As we get older, we become wiser and know how to better manage our expectations. Expectations are problematic when we set them too high and they are not met. It’s great to strive for excellence, but there is also wisdom in not letting perfection be the enemy of good. Keep in mind, letting go is not giving up; it is understanding our attachment to that which we have no control over—the things we cannot change. When we let go of these high expectations and accept what is, we can focus on creating positivity within us and around us.
Learning to let go and release yourself from unnecessary frustration, anxiety, or worry helps you find a greater sense of happiness and satisfaction with your life and choices. Here are some tips for letting go:
Try meditation. If you’ve never meditated, this practice might sound a little intimidating. It’s easy to get started though. Relax your body, and focus on the in- and out- pattern of your breath. If your mind drifts to the past or future, acknowledge then dismiss these thoughts, returning to the present moment and your breath. Repeat until you find a sense of calm within yourself.
Practice compassion. By focusing on compassion – extending thoughts of empathy, forgiveness, and acceptance towards other people, particularly those who have annoyed or hurt you – you can more easily move beyond feelings of disappointment, jealousy, anger, and other forms of negativity.
Consider interdependence. When you’re upset, remind yourself that life is a series of connections and interactions, some positive, some negative. Your reaction to these situations is the only thing you can control. Remember: We are all in this world together. Try to focus on the good things in your life, even during difficult moments.
Be accepting. At its core, attachment is a refusal to accept things to be the way they are. Unfortunately, there are some situations that you cannot change. Practice demonstrating resilience and grace by allowing yourself to accept that some things will not change. By finding acceptance, you will more easily move beyond trying situations.
Find expansiveness. Through the first four practices, you will find that you can achieve a more expansive mind; one that can identify desires, annoyances, and aversions as minor components of a bigger picture. Your expansive mind can appreciate the beauty of life – in all its flawed glory – and discover unseen possibilities and happiness.
Acacia Creek is located on a picturesque 305-acre campus in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, in Northern California. Nestled in nature, our beautiful hilltop campus includes wide-open spaces, a creek, walking trails, and wildlife. Our residents enjoy fulfilling lives through our welcoming, community-minded lifestyle and plentiful recreational activities.