How to Start Letting Go of Mistakes and Regrets
Letting go is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. We’ve all started relationships hoping that they’ll last. We all live our lives like we have decades of life left in us. But life can be unpredictable. Things change, grow, fall apart, move, and transform all the time. Some things shatter your world and you’re left trying to find a new way to build those broken pieces back up. Letting go is one of the most important things you’ll need to do in life. After all, in this world, nothing lasts forever. You need to accept things that are out of your control. But we can control how we react to the suffering we’ve been dealt. In this article, we’re going to share 21 ways to let go of mistakes, pain, and suffering.
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How to Start Letting Go of Mistakes, Pain and Suffering
1. Give Yourself Time to Grieve
Before it’s time to start letting go, you need to give yourself time to grieve. We’ve all lost loved ones to dreadful diseases or accidents and no one judged you when you cried. They’ve felt that pain before too. And then of course, during the break-up of a long-term relationship, it’s normal to feel sad about the end there too. While new beginnings are beautiful, endings can sometimes be harder to accept. We don’t always want to say goodbye. And sometimes we’re really not ready to. So take the time you need to go through the stages of grief. Whether that’s crying, beating up a punching bag, talking it out with a friend or trained professional, it’s important to let it all out. And once you’re finally ready to move on, you can begin letting go.
2. Manage Negative Emotions
To give yourself a chance of letting go of past mistakes and suffering you’ll need to learn how to manage negative emotions. Your thoughts are a key indicator of how you’ll feel. If you’re thinking about bad things, you’ll likely feel bad too. We can’t always control what thoughts pop into our head, however, we can rewire our brains to be more positive. When a negative thought pops into your head, manually think the polar opposite thought. With enough practice, you’ll be doing it automatically. And you’ll experience fewer negative emotions as a result because you’ll stop ruminating thoughts in their tracks.
3. Make a Clean Cut
One of the easiest ways to let go of suffering is to make a clean cut of the person causing the suffering. If you’re going through a breakup, you might delete the contact off your social media, block their number on your phone, change your phone number, move to a new city, or start a new job. Change is good for the soul. Some may say you’re running away from your problems. And maybe that’s 10% true. But it’s also a way to end specific problems. You need to make changes to let go effectively. Sometimes letting go means saying goodbye and really meaning it.
4. Seek Guidance From a Spiritual Teacher
Having a mentor, therapist, or teacher guide you on your journey of letting go will help you make a separation from your situation and emotional pain. A spiritual practice of some sort, such as practicing meditation, mindfulness, or kindness will help elevate you on your journey because you’re putting out goodness into the world. Having a teacher guide you through this journey will allow you to actually face painful feelings so you can heal from them, instead of shoving them down or running away from it.
5. Make a Positive Change
When making a mindful attempt to let go, focus on making positive changes in your life. Embark on that new, exciting chapter. This is your time to evolve. Become a better person than you were yesterday. Maybe you invest on reading communication books to help you communicate your needs better. Or maybe you recognize that you’ve been so obsessed with loving others that you forgot to love yourself so you start practicing more self care. When letting go of the pain, focus on letting in some good in your life. You deserve all the happiness in the world and you can take action to make sure you get your fair share of it.
6. Alleviate Human Pain
Modern life is filled with detached social messaging and a lack of human connection. In your everyday life, you need to deal with negative feelings and connect with others. Human suffering can be eliminated by letting go of the past. However, we often cling onto our past as if it’s tied to our identity. As if it’s a sort of punishment for all past wrong-doings. It can be life changing to realize all you can control is the present. And share in the human experience with all of your life energy with others. The healing process depends on you letting go of your past, so don’t dig deeper into worlds you can no longer control. Moving forward is now your only option.
7. Don’t Take Things Personally
The most important thing to remember when letting go is don’t take things personally. If a relationship falls apart, it feels personal because it happens to you. But there’s just so many freaking factors at play. Compatibility, family, wants, needs, goals, values, and of course the other person. Sometimes relationships end, leaving you feeling sad. But the end of a relationship isn’t always about you. Sometimes it’s about the other person. And if someone hurts you, it’s usually because they’re hurt themselves.
When we take things personally that’s when the grudges form, the toxic behaviors come out, and the worst feelings transpire. But when we accept that there are many variables that lead people to an event, we often find there’s many factors that led them to it. Maybe they learned bad behaviors in childhood that were never corrected which led them to hurt you. Or maybe they just had a bad day and you showed up at the wrong time and they took it out on you. The best thing you can do is be more empathetic to people’s needs and recognize that it’s not always about you. Love and let go.
8. Practice Meditation
If you really don’t know how to master the art of letting go, you might want to try meditation. Of course, we’d love it if you used Declutter The Mind’s guided meditation if you’ve been thinking about it. But overall, meditation can help give you a moment of clarity. You can help rewire your brain but taking the time to notice thoughts without dwelling on them. It constantly reminds you to focus your attention back on your breath so your ruminating thoughts never go on those tangents you hate so much.
