Don’t Let People, Things, or Circumstances Have a Hold on You
This means, work on not attaching to the way you want things to be, or the way you think things should be. Let go of the need to control outcomes.
Get comfortable with the concept of impermanence. In other words, NOTHING in life is permanent. The things you decide are “bad” aren’t, and the things you decide are “good” aren’t either.
Practice letting go of what no longer exists right NOW and what no longer serves you. A great way to do this is meditation or journaling.
Train Your Mind with Meditation and Mindfulness
You knew I was going to bring up meditation, didn’t you?
A lot of people get stuck when it comes to meditation because they don’t think they are supposed to have thoughts while meditating, and when they inevitably do, they think they are doing it “wrong”.
You WILL have thoughts! It is how it’s supposed to work, and the fact that you are having thoughts during meditation is a great place to start because you’ll get lots of practice observing them and learning not to judge them or attach to them.
Observing your thoughts during meditation is training your mind to notice your thoughts but not hook into them.
One thing I like to do is, when a thought pops into my awareness, picture it as a leaf floating down a stream, or a cloud passing by overhead. The thought is just something that is passing by. It’s impermanent. It is there, it floats, and then it’s gone.
The more you do this, the easier it will be. It does take some practice though!
As you become more and more aware of your thoughts, it will be easier for you to analyze the situation → thought → emotion cycle and begin to brainstorm other thoughts you could choose instead – more helpful thoughts.
The simple act of writing down a few things you are thankful for each day puts you in the headspace of positivity, not negativity.
Over time, you are creating new pathways in your brain and eventually this mindset will become your default.
Take a Look at Your Limiting Beliefs
Have you ever heard of a limiting belief?
A limiting belief is a belief we have about ourselves or the world that holds us back in some way.
The reason you attach to wanting things to be a certain way starts with belief systems that you hold deep inside your mind. They have often been there since childhood, so they are sneaky buggers that are oftentimes hard to identify and even harder to dismantle.
The good news is that you can dismantle them, and this is the foundation for not attaching to desired outcomes.
Your belief systems drive the thoughts you have about something, and when you can change beliefs that limit you to beliefs that are helpful, you are on your way to a much happier life!
The Choice is Yours
“We have a choice. We can spend our whole life suffering because we can’t relax with how things really are, or we can relax and embrace the open-endedness of the human situation, which is fresh, unfixated, unbiased.”Pema Chodron
Ultimately, it comes down to this:
You can choose happiness over misery. Hope over hopelessness. You can choose an attitude of ease over difficulty.
Your happiness starts with three things:
- Not attaching to the way you want things to be
- Not hooking into your unhelpful thoughts, and
- Learning to be in the moment so you can become aware of your thoughts and ultimately choose more helpful and supportive ones.
Also know that you’re not going to change overnight, so practice self-compassion when you are not happy or get off-track. Be gentle with yourself and know that you have to start somewhere, no matter how small, and take pride in the fact that you are starting!
Written by: Kortney Rivard
Originally appeared on: Kortneyrivard.com
Check out Kortney Rivard’s podcast, Real, Brave & Unstoppable. Available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more!