zen habits : breathe

How to ‘Let It Be’ When You’re Upset

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Agent Sully of Life Learning Today.

Something has you upset. You can’t get it off your mind. You’re troubled and you struggle with this ball of bad feelings. What’s the advice we frequently hear from others and even from ourselves? “Just let it go.” Well, that’s easier said than done.

“Just let it go” implies a sort of active forgetting. You’ve probably tried the experiment, “Don’t think of a pink elephant.” Once you have that in your mind, you simply can’t forget it. The same is true with grief, anger, or other strong distressing emotions.

Let It Be
Another approach to consider is to “Let It Be.” What does this mean? I’m sure this can mean different things to different people, but what it means to me is to stay present with your uncomfortable feelings instead of running or hiding from them. Try to really feel those difficult emotions. Observe them. Don’t fear them or seek to run from them. Instead endeavor to live with them and learn from them, knowing that the time you spend doing this will help to heal you. When you do this with serenity, as much as you can muster, you will discover your strength and over time you will notice the bad feelings start to soften and melt.

Take Your Time
Depending on the circumstances, this can take quite a bit of time or it can work in an afternoon. The main thing to remember is not to rush it. Have faith and know that things will get better. Be patient with yourself and with the process.

Guide to Being Present
As you work to be present with your challenging emotions, here are some questions and affirmations to guide you:

Examples of When “Let It Be” Might Be Helpful

Living Life
“Let It Be” means being present with your difficult feelings, but it also means living life. A big part of healing is to live life, to be active, and engaged. If you are in the throes of grief, obviously you should take things slowly. Listen to what your body and soul tell you to do. But, do try, in small ways at first, to be active. This is not to drown out your feelings, but rather to give you the physical strength and the mental perspective that will help you be present with your feelings and heal. It’s a balance. Take the time to analyze and also take the time to live life. Wishing you peace.

How do you deal with difficult emotions? Please share in the comments!

To read more from Agent Sully, visit her blog Life Learning Today.

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