Following a guided meditation is great for beginners who are looking to meditate but are weary of being alone with their thoughts without supervision. I know, the mind is a terrifying place. So with the help of our meditation guide, you can work on creating new pathways in your brain so that you finally let go of those negative thought cycles your brain does for you all the damn time. You’ll finally have a chance at letting go the pain, suffering, and hurt.
Try this meditation for letting go on YouTube. If you don’t want to use a guide, you can use a meditation timer instead.
9. Focus on Your Human Development
If you’re stuck in your suffering, you can’t develop as a person. We are at our worst when we’re filled with negative emotions bottled up within ourselves. The painful feelings need to be released. Therapy can help you channel your past mistakes into something that uplifts you and the world around you. As a person, you deserve happiness and peace of mind. There’s no point in holding yourself back for years because of human error. Rebuilding yourself up isn’t an easy task, but it’s a worthwhile one. You’ve got so much love in yourself, pour it out into the world, and discover what you’re capable of achieving.
10. Invest In Your Physical Health
Letting go of negative energy can be done through physical activity. Fight or flight tends to kick in when we’re feeling anxious. So, if you’ve been struggling with mental health, going for a walk or run can be exactly what your body wants you to do. So don’t sit still. Move. Take that deep breath of fresh air when out in nature. Let that strong emotion within you get released through aggressive body movements. Become a physically stronger version of yourself so you can take on major threats, that haunt you, in the future. Get out of your comfort zone and into a higher consciousness by being one with your body. The mind and body are interconnected. So if you feel negative emotions, release them physically. Cry them out. Shake them out. Do what you’ve got to do to finally start letting go of all your pain.
11. Learn to Accept Yourself
There’s no person on this planet who has ever been meaner to you than you’ve been with yourself. Nope, not even that person who ripped your heart out of your chest during the world’s worst breakup of all time. Not even that mean bully from school. No. The meanest person in your life is you to yourself. Your brain goes off on tangent reminding you of all your flaws. It holds grudges that stress you out. It makes you relive painful memories. It keeps you up at night. It makes you wonder if you’re good enough. I mean, holy hell. How could you do that to yourself?
It’s time to tell that brain of yours how amazing you are. You constantly want to improve yourself. You love educating yourself. You try your best at maintaining a positive mental health. You’ve got hobbies that you totally kick everyone’s butt in. I mean you’re a freaking legend. Why aren’t you repeating those positive things about yourself? Focus on who you are when you’re at your best because that’s who you really are. Let go of the person you love beating down in your head. You’re humanly flawed but you’re not a monster. Let go of the self-hate and embrace the self-love. Become your own number one fan.
12. Move Forward, Not Backwards
Letting go of the past mistakes and moving into the present moment will allow you to skillfully process emotions. There is no emotional pain when you move forward. It’s when we relive the past repeatedly that we get stuck in it. We’ll ruminate on these past events and hold ourselves back. But when you truly let go of all of your suffering, you can gain an inner peace you’ve never known. World peace can be made in the present moment only. How you live in the present is what will determine your mental state. Time travelling in your mind to the past causes you to miss out on so many good things that the present moment offers. So move into the present and explore the external world. The limiting beliefs you’ve had all these years can’t hold you back any longer.
13. Hey, You’re Human
Right now, there are probably billions of people living in the past or fearing the future. They’re all stuck in their own minds. You’re struggling to let things go and you’d be surprised to find out that there are tons of people in this sinking ship with you. On tough days, remember that you’re human. And being human is being flawed, emotional, and temporary. Life is really damn short when you never know when things will end. So why put ourselves in misery with negative thoughts, regrets, and trying to undo a past that cannot be changed.
Let go of your desire to be perfect. Let go of your desperation to cling on tight. Let go of painful goodbyes. It’s only when we take the time out to accept our humanness where we finally find joy. It’s time to forgive yourself for your mistakes. You’re going to make more of them over the years. But for now, all you can do is try your best, learn from past experiences, and enjoy the present with those you love.
14. Look Towards Your Belief System
You don’t need to be religious to let go of suffering. However, studies show that having a deeper purpose or sense of meaning in life can help you easily practice letting go. Your letting go technique could include a meditation practice, raising a family, your philanthropy, a mission-driven company you work at, or attending religious services. It’s totally up to you how you derive meaning in your life. But being rooted in your life mission can help you make good decisions in the present, so you spend less time regretting your life in your future. If you know deep in your heart that you’re trying to get better each day, you’ll be more at peace with the actions you take moving forward.
15. Change What You Can Control
Some things you can’t control. And those are the things you’ll need to begin letting go of. Everything you have and own is rented to you. Your family, your possessions, and your life can all get taken away from you at any given moment. You can’t change that. Instead, focus on what you can control. Right now, you and I are hanging out. I’m sharing some words of wisdom and you’re intently listening. In this present moment you’ve been given, you can do a lot of good.
