These exercises are part of my blog-article on Letting Go. I put them together for my clients because I value practical tips. Because they are so important to me, I put them in a separate article. You can read this article in German here.
I share here eight exercises of the many good ones I know. I especially like exercises that include the body. This signals our brain that loves to have input from all sides, that we are really getting serious.
Letting Go is clearing up on the inside
We tidy and clean our home to feel comfortable in it. We take care of our body by having a shower regularly. Many people are becoming aware that it is important for their well-being to also take good care of their inner home: By devoting time to this important part of themselves they are getting more familiar with it.
When I realised that my inner home likes to be sorted once in a while I started to do letting go sessions every once in a while. In these sessions I evaluate what I really need and what only takes space and energy that I could use much better elsewhere.
Exercises facilitate change
An exercise forces you to get to the point. To be really precise can be more difficult than you might think. It is so important to write down precisely what we want to consciously let go. Being precise at the beginning of the letting go process helps to focus. I also found out that writing things down by hand brings greater clarity than tapping on the computer keyboard.
2. Setting the signals on change
With doing an exercise you are signalling to yourself that you are serious. To permanently change a habit you need at least three weeks. It takes that long to convince your whole being that you really want to implement something new. This is why it is so easy to fall back into old habits. So please don´t give up too early!
3. Select an exercise that feels good to you
The exercise that you choose should fit to you. You do not need to do the hardest, longest or most complex exercise. Be creative and vary an exercise to your liking. What matters most is that you set the signs for a new beginning.
4. Define an objective
At the beginning you have ideally put down a goal you want to reach with an exercise. It helps to decide how often you want to do the exercise and you can better monitor your success.
5. Don´t forget to appreciate yourself
You did it! Party when you have finished with an exercise. Pat yourself on the back! You have deserved a reward. This way you reinforce the positive change you initiated.
Eight letting go exercises
When doing your exercise find a place where you feel comfortable and safe.
1. Discovering what exactly you want to let go of: Evaluating your habits
- Write down what your thoughts are busy with often. Everything that we repeat a lot of times becomes more and more important to us. What subjects are your thoughts revolving around most?
- Why is that so (thoughts, emotions, actions)? Which beliefs are behind this that are consistently reinforced that way?
- Do these beliefs still fit to you?
2. Being aware of emotions and letting them go
This exercise is for self-awareness. Define as exactly as possible what you want to let go: People, conflicts or beliefs. Now imagine releasing them. Because this is a process you need to repeat this exercise.
- In this exercise you watch yourself: What do you feel? How much can you allow? Please don´t go too far. To make this process more tangible please write down the recurring thoughts.
- What emotions can you allow? What impulses and automatic responses can you detect that you use to supress these feelings? Can you look at them without judging yourself? When you realise that you are going on a negative spiral stop and start with 1. again. The feelings will get less dramatic over time.
- Repetition: Are you able to let the feelings come and go? E-motion is energy in motion. Look at your feelings from a distance. Over time you will get used to releasing feelings more easily.
- Now you can manage to observe the emotions you wrote down travelling through you. Be careful not to overwhelm yourself.
- The more negative emotions you can let go, the more space you have for positive ones. Fill the space you create with acceptance and love for yourself.
- Be thankful for the time and help that you had from the people or beliefs you let go.
3. A letting go ritual: Let a piece of paper fall to the ground
Write down what you want to let go of in only 1 to 3 words. This helps you to be precise. Fold the paper, stand up, open your hand and the paper go. Watch how it is sailing to the ground and monitor your feelings. Please repeat this at least 3 times the same day and on the following days.
4. The exercise with the ball makes letting go tangible
Hold a small ball not bigger than a tennis ball in your hand. Press it hard until it is really uncomfortable. The ball is the symbol for an emotion, a person, or something else you want to let go. The hand represents you.
Open the hand and let the ball roll around on your palm. It is not part of you and therefore doesn´t stick to your hand. Let it fall to the ground and observe yourself and your feelings. Repeat the exercise.
5. Remove the connection to people, who are not good for you
- Visualise the connection as a tie.
- Say thank you for the time you have spent together and say good-bye.
- Imagine how you are undoing the tie, rolling it up and putting it in your pocket.
- Repeat the exercise.
6. Forgive yourself and others
- You cannot change other people but you can change the way you react to them.
- Write down as exactly as possible what is hurting you and what you keep thinking about.
- Accept the situation. You know that we all decide at any given moment as best as we can.
- Affirmation: Say aloud: “I forgive me and I forgive you.”
- Do a symbolic act: Burn the paper or bury it. (Exercise number 3).
- Imagine how old issues are getting smaller. Visualise a block of ice melting and becoming liquid. Transfer this to your situation. With this you can now water a plant. What kind of plant is it?
- Envision a big untidy knot in a long rope exactly where your problem is. Start to slowly untangle the rope and roll it up. When you have a real ball of tangled yarn at home, great, you can also use that.
- Fake it until you make it: Imagine in detail how free you are feeling when you have finished the letting go process. This is a psychological trick that really helps.
Repeat the visualisations.
8. Clearing up
Tidying on the outside is a nice symbol for letting go on the inside. This can feel so liberating! No matter what you put in order: Car, closet, basement, desk or handbag. When I feel the strong impulse to tidy, my inner home is often very much in need of a clearing up session.
Pictures: pixabay and private
© Inge Schumacher