The Art of Letting Go during Hard Times

Change thrust upon us outside of our control is rarely comfortable

So maybe we can look to theBuddhist principle of impermanence for a little help…

According to Buddhism,

Attachment is the Root of Suffering

Impermanence allows us to cope more easily with trying times.

If we accept that life and anything in it is not permanent…

eg our partner, children, job, physical capabilities, financial and social status

…we are more likely to react gracefully when something perceived as valuable is taken away (LaBier, 2012).

Now – to be clear I’m not a Buddhist nor am I trying to convert anyone 🙂

But I am a fan of many of the Buddhist teachings which when combined with Western ideologies support better mental balance (Wallace & Shapiro, 2006).

As I’m very found of saying – all of our negative emotions arise from the gap between…

Reality and Our Fantasy of what Reality should Be

In reality, just because we’ve become used to having something, doesn’t mean it will always be there.

The sense of loss is human and natural however – if we remind ourselves of the impermanence of everything we can learn to let go sooner.

I often use the metaphor of clinging on bereft and hopeless to a broken but beloved doll.

The truth is the longer we hold on to the doll, wishing it were whole again, the longer we miss the abundance of other opportunities around us.

Now of course we are human and we have a natural grief cycle for any loss which it is appropriate and healthy to experience.

However – we can speed up that pain by remembering the true impermanent nature of all things.

And it’s not just the Buddhists that preach impermanence…

“This too shall pass”

attributed to the Sufi’s, Christianity, Jewish folklore & even used by Abraham Lincoln

Reminds us that hard times will be over soon and to savour the good times while the sun shines

How to escape Rumination and move to problem solving…

By all means spend some appropriate time mourning your loss what ever it is – repressing painful emotions can store them up for later and then…

You guessed it –  my old favourite…

Emo Log:

Write it down, you will likely need to review it again and again for painful changes

1) What am I feeling?

2) What’s this really about?

3) What can I do right now to improve things? be specific, what examples do I have to help me, what thinking errors can I correct eg catastrophising

eg remember that nothing is permanent, the sooner we stop mourning for what’s lost we can strive to make the best for what’s next

Perhaps remember a time when it felt like the world was tumbling down but it turned out to generate positive change

eg the end of a relationship or job that heralded something so much better

4) What can I do longer term to resolve this?

Hopefully there is a clear positive way forward or if not even perhaps may help to accept that to everything there is a season (Ecclesiastes)

a time to break down, a time to build up

a time to weep, and a time to laugh

a time to mourn, and a time to dance

…and if you need any help, just give me a call -I’m here to support you and doing both online and face to face sessions in Chiswick, Acton and Windsor


Crisis Counsellor, Hypnotherapist and EFT practitioner

07946 526 838

If you’re not already signed and would like to receive further Newsletters from me please there’s a form at the top of this page