Letting go can greatly improve your well-being. It can be as small as not letting the stress from the morning traffic ruin your whole day, or as big as transferring your long-term investment into something that would yield more returns.
How many times have you found yourself stewing over things you can’t control? Or realizing that despite your decent salary package, you’re still living from paycheck to paycheck?
These things consume too much of your energy and money in the long run. Time is of the essence, and the more you realize just how precious it is, the easier you’ll find the determination to do something about the things that cause you unnecessary stress, and letting go of what no longer serves you.
Let go of unneeded items.
The Guardian shares how Marie Kondo, the international bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising, introduced her effective and much talked-about decluttering method. It works by sorting out household items according to categories, going through each one, and determining if it gives you joy.
As tedious it may sound for some, a lot of people have claimed that by finally getting rid of old clothes, books, and even appliances, that no longer give them joy, they found peace and happiness in their now much livable homes. For some, it even earned them some extra bucks.
As Kondo says, nostalgia is your enemy. If you have some items or appliances that are still of value but unused in your home, it is best to sell them instead of it gathering dust and taking up space. Throw some old clothes to sell too, or give them up to charity.
Once you’ve learned to let go of unnecessary items, Kondo says: “The inside of a house or apartment after decluttering has much in common with a Shinto shrine, a place where there are no unnecessary things, and our thoughts become clear.”
Let go of negative energy.
Holding on to grudges, stress, and emotional baggage can take a toll on your health. Years of scientific research have, in fact, linked bad relationships or stressful work environment to cardiovascular diseases.
But before you decide to quit your job you must first determine where the stress comes from. Is it really your boss? Or do you just lack the assertiveness needed to be given much better tasks? Is it really about getting too much workload, or you just don’t know how to set healthy boundaries and saying no when it’s needed?
It helps to go through your personal issues with a deeper understanding. Carl Richards, certified financial planner and author of The Behavior Gap, says in his New York Times article “The Cost of Holding On”: “The faster we learn to drop our emotional dead weight, the more room we create for something better.” Richards tells readers to invest their “extra time and energy into something more productive.”
Instead of fuming over the slow internet connection, stand up from your desk and take a short walk or grab something to eat. If you’ve cheated on your once-a-week cheat day, spend an extra 30-minutes on the treadmill instead of beating yourself up for giving in to those yummy cheeseburger and fries.
Letting go of negativity and turning things around for the better are within your control. As Richards said, “Just do something that makes you feel the opposite of how you felt before you let go. I can guarantee you, this is one investment you’ll never regret.”
Let go of excessive spending.
Our primal need to satisfy and protect our security, comfort, sexual satisfaction, and status tend to take over our rational side more often than we like. Splurging for well-deserved things every once in a while is good, but it’s the constant need to buy things you don’t really need that has to go.
To let go of excessive spending, you must first identify your needs. These are important things such as emergency savings, groceries, rent, and bills. You can then set a budget on the extra cash you have, and strictly follow it.
Instead of focusing on the things you want to buy, shift your goals into something more beneficial, such as putting more money into your savings account, or investing in experiences (like saving up for a trip to the beach) rather than material things. Avoid the status game and follow your own practical spending habits.
If you must buy something expensive, make it a habit to compare prices beforehand. You might be charged too much for risk-management measures such as your car insurance, or your credit card may actually have bigger charges than you can afford. Always be a step ahead in making sure you get your money’s worth.