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40 Ways To Let Go And Feel Relieved

40 Ways To Let Go And Feel Relieved

Whether you’re angry with something a co-worker said yesterday or you’re harboring deep resentment from your childhood, learning how to let go of those things can be important to your physical and mental well-being. Practice these strategies to help you let go and experience relief.

1. Write an Angry Letter and Burn It

Sometimes watching your problems go up in flames can make the problem seem to disappear.

2. Journal About Your Feelings

Writing things down can offer you perspective.

3. Set Aside Time to Meditate

Meditation can resolve many unresolved feelings.

4. Learn and Practice Mindfulness Skills

Focus on the here-and-now and allow your problems to slip away.

5. Recognize Physical Symptoms of Stress

Identify when stress is taking a toll on your health so you can make changes accordingly.

6. Identify and Replace Destructive Thoughts

Destructive thoughts can make you feel worse. Replace overly negative thoughts with more realistic ones.

7. Engage in Regular Exercise

Exercise can reduce stress and keep your mind and body healthy.

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8. Get Plenty of Rest

Sometimes a good night’s sleep offers a fresh perspective that may allow you to let go of whatever’s bothering you.

9. Talk to a Friend About the Problem

Talking to a friend can offer you a different point of view about how to let go.

10. Talk to a Friend About Something Other than the Problem

Talking about something other than the problem can also help you get your mind off things.

11. Participate in Problem-Solving

Develop a list of what would need to happen to help you let go of the problem.

12. Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing relieves stress and clears the mind. It can calm your emotions so you can take a logical approach about how to let go of the issue.

13. Establish Goals

Rather than focus on the past, establish goals for the future.

14. Use Guided Imagery

Guided imagery offers a break from ruminating on the current problem.

15. Reflect Without Judgment

Reflect on the events that transpired without placing blame on yourself or anyone else. Stick the facts, and it may help you find out how to let go of the issue.

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16. Draft a No-Mail Letter

If you’re mad at someone else, or even an inanimate object, creating a letter that expressing your feelings can be very helpful. Throw away the letter when you’re done and move on.

17. Ask Yourself How Important this Issue will be in 5 Years

Often the things we can’t let go of seem like a big deal. However, many of those things won’t matter at all in the future. Ask yourself how important this problem will be to the rest of your life.

18. Accept What You Can’t Control

Practice accepting that you can’t control everything.

19. Practice Loving Others

Focusing on your love for others can help other problems melt away.

20. Imagine the Problem Floating Away in a Balloon

Visualizing the problem floating away can help you let it go.

21. Perform Random Acts of Kindness

Contributing to another person’s happiness will change your focus.

22. Remember that Pain is Normal

Pain in life is inevitable and it can help you build character.

23. Distract Yourself

Don’t ruminate on the issue. Instead, engage in an activity to take your mind off it.

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24. Look at the Big Picture

Remind yourself of the big picture in life and it can be easier to let go of something from your past.

25. Empathize with the Other Person

If you can’t let go of something another person did, try to develop some empathy for how that person might have felt.

26. Ask Yourself What Advice You Would Offer to a Friend Who Had this Problem

Often it’s easy to be more logical when you give advice to a friend. Ask yourself what recommendation you would give a friend about how to let go of something and then take your own advice.

27. Accept Your Responsibility

Accept any responsibility you had in the situation, even if it were a small piece.

28. Repeat Positive Affirmations

Develop some positive statements to repeat over and over such as, “I will be okay.”

29. Seek Spiritual Comfort

No matter what type of spiritual beliefs you have, look for comfort in your spirituality.

30. Be Grateful for What You Have

Remind yourself of all the things you have to be grateful for.

31. Visualize the Problem Shrinking

Imagine the problem slowly shrinking until it finally disappears.

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32. Learn From Your Mistakes

Chalk the situation up to a life lesson that you can learn from and take something away from it.

33. Plan for the Future

Look toward the future and it can help you let go of the past.

34. Practice Loving Yourself

Be kind and take care of yourself so that you can set yourself up for success.

35. Develop a Plan

Determine what steps you can take to deal with the situation instead of avoiding it.

36. Identify the Consequences of Not Letting Go

Make a list of the potential consequences of not letting go to help encourage yourself to actually let go.

37. Adjust Your Expectations

Remember that no one is perfect and life isn’t fair. When you adjust your expectations it can help remind you that problems are a part of life that happen to everyone.

38. Listen to Music

The psychology of music shows it is a great way to elicit hidden emotions and promote healing.

39. Behave Assertively

If your feelings are hurt, speak up in a tactful manner.

40. Seek Professional Help

If you can’t let go of something and it’s impacting your life, seek professional help. A counselor can assist you in letting go.

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Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

How to Think Positive Thoughts When Feeling Negative 12 Ways To Improve Social Skills And Make You Sociable Anytime 6 Mistakes That Keep You Struggling in Life And Stuck 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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