The Art of Letting Go of Life’s Troubles

Let’s stop hanging up our problems. They are not pictures adorning the wall. They are not coats on a rack. It seems pretty common for people to suffer from dilemmas or “hang ups.” Such troubles might include unpreparedness for a test, a bad grade, a bridge burned, a failed relationship, an opportunity lost, or any personal mistake made.

I hear constant complaining and worry over these matters. The incessant lamenting reminds me of a televised news program: a lot of bad news. And news flash, nobody likes a “Debbie Downer.” But it’s time to stand up and stop the ongoing negativity. People must learn to break down the worry wall and just let go.

As college students, there are many little stresses that burden us. It’s now over two months into the semester and professors are dropping assignments left and right. Students stress about those hectic nights when they’re troubled with homework, a test, and a paper to write for the following day and they wonder how they’re even going to complete just one.

But let’s take a moment and ask ourselves why we’re so hung up on this. The reason we’re getting anxiety from a pile of paper, is because we care about our grades. We care about our success. We care about our future. If this sounds like you, then it’s inevitable that you will eventually meet your goals.

“If you fail a test, in retrospect, is it really going to matter? Work as hard as you can, and give the rest up to God. As long as you’re a good person and do your best, you will be perfectly fine,” Amy Maginnis, a senior radio and TV major believes.

If you hand in a paper that doesn’t live up to your personal academic standards, try harder next time. One poorly written paper is not going to determine your future, so don’t let that heavy feeling of a potential bad grade weigh down the rest of your week. You’ll feel sad, stressed, and anxious which will affect other things you are trying to accomplish.

“These kinds of thoughts can be upsetting, and ruminating about them will yield nothing useful,” Lorraine Chiavetta, a University psychological counselor said. “When a person has these kind of hang ups, he/she might try labeling the thought as a ‘worry’ and consciously letting go of the worry, taking a deep breath and focusing on other more productive activities.” So let that feeling go and believe that the next paper you write will be amazing.

Another stress for college students is managing friendships. There are people out there who have friends from every organization on campus in addition to friends from home, work, other places. Just like homework, dealing with a number of friends can catch up to us and leave us feeling upset. As we go through different college experiences, we begin to learn who our real friends are. Unfortunately, this could mean losing someone who has been by your side for years. And yes, it is tough. Losing a friend most often will involve disagreements, hurt feelings, deception, phoniness, or all of the above. But just because you’ve lost a friend doesn’t necessarily mean the world is over.

Think about how many years you’ve lived and how many more years you have to live in the future. And think about how many people exist that you haven’t even met yet. There are plenty of chances to make more friends (and maybe even better ones) in your future endeavors. It might hurt to think that a part of you is lost, but if you rid yourself of the negative feelings, you will eventually feel happier. So don’t think of it as a burned bridge. Maybe a new bridge was actually built just in a different direction.

The same thing holds true for romantic interests. People cause themselves a lot of pain dwelling on the fact that they no longer have a significant other. Let that feeling go and open yourself back up to the world of other singles. Maybe you’re not meant to be in a relationship at this particular moment. If you have been on a few dates and he or she decides to stop calling, date someone else. Embrace the fact that a change has occurred and just enjoy it. Break ups or failed relationships don’t have to be a bad thing.

Kyle Perry, a senior business marketing major said, “I feel as if hang ups happen to everyone. There is no escaping them. Emotion is such a powerful thing, no matter how hard you try to brush something off it will still bother you internally whether it’s a bad grade, argument with a friend, etc.”

“These situations can be dealt with though. For me I just put things into perspective, I always try to take the positives out of the negatives. Even if I’m having a rough day I can shake the effect of a hang up. I always tell myself how lucky I am to be on this earth, have a family, and have great friends. Life is short and no one should get caught up in an unfortunate situation,” Perry continues.

On many occasions it’s easy to blame yourself for an unhappy situation. Maybe you overslept and missed an important interview for your dream job. It’s an opportunity you most likely won’t get back. When you were asked to make copies in the office at your internship, you broke the copy machine. You messed with the workflow of the entire office. Or maybe you mistakenly placed the wrong order for your table at the restaurant you work at. There goes your tip. But what we don’t realize is that millions of other people are making some of the same mistakes as you are right now.

“Sometimes life gets stressful and you get kicked down over and over again. Keep getting up. Because I guarantee whatever is stressing you out now, won’t matter a few days from now,” Maginnis continues.

In the midst of a moment, you may feel all sorts of undesirable emotions. But moments will come and go so try your best to make room for the happy ones. “Life flies by so theres no need to worry about the little things,” Perry states.