Why accepting the pain of holding on is the first step to recovery

When I resisted the pain I was experiencing, I accentuated it. When we practice mindfulness and both acknowledge and accept pain, it’s power against us diminishes. We are no longer trying to fight against the current and go upstream.

 

This is not the same as resigning yourself to the pain, but rather accepting its presence non-judgmentally, choosing to say ‘Ok, I am going through a difficult time right now and it is understandably painful. I will be upset whilst I am going through this but I will nurture myself and take positive steps which are going to let me move past this in time’.

 

HINT: Monday’s posts are jam packed with positive steps you can begin taking today!

 

Once you have accepted that pain will accompany your loss, and that this is to be expected, its power over you will diminish. Any generalized thoughts like ‘this will never end’ will cease and you will feel less trapped and hopeless.

 

Have you felt as though your pain would never cease whilst trying to let go and move on before? Have you ever tried to fight against your pain? What effect did this have? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

Letting go and moving on: Why self-care doesn’t equal selfish

When we are in the process of mourning a loss and working upon letting go and moving on, it’s essential we practice self-care. Many think of self-care as selfish however when we are low we need to look after ourselves before we are able to look after anyone else. When I was a stewardess I was taught in training that in the event of a plane crash, passengers with children needed to put their oxygen mask on first, as otherwise they would pass out before being able to put on their children’s mask.

 

It is exactly the same principal when we are suffering from loss. We first need to ensure we are emotionally stable before tending to others needs. Of course daily responsibilities should be seen to, like taking your children to school or feeding your pets, but the wider responsibilities of daily life – such as giving friends lifts or helping a friend revise their resume – need to wait. After all, if you are unable to meet your own emotional needs, how can you to help anyone else effectively?

 

A good analogy is to think of yourself as a bucket. When you are emotionally drained your bucket is empty and so you are unable to fill up others buckets because all of your resources are depleted. First fill up your own bucket and then you will be in a position to help others.

 

When your emotional bucket is empty you need to nurture yourself. Treat and pamper yourself.

Talk with friends and family for emotional support.

 

Finally, work through the five steps below (as discussed in all Monday posts this month) to set foot on the path to recovery:

 

  1. Accept the situation you are in and see it for what it is
  2. Socialize again
  3. Take up hobbies
  4. Create goals
  5. Imagine a happy, meaningful and fulfilling future

 

Have you ever viewed self-care as being selfish? When you are low do you practice self-care? What do you do to treat and pamper yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Letting Go In Action: Write about your ideal life

What would your ideal life look like if you had already let go and moved on? This might be incredibly hard to imagine but do your best to try, all possibilities are open to you!

 

To help with this process ask yourself the following questions:

 

  • Where would you live? Would you move home?
  • Which relationships would you nurture?
  • Where would you work and what would you do?
  • Would you explore faith as a source of comfort and support?
  • What would you do in your spare time?

 

Did today’s exercise help you to imagine a life beyond your current pain? What would your ideal life look like? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

Letting Go In Action: List the cons of not letting go and moving on

Take just ten minutes to list all the downsides to holding on to the thing that no longer serves you.

 

To help you get started some common cons are:

 

  • Low mood
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of motivation in life
  • Lack of satisfaction in life
  • Isolation from friends and family (if you have socially withdrawn)
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Hopelessness
  • Being without direction in life and feeling lost
  • Feeling angry
  • Feeling confused
  • Lacking ability to concentrate
  • Being ill
  • Performing poorly at work
  • Being emotionally unavailable to those you love, impacting relationships

 

This exercise is not designed to make you feel hopeless but rather to help you see the impact not letting go and moving on has had on your life. Recognize how it is causing more harm than good whilst you read your own personal list. Choose life, choose letting go and moving on.

 

For those who are depressed following the loss someone you love, I would strongly encourage you to seek therapy as this can be extremely difficult to come to terms with.

 

For those living in America please click here to find a therapist.

 

For those living in the UK please click here to find a therapist.

 

Did you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself? Are you ready to leave these behind you and let go and move on? Have you considered finding a therapist if you have lost someone you love? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

Letting Go In Action: List what you need to let go and move on from

Take five minutes to evaluate what you need to let go and move on from and write it down.

 

Are you struggling to get over an ex? Has a friendship dissolved? Are you mourning the loss of a life stage, such as life before motherhood? Has someone you loved passed away? The loss of a childhood due to bullying?

 

Maybe something happened to you years ago but you’ve never been able to move past it, maybe the loss is more recent.

 

Whatever the nature of your loss take just two minutes to write it down.

 

This is the beginning of your road to recovery.

 

Were you surprised by what surfaced by asking yourself what you need to let go and move on from? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

Letting Go and Moving On; How to Get Unstuck and Step into A Bright Future Part One

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

At the times in my life when I couldn’t face moving on the festive period was especially hard. Harmonious relationships and joyous times flooding the television, portraying a perfect, happy and uncomplicated life only accentuated my pain. This often triggered my thinking back – very much through rose tinted lenses – to my romanticized past.

