expecting a certain thing to happen, people to react in the way they want, or life itself to be exactly how they expect it. However, everything turns out differently most of the time. Because that’s what life is — a series of unpredicted events. If we accept this uncertainty, see the excitement in not knowing what will happen next and how people will react, we might start to actually enjoy it and go with the flow. So stop expecting; instead, start appreciating what’s already here and look forward to the next great thing coming your way.
I know too many people who live life fast. Way too fast. They keep themselves busy, jumping from one task to another, or from one life goal to the next, never taking the time to look around and smell the roses. That leads to stress, missing out on the beauty of everything that’s here in this moment, and never finding pleasure in what you do. Slow down. That’s the only way to have time for the essentials, to spend some time contemplating, sitting still and finding your way back to being peaceful.
3. Comfort zone.
That’s the place (both physical and mental) that you’ve created for yourself over the years where you feel so secure and comfortable that if anything changes, you’ll panic. It’s bad for you. It’s hard to break free, and while in it, you hardly ever experience anything exciting. But getting out there is your mission. You are meant for greatness and can only reach it if you stop doing what you’ve always been doing. How to leave the comfort zone? Well, just do what feels uncomfortable. That usually means challenging yourself on a daily basis, doing what you’re afraid of, or simply trying completely new things.
Not everyone has any idea how exhausting and overwhelming it is to hold grudges. It means you’re not forgiving someone for a past event, and you yourself are carrying this burden with you in the present. So both of you can’t live peacefully now. Wanna have more freedom and lighten your journey? Forgive. Do it no matter what happened. Set the other person free from this; he’s being punished enough by the guilt he carries. Leave what happened in the past where it belongs, with all the negative emotions and painful memories that go together with it. Now you can move on and create new, better memories.
If you often find yourself criticizing others, pointing out their flaws and telling them what they’re doing wrong, then you probably lack the level of happiness you desire. That’s because judgment is such a negative thing. It’s pointless if you think about it. By judging others, you’re actually showing your bad traits, not theirs. Why not keep following your path, and leave others do their thing instead? We’re all unique and that makes us completely different. Judging is not the answer; showing understanding and compassion is. Never forget that, in pain and in happiness, we’re equal. We share common fears, dreams, insecurities and wishes. So the next time you feel like judging someone, stop and let him be who he is. Also, ask yourself what causes this desire to criticize. It’s almost always something on the inside that needs to be analyzed.
6. Living by someone else’s standards.
Last but not least, there’s this tendency to live your life the way other people want you to. It means constantly trying to answer to their expectations, leaving your true dreams and goals behind. Eventually, that leads to a miserable life — and people still judge you no matter what. Let go of that. Know that only you know what’s right for you; no one else can tell you which direction to take. That’s how letting go saves you from regrets, disappointments, stress and anxiety. And you’re free to keep living simply, happily and peacefully.