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Can we ever just let it go?

The Art of Letting Go

"Just let it go."

"Forget about it."

"Hanging onto that feeling will only cause a tumor."

"Just move on."

The list goes on of the responses we may get if we find ourselves having trouble letting go of something either we did or had done to us. 

So is there an art to letting go?
Any of you that have small children or grandchildren may still have that Disney song stuck in your heads if, like in my household, Frozen was on repeat for months. I still have things I did decades ago haunting my thoughts, the ever present cringe as I think why did I do that or why did I allow whomever to do what they did to me. So can we ever just let it go?

Seems the answer is yes but also no. According to Judith Sills, PhD in an article of Psychology Today titled Let it Go!, “Is there anything you can't get over? Yes and no. You don't get over it, but you might find a different place to put it. You don't forget it, but the thought no longer intrudes. You don't pretend it wasn't bad, but you have a sense that you can heal. We don't get over the past. We get past it.”

Change is key to letting it go. We are creatures of habit so changing perspective, changing our actions, changing our response to those thoughts that creep in can be a difficult avenue to maneuver. 

According to Dr. Sills, “Each thought pattern is a cunning argument against letting go. Each needs to be directly challenged and re-scripted before your heart and mind really open to a new state.” Letting go means we need to confront the emotional barriers to wanting to change or allowing our hearts and minds to be open. It is difficult to challenge the irrational, the fear, the shame, and face those feelings. 

Below are 6 action steps that Dr. Sills discusses to assist in moving forward:

  1. Anchor yourself in the future
  2. Discard
  3. Repair
  4. Transform your narrative
  5. Forgive
  6. Learn to be present

And hopefully the end result is the ability to let it go!!!

Ready to Talk?
At CHE Behavioral Services, we understand the challenges of living with anxiety, stress, depression and worry. We are committed to helping those who are struggling. We offer online talk therapy and medication management designed to help people manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Our licensed mental health professionals work with clients to create personalized treatment plans that meet their unique needs and goals.

For more information about talk therapy at CHE, please call 888-515-3834. We are ready to talk and ready to listen.

Author: Leah Bowe, LMSW, Quality Assurance Associate. I reside in Northeast Ohio and have been with CHE since April 2021.