How to Let Go and Move On

Posted on September 19, 2016

Advice about moving on and letting go often gets metaphorical, even existential. But I’m a pragmatist and as they say, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Today we’ll focus on those first steps. Here are five in-the-moment, concrete tips for when you suddenly realize your gaze is focused squarely on your navel.

Tip #1: Make a decision to move on. Realizing you get to choose whether or not to dwell is empowering. When that gray cloud starts to settle above your head, say out loud: “I choose not to let this bring me down,” or “I have more important things to do.” You can even stand up and brush that dirt off your shoulder. Then re-engage in whatever you were doing. Make this decision as many times as necessary.

Tip #2: Think of the good things in life. I know this sounds totally cliche, but hear me out. A study in the prestigious Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that when study participants were induced to ruminate, their memories of other old hurts were magnified. The researchers asked participants to judge how often twenty different life experiences happened to them, from the bad, like “You have an argument with a friend,” or “You receive unfair treatment,” to the good, like “Your parents showed love,” or “You got a grade that was higher than you expected.” The result? Rumination—specifically rumination when the participants already felt lousy—led the ruminators to see bad things in their life as frequent and good things as few and far between.

So when you notice yourself slipping into rumination, use Tip #1 to turn your mind, and then remind yourself of the good things in your life right then and there. Scroll through happy photos on your smartphone, give your dog a tummy rub, or look forward to that weekend getaway.

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Category(s):Grief, Loss, Bereavement

Source material from Savvy Psychologist

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