You can join a random Facebook group and leave positive messages to people who post content. Or you can sign-up to volunteer for an opportunity in your local neighbourhood. You can choose to be kind and compassionate in everything you do. You can choose what words you speak to help someone in need. You can do acts of kindness to put your behavior in a more positive path. That is what is in your control. When someone frustrates you, understand that he or she is frustrated, and show empathy. When your child is annoying you, understand that they want your attention, so give it freely. You’re in control of what you say and what you do. So be kind and live well.
16. Take Care of Yourself
Toxic people can cause so much suffering and pain in our lives. On the one hand, people become toxic because they lack the support to deal with their emotional pain. On the other hand, you’re likely not a therapist nor medical professional who can help them in their next steps. You have no control over the lives of others. You only have full control over your life. You can decide how to take care of yourself, let go of your past, and build a stronger and better version of yourself. You can’t force people to go on the journey with you. Sometimes, you need to cut ties with people who hold you back from becoming a version of yourself you genuinely love.
17. Learn from Your Mistakes
Letting go of your mistakes is always a challenge. It’s funny how we’ll beat ourselves up about mistakes we made in childhood even when we’re in our thirties, forties, or fifties. How long are you going to torture yourself? Isn’t it time you’ve forgiven yourself? Stop holding onto the past so tightly, it’s gone. All you can do is move forward. Of course, you don’t want to make the same mistakes again. But reminding yourself of them isn’t going to be what prevents you from making the mistake.
When you make a mistake, all you can do is take the next moment to fix it. Apologize if you need to. Change your habits if you must. Try to be a better person. You’re going to be making more mistakes in life. But if you constantly cling onto past errors, you’ll never really live. Your purpose in life is to help others. But if you’re recycling your mistakes, you’re too distracted to pursue your life mission. Instead, let go, forgive yourself and others too, and aim to be a kinder, more compassionate person.
18. Give Yourself Unconditional Love
Love is your natural state. Unfortunately, we’re all bound to experience heartbreak, trauma, difficulties, and roadblocks in life, which just makes it harder for us to see the unconditional love within ourselves. Our pain, suffering, and difficult feelings block us from seeing our true potential. Staying busy prevents us from seeing how much the pain is taking over our lives. But if you give in to your feelings. And channel all your suffering into bettering humankind, making people happy, and eliminating the pain of others, you’ll begin to heal too. As you learn how to love yourself unconditionally, you’ll begin to do the same for others. It doesn’t take a nationally renowned psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist to see the impact self love has on your ability to let go of your suffering.
19. Block Out Your Thoughts
Letting go is hard because our thoughts love to cling onto negativity like a leech on the skin. I bet the reason why you’re not letting go is because your thoughts keep reminding you of your mistake or your pain. Sometimes you just gotta tell that voice in your head to quiet down. And if it’s screaming at you, you can scream at it right back.Just avoid doing that in front of people, they might think you’re losing it.
Imagine yourself physically replacing a negative thought out of your brain and placing in a new happy thought. Pretend you’re a factory worker. Each day, replacing a negative thought with a new, positive thought. Working hard to rewire the brain. If you take a step each day at changing the negative thoughts into positive ones, you’ll finally start letting go of negativity. And that can be a game-changer.
20. Remember That Things Are Understood in Hindsight
Think back to some of the hardest lessons you’ve ever learned in life. At the time, you may have made a mistake and later regretted it when you saw the consequences of it. Unfortunately, humans are absolutely terrible at predicting the future. Seriously, the worst. We’ll never know exactly how things will work out no matter how hard we try to create our own fates. There are too many variables involved.
Too many things are out of our control. And too many coincidences taking place to lead us to this moment right here. Sometimes a happy marriage falls apart leaving us stunned, betrayed, and hopeless. Only to years later be in a new marriage with someone much more compatible. To let go of pain, remember that a bad moment today may lead to your best future moments. But you won’t know or see that today. It takes time for the future to unveil itself.
21. Strive To Do Better
Whenever I hit rock bottom in life, my favorite question to ask is “What can I do today to make tomorrow a little better?” Realistically, tomorrow won’t be magically better. It can take months to see the kind of change you want to see. But those little actions do build up and compound on top of one another.
Doing one acts of kindness or good deed every day for the rest of your life can be a simple thing you to do strive to be better. Reading books about how to be more compassionate, inclusive, and accepting of others can also help make you better. Cutting out vices like alcohol, drugs, or junk food can also make you mentally and physically better.
Everyone’s better will be different, but you know deep down what changes you need to make to get to a place where your life turns around. You don’t have to make changes alone, partner with a clinical psychologist, friend, or family member who will support you on your journey of letting go of your suffering and moving forward through the healing process.
Letting go can allow you to finally release your pain and suffering and rediscover a happier version of yourself. By letting go, you accept what you can’t control and take action on what you can control. You have control over how you react to situations. You have control over your emotions. You also have control over how you treat others. By focusing on being kind, compassionate, and loving, you’re doing the best you can as a human. Help those in need. Love everyone, even strangers. And forgive those who have hurt you for you have and will also hurt people in your life. It’s time to stop reading this article and take your first step in letting go. May you finally have peace.