Letting go of thoughts

To reduce anxiety, we can learn to let go of our thoughts. Photo by ANIRUDH on Unsplash

A key part of mindfulness is, ironically, letting go of thoughts.  We can’t have healthy minds without this ability; if we can’t let go, we can be stuck obsessing about the same things, hour on hour, without rest.

Anxiety is inner conflict, inner tension.  The tension is usually between two important priorities.  As long as we let those priorities fight it out, we stay in anxiety.  It is like the sea pounding on the shore – we will get eroded.  But if we let go, then the sea goes calm, and there is peace for a while.

Spend a little time today letting go of thoughts.  You can do this in several ways, but here are a few:

  • Play a game.  It’s hard to focus on two things at once, and the game will divert you for a few minutes.
  • Phone a friend and talk with them about their life, not yours.  This will reduce your attachment to your own drama, and give you perspective.
  • Meditate.  Most forms of meditation are based around the ability to focus, but in order to focus you need to let go of distractions.  Practice, practice, practice.

It is easy to develop a habit of obsessing about the same old worries.  In the end, though, we all have to leave our present body one day.  We need not be so survivalist.  If we stay selfish, always fussing about our own lives, we will tire ourselves out and become shallow and one-dimensional.

Just for today, we can play a game, talk to someone else about their life, or practice meditation.  Any and all of these can  help us to let go of worries.