Do you have difficulty with letting go? I know I do at times. I get one thing in my head and have difficulty gettting past the thoughts.
Thoughts can be problematic. They can keep us locked in a vicious cycle of endless rumination.
Our heart’s can also become locked in one thing. We can have a bad experience and hold onto it for way too long. I’ve had patients who couldn’t let go of anger, sadness, and a host of negative emotions.
Unfortunately, negative emotions can be damaging to our hearts. Perhaps you’ve heard of this? They can lead to the development of heart inflammation and blockages of the heart arteries. You can die from this.
So holding onto negative emotions is something that we need to work on. Its something we need to learn to release.
What can you do to let go of negative emotions?
1. Traditional forms of treatment are important
Psychotherapy, counseling, and other talk therapies have been shown to work. You should investigate one of these modalities if you’re having trouble. Talk to your friends to find someone who is effective.
2. Get into some deeper heart work.
As a cardiologist I’ve seen the value of deeper heart work for releasing negative emotions. Workshops are good. Often these intensive programs can help us break through. I’m reminded of the Jim Morrison line, “Break on through to the other side.” This is what we need. We need to go past our usual forms of thinking and being to release harmful negative emotions that can trouble us. The form of deep heart work that I recommend is called, “practicing remembrance.” Its very powerful and effective, but not for the spiritually faint at heart. Many other forms of deep heart work are available. Look at the book, Loving What Is, by Byron Katie. It will help you look at the depth of release that is needed.
3. Find out who you really are.
As you begin to investigate yourself more fully, you’ll have to make a decision to learn who you are at the deepest levels. By this I mean you’ll need to take some time and launch into self reflection. As you travel deeper into your own psyche you’ll get in touch with your authentic self. It’s here that the fun begins.
I’ve mentioned journalling before. It’s a very good starting place for this process. As you explore yourself it will become more and more clear that you are part of a larger whole. A “oneness” exists in all of creation and its also inside you. Once you know your true self letting of unwanted emotions becomes easier. You recognize that this isn’t your real self and so you’ll have no doubts about releasing unwanted feelings.
4. Work at it.
My last suggestion is to really work at letting go. Letting go may not happen instantly. You have to be willing to use the methods listed above and give them some time. I recommend that people practice remembrance for 30 minutes 1-2 times daily. This is the bare minimum that is generally required to be effective. The same can be said of self reflection or journalling. You’ll need to do it daily and be intent on spending a fair amount of time to achieve the results you desire. It may take a number of weeks or sometimes a month or two to let go of negative thoughts and feelings. Think about the length of time it takes to learn to play the piano or taking up some other hobby. You know from this that you’ll have to be patient.
I am certain that if you want to let go of harmful emotions you can do it. Intention is everything. Make up your mind and your heart- you’ll be successful.
February 20th, 2008