Hi, My name is Mariana and I hold on to things.
It is actually a lot harder to write about this than I wanted it to be. One of my biggest challenges is letting go of experiences and people. I really struggle with closing chapters, because in my mind, there is always a chance that I made a mistake. There is always a chance that I will regret letting go.
However if I have learned anything recently, it is this: new chapters of life can only begin when you stop re-reading the old ones. So, in an effort to let go of past chapters—I am writing this. To encourage YOU, that YOU can do it too. Maybe together, we can let go of the not-so-good things and seek what will be better for us (easier said than done, but we will attempt this anyway)
So, I’m going to share an experience with you…
I went to a lecture recently called “The Science of Happiness”— and in that lecture we talked about, you guessed it - happiness. The presenter said something fascinating to me:
* 50% of your happiness level is related to your genetics—it is what you cannot change about yourself (okay…fine)
* 10% of your happiness level is circumstantial i.e.: what’s going on in your life, your environment, etc. (okay…understandable)
* 40% of your happiness level is within your control, it is the changes that you make and the habits that you create, that will raise or lower your level of happiness and satisfaction (okay…wait, WHAT?!)
To me, this 40% was a shock.
But to me, this 40% was and IS also an opportunity.
This is how I applied this knowledge to my life:
It may not always be easy to be happy, but 40% of my happiness has NOTHING to do with what my brain sometimes tells my body to feel like (like be sad and anxious). 40% of my happiness is what I can do to help my body and mind feel better: they are my habits and tendencies.
So, what did I learn from this? I want to create good habits for myself to engage in, in order to feel happier.
The presenter said that letting go (for yourself) was one of the best ways to improve that 40% level of happiness.
So what is ‘letting go for you’ mean? It means:
1. Accepting a situation/person for what it is/ for what they are
2. Accepting that you had no control over that situation/person’s actions
3. Forgiving yourself for not being able to control that situation/ person’s actions
4. And reminding yourself of these three rules every time you think of that situation/person
I wanted to write this blog in order to challenge the readers to let go of that thing that has been holding them back. So, I created a list of tips and tricks that may help in doing this:
1. In the words of Wear Your Label: “All the feelings” must be felt. So let yourself cry, be angry, be happy BUT have an outlet for these things too. Outlets look different for everyone, maybe you journal, sing or reach out to a friend.
2. Channel your discontent into an immediate positive action—if you are having a crappy day, remind someone you know that you love them! Engaging in positive actions has A HUGE impact on how we feel about ourselves, and reminds us that there is good out there!
3. Reward yourself for small acts of acceptance. Head out with friends after putting all of your ex-relationship’s things in a box. Give yourself the afternoon off school, for having a great day of positive interactions where you put yourself first!
4. Metaphorically release it: write down all you feel about a person/situation (don’t judge yourself for whatever you write) then rip it up or throw it into a fireplace.
5. Write down what you want your life to look like in 10 years: let yourself revisit that happy place when you need it.
Letting go is a process, and it is sometimes long, but I encourage you to engage in it. Your mental health is more important than the thing that is making you feel upset. You deserve to let go and move on. You deserve to increase your happiness by 40%. You deserve to be okay.