Pain is probably the strongest denominator in all of our lives, the one thing we all have in common. Maybe in varied quantities, but we all have certain things that bring us down in our best days. Life throws different things at us all. And often, it is the way we deal with pain that defines who we are.
As we are weathered by time and experience, we realise that instead of letting ourselves be crushed under pain, we need to battle it. We need to learn how to let go of our sources of pain which may appear inexhaustible, but are not. It is the letting go that truly frees our minds and makes us happy. The more we let go of pain, the more open we are to new experiences.
Underneath the rubble of pain, there is always healing that most of us don’t see. That is exactly what this article is here for! By the end of this article, you’ll have enough inspiration to turn your wounds into wonder. Here are ten ways to learn letting go of old scars so that you’re open to more experiences.
1. Decide To Let Go
As they say, starting is half the battle won. If you sincerely, from the very bottom of your being, decide that you have to let go of things clogging your happy thoughts, you’re easily halfway there. Nothing can help you like you help yourself. Decide that you will do things that make you happy instead of repetitively going over the minutest details of what bothers you. Focus on the good around you, and on the fact that there is so much to look forward to. Make a promise to keep yourself happy, and stick to it. Once you do this will all truthfulness, everything becomes much easier.
2. Get Perspective
Someone once truly said, “We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.” It is very human for us to think of things from a singular point of view, but it also narrows our vision. If somebody has hurt you, try to stand in their shoes and understand why they did the things they did. Understand three steps: what they meant to do, what it came across as, and what you understood it as. They might all be different things, and learning this makes it easier for you to forgive and to move on.
3. Write a Letter
There is nothing as healing as putting your thoughts on paper. Write a letter, and write it with utmost honesty. Address it to the person who hurt you. Address it to yourself. Address it to the past version of yourself. Address it to a childhood friend who you could talk to easily. You may choose not to send it, but it helps clear the cloud of thoughts you have in your head, and often makes you feel much lighter. You can write angry thoughts and toss the paper into a fire if that makes you feel better! Keep writing. Just keep jotting your ideas until your head clears up and sunshine makes way.
4. Spend Time with Yourself
People come and go, but if there is one person you have to put up with your entire life, it’s you. Accept yourself. Learn how to enjoy your own company. Go the gym alone. Go out to a nice place to eat by yourself. Spend all day in a library. Maybe even sit inside your blanket and watch rom-coms with a tub of ice-cream or a can of beer. And make sure to spend at least 15 minutes per day with your thoughts. Throw away your phone for these 15 minutes. It might be difficult at first to just think and do nothing, but take time. It will all end up in a good place.
5. Spend Time with Your Friends
As you’re in the state of despair, curled up in your blanket doing nothing, your friends are out there, worried about you. Realise what a blessing it is to have people who genuinely care about your well-being. Spend time with them. Revisit memory lane. Do a planned activity at least twice a week. Go on hikes, treks, watch movies, go bar-hopping. And mostly, laugh!
6. Make a Gratitude List
As mentioned on point 3, writing things down often gives us concrete ideas of how we feel about things. There might be so many things you are grateful about, but if they are in a vague state of being, they might as well be non-existent. So grab a pen and paper. Sit down in a space that makes you happy, and think about things you are thankful for. Think about things that instantly put a grin our face. Your puppy. Your best friend’s terrible singing. Your 7th grade crush. Write all of it down, and notice how it makes you happy. Put that list where you can see it, to remind yourself there are good things.
If you can afford it, take a vacation. There is possibly no worry big enough that travelling can’t cure it. If a vacation seems out of reach, take weekends to go to nearby places you haven’t been around. Choose whether you want to go with friends or on your own. If even weekend getaways seem impossible, take a new route to work this week. Let yourself feel the wonder of an unfamiliar place. It works wonders!
8. Learn A Skill
There must have been things you wanted to do but never got around: dancing, painting, playing a musical instrument. If not, look around and see what interests you! The newness will get to you, and the more things one knows, the more multifaceted one becomes. Engaging in a new hobby will also take your mind off things that trouble you, and give you something to look forward to.
9. Get Physical
Join a gym, start dancing, or get into sports regularly. When you engage in physical activity, your stress hormones are decreased significantly, and the boundless release of endorphines makes you feel better. Apart from that there’s also the added advantage of good health and consequently a great body. Win win!
10. De-Stress In Little Ways
Meditation is a very very helpful tool when it comes to letting go of stress. There are breathing techniques which help you in calming down, and focusing on the present. Meditating for at least 15 minutes a day is a great way of achieving mindfulness. You can go for morning or evening walks and notice tiny things, like the chirp of birds and the sway of leaves. Noticing beauty in the details is an exercise on optimism, which will apply on newer things to come. Apart from that, you could do little things like organise your desk, make your bed, or do an assignment. Accomplishing little goals gives you the boost to strive for bigger targets.