Letting Go: Reducing Anxiety by Reducing Attachment to Results

Something that I am working on a lot right now is reducing my anxiety levels. Well, I am always working on it, but in particular now since I am pregnant as well as approaching the transition into motherhood.  Add to that job hunting and building up my nutrition private practice in our new city of Atlanta. I have a lot on my plate.

I have had the following discussion with my husband, a school psychologist, every so often: Yes, I am less anxious when I have less on my plate, but in life, we are bound to at least sometimes have a lot on our plate, so while simplifying life is one helpful strategy to reducing anxiety, it is not always possible. Knowing how to cope with the “I have too much on my plate” feeling is necessary.

This morning, for whatever reason, my gut told me to put less energy into everything that I do: pour less emotion into it, reduce my emotional investment. Now, my husband has been telling me this multiple times over the past couple of years, but something about the way my gut/heart said it to me today was different. It was that still, small voice of the soul saying: well, maybe if you remind yourself DURING your activities to let go of the results and not put so much fire and energy into your pursuits, you will be less drained afterwards.

Again, I’ve heard it so many times before. My husband is awesome at advising me on this. And others before him have noted my high level of emotional investment in many things that I do.

But there was something so simple and pure about the way this feeling inside of me gently whispered to me today: Just put in a little less. Then you won’t be risking losing so much. Moderate your emotional investment, so you don’t get so drained and set yourself up for disappointment or even a possible melt down. And remind yourself, in every action that you do, that while you are doing that action, you are simultaneously letting go of it. Like a bird set free. You can’t control exactly where it will end up; what the results will be. Remind yourself of this WHILE you are engaged in that action itself, and prepare your heart and soul in advance with this Truth; rather than this Truth blast you over the head in a few hours and you are left feeling surprised, depleted, and emotionally exhausted.

This is a practice I have to remind myself at practically every moment. Or at least, check in with it every 20-30 minutes or so. I’m not one for constant check-ins, but if it means saving me from harder Truths later on, it seems worth it.

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