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Learning to Let Go: Part 2

Letting go can be a scary subject; especially when you don’t know what will happen once you do. However, letting go of bad habits, toxic relationships, and unhealthy practices are necessary for personal growth. In order for one to be fully tapped into their higher self and ready to take life to the next level, they must first let go of EVERYTHING that does not contribute to their life. With that being said this article will be the second of a three part series intended to help you take control of your life by breaking the physical, mental, and emotional barriers keeping you from letting go. So let's get to it:

Mental: Letting go of Unhealthy Practices

The second phase learning to let go focuses on the aspect of letting go that is the most mentally challenging; letting go of unhealthy practices. This can be a rather difficult task because bad habits are typically hard to break, but not impossible.

Breaking bad habits and letting go of unhealthy practices takes a lot of discipline, self-control, and restraint.

In order push negative habits to the side one must retrain their mind to view them as harmful and replace them with positive practices that will contribute to your well-being!

How do you know if a practice is negative or unhealthy? Typically if you need to ask… it is. But for the sake of answering the question I'll say that any practice that wastes your time or money, depletes your health (physical and mental), or simply makes your life more difficult can be considered a bad practice.

So now let's get into how to let them go!

Step 1 - In order to let go of a bad practice you must first recognize its negative impact on your life so you can understand for yourself it's need to be dropped.

Step 2 (conditional) - If there is an object related to the practice get rid of it! That way you won't be tempted to pick it up and re-engage.

Step 3 - Brainstorm a positive practice to replace it with. If you just leave the time you spent in the practice open you'll be more inclined to slip back into the unhealthy habit. So every time you want to engage in that negative practice do push-ups, read a book, cook,  do something that will add to your life instead of take away from it.

Step 4 - Hold yourself accountable. If you are strong enough to do it by yourself then find a physical medium that will remind you to be accountable, if not get an accountability partner (preferably someone who doesn't engage in the practice that you're trying to let go of).

Step 5 - Keep at it until you form a new habit! Research says that it takes about 21 days to form a new habit so try to stay strong for 21 days, if you slip up its okay, you're human, dust yourself off and start over.

Step 6 - Repeat! I know you have more than one habit that needs to be let go of so get to it! Let's start cleaning up our lives.

Now a little story to end off this blog:

One unhealthy practice that I worked very hard, and continue to work hard, to let go of is comparison. I used to compare my personality, life, body, actions, and accomplishments to those of the people around me. Doing this started to take negative tolls on every area of my life! My self-esteem was harmed because this practice of comparison had me constantly questioning my worth. My my mental health was affected and I had trouble practicing gratitude in my life because I was constantly seeing areas where others were doing 'better'. I WAS MISERABLE. I knew something had to change, so I decided to do something about it.

First, I recognized the negative toll that comparison was having on my life. Second, I took a fast from social media and television which gave me way less people to compare myself to. Third, I decided to replace all negative statements about my life with positive ones; at first I would only speak positive affirmations when I would think negatively about my life, but as time went on I started giving myself positive affirmations daily (often multiple times) and eventually the negative thoughts become few and far spread. Fourth, I came up with the idea to hold myself accountable by having a negativity jar kind of like a swear jar where I would put in a set amount of money every time I was being negative or comparing myself to someone and at the end of the month donate the money (I never actually got around to implementing this one because my mom was always around to yell at me when I was being negative). Fifth, I stuck to my system. There are times where I forget to say my daily affirmations and slip back into my negative habit but I just have to remind myself to keep trying and to get back on the train of gratitude.

Some of your habits may seem a little harder to overcome than 'comparison' per say, trust me that's not the only habit that I've had to let go of, but with persistence and time any bad habit can be released.

So this week I challenge you to let go of one unhealthy practice in your life! Whether it be smoking, laziness, lack of discipline, lack of self-care, drinking, impulsive spending, you name it. Let it go!

I'll see you guys next week where we tackle the emotional aspect of letting go!

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