Humans love to hold on to things – memories, material possessions, ideas, emotions, we are all collectors. But there is a time where the seasons offer us the opportunity to reexamine the things, people, feelings and thoughts that we hold onto so that we can make an empowered decision whether or not we believe our collections are still worthwhile keeping.
So here are our top 3 tips to help you take a closer look and “Let Go” of what isn’t serving you this August.
Let go of repetitive thought patterns that bring you down.
Our brains are amazing and fascinating and complex and … lazy. That’s right. Our brains like to think the same set of repetitive thoughts for most of our day. In fact there is some research to suggest that 95% of our thoughts are the same as those we had the day before. So you better make those thoughts work for you! By the same token there is also plenty of research to suggest that trying to change your thoughts by saying positive things (even when you feel very un-positive) is fruitless.
So what are we to do?
Identify repetitive thought patterns that don’t serve you, acknowledge the thought as just another piece of brain wiring that is stuck on repeat and then direct yourself back to the moment. You might do that by taking a few deep breaths or trying to focus a physical sensation like the weight of your legs sitting on a chair, or if you are in the company of friends/coworkers/family then you might like to jump out of your head and reengage in the moment with them via conversation or play.
The more often you can interrupt the negative repetitive thinking, the more opportunity you have to allow new neurons to fire and wire, laying down the foundation to very slowly change patterns of thinking.
Let go of foods that don’t serve you.
It’s a crying shame, but very often, we really really love foods that don’t work well for us. Maybe it’s a big wedge of cheese, or a luscious bowl of pasta or a large creamy latte. We see patients in a conundrum, not wanting to feel deprived but also wanting to be free of digestive, skin and low energy complaints.
So how do you let go of something that you enjoy so much? Understand the need behind the choice. Does that latte represent rest, luxury and a moment to yourself? Or does the big bowl of pasta feel like a celebration of a long week and anticipation of all the fun to come on the weekend? Once you understand what you want to feel from the food, you can set about meeting your needs in different ways.
Maybe that big bowl of pasta on a Friday night turns into eating at a nice restaurant with a friend and enjoying a glass of wine instead. This way you still get to wind down, enjoy the company of a friend, signal the start of the weekend fun (and not have to cook), but you can make a choice that better serves yourcurrent health, like a piece of salmon and satueed greens for instance.
Understanding why we make choices (far beyond “it tastes nice”) is the first step in creating habits that transform your health and wellness.
Let go of the need to say “yes”.
We are pack animals and people pleasers by nature, but so many of our patients feel burnt out, stressed and overwhelmed, longing for more down time. And we hate to tell you, but nobody will come along and clear your schedule for you, so this tip comes down to biting the bullet and simply saying “no” more often. Creating more space for relaxation and quietness will improve your health and the health of your family too. It might mean missing out on a birthday or two, not sending the kids to kinder in the world’s best book week costume or maybe saying no to the extra work shift (even though you could really do with the cash) but rest assured your mind, body and spirit will thank you for the balance you create when you simply say “no.”
Go on, aim to politely turn something down once a week and see how your calendar and your energy open up.