Let Go of 30 Mental Burdens and Get Ready for a Wonderful New Year

Dr. Liza Varvogli
10 min readJan 2, 2020
  1. Let go of reminiscing of the past

The past is past; revisiting the good or the bad moments in a compulsive way, as if you “must” do it, is not a good idea. Especially if that causes you emotional pain. Maybe you had bad things happen to you, memories that are indelible, experiences that you wouldn’t want to even think about- yet here you are, reminiscing of the past with a quality of “stuckeness” and an inability to get away from it. Maybe you keep going back to good old memories, you compare and contrast them to your present which is not perfect and that brings you down. Either way, going back to the past and regurgitating it isn’t helpful. Using meditation, investing in self-care, practicing what you read in self-development, and perhaps with the aid of a therapist you can let go of the past and focus on the present. Because, after all, don’t you want to have a good life now!

2. Let go of chasing the wrong people

Really. Why chase after people who don’t see your worth and don’t value you as a person? The problem with chasing the wrong people is that you don’t pay any attention to the right ones. Open you mind and the door of your heart to the right people, those who are supportive, encouraging, kind, respectful. Start building and nurturing healthy, fulfilling relationships.

3. Let go of unproductive thinking and limiting beliefs

Experts estimate that the human mind things anything between 60,000–80,000 thoughts a day; and of those they estimate that 80% are negative, while 95% repetitive. If you do the math, you will realize why it’s not a good idea to think pessimistic and limiting thoughts. Every time you are aware of such a thought, catch it and challenge it- is it really true? What’s the evidence? Is there evidence against the negative thought? What would be the worst possible outcome? How probable is it? What would be another more realistic thought you can replace the negative thought?

4. Let go of relentlessly criticizing yourself

Listen you your inner voice- is it warm, encouraging, supportive, showing you the way to growth and development? If not, you are doing something wrong. Just criticizing yourself doesn’t allow you to move forward; on the contrary, it stunts personal development and leaves you hopeless and stuck in a situation you don’t like.

5. Learn to let go of pushing yourself to be with others

Remember that being alone and being lonely are two different things. Being alone means that you are by yourself, not in the company of others- and you can feel great about it! But you are lonely when you feel excluded, abandoned, sad, and without friends. The way you use these two adjectives makes a world of a difference. Spending quality time with yourself when you are alone can be a good thing, as it allows your brain to get rid of mental crap and recharge, it boosts creativity and productivity, and helps you to get to know yourself better.

6. Learn to let go of irrelevant and disruptive pursuits

Often people set their minds to do one thing and soon thereafter find themselves engaged in doing something totally different and irrelevant to what they intended to. Distraction is the enemy of productivity. Find purpose and meaning and follow through.

7. Learn to let go of pessimism

Why choose pessimism when you can go for an optimistic outlook? Optimists can still see a situation in a realistic way, but they don’t focus on the problem or the worst possible outcome. Rather, they choose to see the solution and by being optimistic they plan for the best result.

8. Learn to let go of the known and comfortable

As much as convenience begs to stay within our known parameters, think the same thoughts, do the same things, repetition does not bring new results. Step out of your comfort zone and embrace change. Dream, set goals, take risks, do things differently.

9. Learn to let go of thinking within the box

Be curious and inquisitive. Learn to make lists with all your “crazy” ideas, your dreams, and visions. Evaluate them and pursue them. When you are faced with a problem instead of going to your “default” response, think of an alternative way to respond. See what happens.

10. Learn to let go of thinking about the future

Thinking about the future all the time doesn’t allow you to spend mental energy on your present. Learn to stay in the moment. Cultivate mindfulness and learn to appreciate the present- because it is indeed a gift.

11. Learn to let go of the things you can’t control and can’t change

Am easily overlooked life lesson is that the more you try to control things in your life, the less in control you will feel. And the second related lesson is that when you don’t feel in control then you tend to focus on the negative. Letting go of the need to control everything allows you to gain a different perspective on your capabilities and the way you choose to respond to things.

12. Learn to let go of putting your happiness in the future

Seriously? Postponing your happiness for a future time when you can be happy this minute? While important to plan for the future and set goals, happiness in the here-and-now is precious. Invest in the small things, the daily habits that give you joy and add to a happy life.

13. Learn to let go of grudges

Being angry towards those who “wronged,” mistreated, betrayed or broke your heart is like drinking a poison hoping the other person will die. Forgive and move on. And by forgiving I don’t mean the other person, but yourself, for being gullible, for not seeing it for what it was or for not seeing it coming, or whatever else it is that you accuse yourself.

14. Learn to let go of acting selfishly

You are not the center of the universe. And once you realize that, life becomes much easier, as you let go of your expectations of how others “should” treat you and what you should get. When you act less selfishly you also collaborate better and take other people’s needs into account, which makes for more balanced relationships.

