In life, everyone is bound to go through experiences that harm them emotionally. When you don’t properly heal from these circumstances, however, it can take hold of your life. Harboring negative times and emotions eats away at your quality of life from the inside out. Though letting go may seem hard, it is the only way to release the hold the past has on you and live in the present.

Why is Letting Go So Hard?

Freeing yourself from the baggage of the past is often easier said than done. When you don’t allow yourself the time necessary to cope with the negative emotions fester and resurface at times and in ways you’d never expect. Anytime something new happens in life that remotely triggers a past experience or emotion, you revert back to old ways.

Of course, there are other reasons people can’t let go. Though everything in life cannot be controlled, in some instances, the negative experiences they’ve gone through are a direct result of something they’ve done. Rather than take ownership and learn from the past, it’s easier to put blame on others.

Consequences of Not Letting Go

When you hold onto negativity it wreaks havoc on your life. Some, never find their true passion and live their purpose. Some, fall terribly ill from holding it all in and lessen their quality of life. Others, spiral down a nasty spiral of addiction and lose everything from their careers to their families.

This is truly no way to live. Whether letting go means forgiving others or forgiving yourself, it’s worth the effort. Your physical and psychological health is on the line. Not to mention, your personal and professional life. If you’ve been harboring something from the past, get help to move on and start living your best life. Go to a rehab center with withdrawal management services, talk to a therapist, cut off negative relationships, whatever it takes to get you back on the right path.

Tips for Letting Go

If letting go is a struggle for you, there are simple solutions to making it easier.

Feel - The first bit of advice would be to allow yourself to feel. No matter what’s upsetting you, how long ago it happened, or the cause, you have every right to be upset, sad, or hurt. So, go ahead and cry, scream, toss a pillow, break a few dishes, just let it out.

Forgive - Here’s a hard but necessary step to letting go - forgiveness. Try to find it in your heart to forgive yourself and others for what took place. This doesn’t mean that you’ve forgotten, that the people who harmed weren’t wrong, or that your feelings aren’t valid. Forgiveness means that you understand that there are factors beyond your control that allowed this to transpire. It means that you no longer hold onto the pain from it, but have accepted it for what it was and have decided to move on.

Accept What You Can and Can’t Control - Your thoughts can make it difficult for you to let go and live your best life. When you spend so much of your time focused on things you cannot control or fix, you neglect the things you can causing life to get out of control. Realize the circumstances for what they are. If there were things you could control, make a plan so it doesn’t happen in the future. The things you couldn’t, however, you have to let it go.

Express Yourself - Sometimes it is challenging to let go of the past because you were never given the opportunity to express how you feel to those who hurt you. If possible, do this now but in a productive manner. Talk with them about how their actions offended you, however, don’t go into the conversation with expectations of apologies and mended fences. Everyone has a different experience and theirs may not align with yours, but at least you put it out there. If you can’t talk to them, consider writing a letter, sending a text, or reaching out on social media.

When you’ve been through negative experiences in your past it can seem normal to hold onto those experiences and feelings that derived from it. The truth, however, is that the longer you harbor this negativity, the worse of an impact it has on your life. Don’t allow troubles of the past to predict or takeover your future. Do the work to get through rough times and let go. When you do, you’ll feel free, at peace, and inspired to live your best life.

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