Sure we all have heard this before: "Let go of your past, think about the present". A question still arises time and again, as to how does one effectively do that? It is easy to read a few adages on letting go and moving on, but to actually start following it requires a great deal of perseverance. In this fast paced life, it is easy to find yourself in two extremes, one, being completely involved in yourself, including being self-involved in every arena of life, and continuously thinking about your own profit and well being (in a materialistic way), and two, losing yourself and your ability to think clearly under the burden of the most popular man-made emotions -- 'stress'!! Either way, you are not being who you truly are, because you haven't mastered the art of letting go.
So how does one go through with it? Is there a pill you can take every day? Yes, may be if you are excessively stressed and/or depressed the doctors would prescribe some medicines for you to relax your mind, however, they can only provide temporary solutions to the root cause, which circles back to the fact that you have not learnt to let go. In order to achieve permanent solutions, one has to go through a long term process of relaxing their mind. In my experience, some of the procedures I have highlighted below have been very effective. Some of them require more effort than the others, but the end result is totally worth it.
The Art of Letting Go
I have mentioned a few pointers below, which may help all of us in calming our minds, and living healthier, full-rounded lives.
1. Deep Breaths: Yes, it is that simple! Spend 5 minutes every morning (or whenever you start your day), just inhaling and exhaling in a deep, complete manner. Feel the fresh air entering you lungs. Ensure you give your lungs a bit of time to hold the air in, before you feel its way back out. This is not just about taking in oxygen, and giving out carbon-dioxide. This is associated with welcoming a new day along with anything it may bring, and giving out frustrations/anger/sorrow from the day that has gone by. The beauty of this procedure is that it doesn't have to be practised only in the morning. If you practise it before bedtime, you will feel equally relaxed, as you are now taking in the tranquility of the night, and exhaling any negative emotions you would've come across during your day.
2. Exercise and Diet: Oh yes, how many times we would've heard this! And yet it never hurts to hear it again, because it is so very important in relaxing you mind, and helping you let go. First let us come to the diet. In our urban lives, it is often difficult to maintain a balanced diet. Most of us tend to eat out for a large portion of the day, and more often than not the food we eat is not nutritious. So what is the solution? Choose your vendors right. While eating out, it is important to choose the shop/stall/counter that sells items that are closest to your image of a healthy diet. Diets are different for different people in the world. While one corner of the world might see fish and rice as their staple food, another corner would prefer a chicken and celery sandwich. Go with your upbringing, as our body is most used to digesting whatever we have been frequently eating from childhood. Hence, it is important to choose a vendor that serves food not only to your taste but to your idea of a complete meal.
Now let's talk about exercise. Again, go with your preferences. It doesn't really matter the form of work-out that you do, what matters is whether it is regularly and correctly done. Pick a favorite - aerobics, yoga, swimming, cycling, running, or anything else that interests you, and take a formal training. Once you have mastered the form, practice it according to your surroundings and timings. When you exercise, your body lets out a certain amount of heat, and your mind is relaxed as a lot of negative energy escapes from your inner self through the heat. When you combine it with a proper diet, the body gets to replenish the lost heat with fresh positive energy that helps you move on to a new day, a new challenge.
3. Count your blessings: This is one of the most important steps in 'letting go'. Make a list of everything that is good in your life. Sure we all have our share of negative incidents in life, which can range from something trivial as losing a favorite sweater or something life-altering such as the death of a close one. However, in the midst of all the unhappiness in the world, we all have a few things that are good in our lives. Take a notepad and a pen and make a note of these things. It can be as simple as you having a roof on top of your head while many in this world live on streets, or something deeper and emotional such as you having a loving parent while a size-able section of the population grows up in orphanages. Once you have made this list, store it in a place to which you have daily access. Read through the list over and over until it settles in your mind that you have many things to be happy about. Focus on this list day in and day out. Think of or if needed read the list repeatedly whenever you encounter negative emotions/incidents in your daily life. Trust me, you will see a difference!
The above mentioned procedures are only methods to show you the way to a brighter today, and a hopeful tomorrow. What is more important than practising these is to understand why you are practising them, and to lead the way in showing the ones who are still struggling through darkness, that you, and you alone, can help yourself in letting go!
Disclaimer: I am not a qualified medical practitioner. This article is based on my personal experiences, and is intended to show the reader some direction towards a relaxed and stress-free life.