15. Learn to let go of a victim mentality

The problem with victim mentality is that it’s a type of thinking deeply ingrained that becomes part of your personality; and then, to be consistent with your personal identity you think and act like a victim and before long that becomes a vicious circle: you think like a victim, you believe that it’s other people’s fault that you are a victim, and you act like one. Pick self-empowering thoughts and remember that others cannot make you feel “less” without your consent.

16. Learn to let go of the hope that someone else or something will change your life

Learn to let go of the notion that something must happen in order for you to smile and be in a good mood. Be proactive and do more of the things that make you happy. Every day. Make sure that your daily “menu” includes activities that bring you joy.

17. Learn to let go of the notion that you are doomed to be unhappy

The scientific facts show that 50% of your happiness is determined by your genetic makeup, another 10% is related to your life’s circumstances while 40% depends on your thinking. And although the specific numbers in this formula have been disputed, the unshakable truth is that you make your happiness! Positive thinking, optimism, quality friendships, gratitude, kindness, and self-care all contribute to a state of internal joy.

18. Learn to let go of negativity

Stop negating your own precious self! Stop disapproving of yourself, minimizing your successes, maximizing your mistakes, cultivating limiting beliefs such as “I can’t do it,” “I will fail,” without even trying, and predicting the worst possible outcomes for the future. In the same vein, let go of negativity and stop criticizing others, gossiping, or finding faults and wrongs in everything and everyone. Learn to see the positive.

19. Learn to let go of toxic people and relationships

Who are the people who let you down, constantly criticize, blame, disrespect, underestimate, belittle you, and cause you emotional pain? Why do you keep them in your life? Cultivate meaningful connections with like-minded people and those who support and encourage you.

20. Learn to let go of your fears

It’s so easy, like the title of an older but favorite book “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” Acknowledge what scares you, prepare, and take the risk! Doing it is the only way to overcome your fear.

21. Learn to let go of clutter

Declutter, clean up and organize your space. Outer chaos goes hand-in-hand with inner chaos. Creating harmony in your home or office environment allows you to get a sense of peace and inner calm.

22. Learn to let go of comparing your life to that of others

Sure, everyone posts their best pictures on social media, hand-picked from the best moments of an event, highlighting the positive and never showing the “before” or “after” in true colors. They live their lives and you live yours. Design it the way you want and the way it makes sense to you, not in comparison to others. An extra plus: cultivating gratitude for all there is in your life will allow you to feel much happier.

23. Learn to let go of spending empty time on social media

Do you use social media as a way to fight boredom and fill up your time? That’s a waste of the moment -and the hours that add up! Use your time wisely: read something that interests you, learn something new every day, and/or pick a new hobby.

24. Learn to let go of the sense you are powerless

True, there are things you can’t control. But that doesn’t render your powerless. Connect with your inner strength. Recognize what you have control over and what not and learn to respond accordingly. You can change your life by harnessing your inner power and small daily habits in the direction you desire.

25. Learn to let go of the fear that taking care of yourself is selfish

Self-care is essential for you to be mentally strong, relaxed, balanced, and happy. From such a state you can help others and offer them your best.

26. Learn to let go of the notion that your social circle is set

Maybe you are not happy with the people who surround you. Maybe you outgrew them. Find opportunities to meet new people and nurture new relationships. Start with curiosity, ask questions, be open, smile more, and make others feel comfortable in your presence.

27. Learn to let go of the notion “I have nothing to do”

Figure out what you really want to do by resetting your emotional compass. Don’t underestimate the power of boredom, as it allows space for creativity which can lead to great things happening.

28. Learn to let go of negative comments about your body

Body shaming is not going to help you in any way. If you are not happy with the way you look, come up with a plan to make changes. Whatever you decide to do, accept your body and treat it with respect. Nourish it, allow it to exercise, to relax, to be well-taken care of, no matter what your shape or size.

29. Learn to let go of the idea you must accumulate things

Money doesn’t buy happiness. And accumulating material things doesn’t help in that direction either. Focus on experiences, especially those shared with loved ones: sharing a meal, going to museums, galleries, thematic parks, ancient ruins, dining out, traveling, etc.

30. Learn to let go of stress

While stress is an inevitable part of life, it’s not inevitable that you will be crushed by it! Learn different stress management techniques and choose the one(s) that resonate with you most. Meditation, guided meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, tai-chi, journaling, maintaining an optimistic outlook, cultivating positive thinking, and keeping a healthy life style are some evidence-based techniques that will allow you to manage your stress.



Dr. Liza Varvogli

Ph.D. in Psychology| Harvard-trained| Psychotherapist| Stress Management Professor|Parenting & Relationships Expert|Meditator|Positive thinker|Solution-oriented