 

Of course the holidays can bring up old memories but what I am referring to is a year round state of pain and its associated paralysis, leaving you unable to move past it, with the holidays just making the notion of moving on even harder.

 

It took me six years to get over my first encounter with romance. I remember agonizing over the pain, the fact that it was the only thing linking us in the present both comforting and familiar. Although I don’t believe in regrets, I look back at that time in my life and want to shake my younger self until I saw sense.

 

Not only did I romanticize the past but I failed to see how I was actively contributing to my misery in the present. And to make things worse I had shut myself off from meeting anyone new.

 

My friends all told me to let go and move on but I had no idea how.

 

Quite by accident I took five important steps which allowed me to release myself from my imprisonment in the past and step into to my future with a happy heart and plenty of hope. If you want to move past the pain, these steps can help you create a life full of joy, laughter and happiness.

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Imagining a future when letting go and moving on

 

This is one of the hardest parts of letting go and moving on because it seems like everything you love will cease to be once you truly let go and move on. I promise you this is not the case. You can still honor your memories and let go of the pain associated with them. Try this exercise to begin imagining a meaningful future, one that is filled with happiness and fulfillment.

 

Step One

 

Ask yourself what the person (or thing you are trying to let go of – insert as necessary) offered you that was so special.

 

For example, in my case it was romantic love.

 

Step Two

 

Brainstorm who or what could offer you something comparatively special – this is difficult but really try your best to come up with three things that you could seek out and nurture.

 

In my case this was the unconditional love of my parents, the companionship of my friends and a possible boyfriend.

 

Step Three

 

Make a plan to introduce things or foster deeper connections with those that can offer you something comparatively special.

 

My plan was to spend more quality time with family and friends. Once I went through the other steps I’ll mention in Monday’s posts, having successfully let go and moved on, I also joined eHarmony where I met the love of my life!

 

Did today’s exercise help you feel empowered to create a meaningful future? How do you think channeling your efforts into other more nurturing things and relationships will help? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Top Tips: Distraction from bitter sweet memories

 

Whilst it’s unhealthy to avoid addressing the pain of holding on to bitter-sweet memories, sometimes distraction from the pain is needed.

 

Please read Monday’s series posts for top tips on how to let go and move on in a lasting, sustainable way, but, in the meantime, I thought I would share with you some of the best ways to manage your pain in the short-term.

 

  • Talk to close friends and family (their emotional support will prove invaluable)
  • Read literature (this also helps develop empathy)
  • Go for a twenty minute walk (it’s been proven to lift mood)
  • Go to the movies or watch uplifting DVD’s
  • Watch TED Talks
  • Cuddle your pet (get those feel good hormones going)
  • Watch comedy (laughter is sometimes the best cure)

 

And to avoid…

 

  • Facebook or social media stalking
  • Looking at photos of them (unless they have passed away)
  • Looking at videos of them
  • Going to places which reminds you of them
  • Listening to music which reminds you of them
  • Watching movies which reminds you of them

 

Have you avoided your pain by seeking distractions? Are you ready to address the root cause of the pain and finally let go and move on by reading Monday’s posts this month? Have you ever tried these distraction techniques to ease the pain in the short-term? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

The case for letting go and moving on (and why you’ll be thankful you did)

It sounds strange but in my experience one of the toughest parts of moving on is leaving the pain behind you. I found the pain I endured almost comforting because it was the only thing linking me to my bitter sweet memories of the past, and, obviously, the person those memories where shared with.

 

I am here to let you know that the benefits of letting go and moving on far far outweigh the benefits of hanging on.

 

Once I did move on a weight was lifted, I felt free. I had more energy, optimism, my enthusiasm soared and I was generally more engaged with life. For the first time in ages I saw all the directions my life could take, my passions re-emerged and I was more motivated and driven, looking to the future with a renewed sense of hope.

 

Of course in the midst of my pain if you had told me I would go on to live such a meaningful, happy and fulfilling life I would have dismissed it as impossible. By following the five steps outlined in Monday’s series posts you too can reap these rewards, however distant that reality might seem now.

 

Have you successfully navigated letting go and moving on? Are you now leading a happy and meaningful life? Do you have any words of encouragement for those who are finding difficulty letting go? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

This Month’s Hot Topic is Letting Go and Moving On

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Having struggled with letting go and moving on myself I know how hard and painful the process can be. This month we will explore how to let go and move on, whether you are mourning a past relationship, the loss of someone you love or even a more care free, younger self, who was in a different life stage.

 

Step by step, I will take you through how to:

 

  1. Accept the situation you are in and see it for what it is
  2. Socialize again
  3. Take up hobbies
  4. Create goals
  5. Imagine a happy, meaningful and fulfilling future

 

Begin looking to the future in hope with this month’s series on letting go and moving on.

 

Wishing you all the success and happiness you deserve,

 

x X x Jenny Leigh x X x

 

Have you ever struggled with letting go and moving on? How did you get through it? Are you still struggling to let go at the moment? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

 

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