Tag Archives: Mindfulness

Your Mind’s User Manual

Let’s start with a computer analogy to understand your mind.

Suppose that you’re running a Windows machine with a lot of bloatware running in the background. You haven’t installed that bloatware, but your computer came with them. That bloatware slows down your computer at best, but distracts and annoys you with unasked for notifications at worst.

How would you deal with such bloatware?

If you’re like me, you go to the task manager and end the related task. You do that every time you boot your machine. After a while, you realize that ending the task every time you boot your machine is a waste of time and uninstall that piece of software from your computer.

Now, suppose that you want to install a piece of software that is useful for you. You download and run the installer. It’s as simple as that.

Our minds are similar to computers but with slight differences. Just like Windows PC’s, our minds come with a lot of bloatware. These are the programs that we didn’t install, that don’t benefit us, and in some cases, that harm us.

Who installed that bloatware to our minds? A good deal of them was developed throughout our 4.5 billion years of evolution. Some of it was installed by our family, friends, education, culture, society, and all kinds of external sources.

Unfortunately, we have installed some of that bloatware ourselves. How did we do it? We had an experience early in our lives, and we assigned a meaning to that experience. Then, we started to look at all the events in our lives from the filter of that meaning.

It’s to our benefit that we uninstall those programs from our minds. How do we do that? Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward uninstall procedure in our minds. What we have to do is to catch those programs running in our minds and then stop investing any more attention and energy into them.

That’s the equivalent of ending a task in the task manager in a Windows PC. That’s the slight difference between our mind and a Windows PC. In our mind, the programs are erased by ending them in the task manager repeatedly, over and over.

If you do that whenever that bloatware starts running in your mind, that bloatware starts to run less frequently. After a while, it stops running altogether unless you trigger it. So, you have to be careful not to trigger it because triggering it means setting it up for running again in your mind.

Installing beneficial programs are also slightly different in our mind compared to a Windows PC. Unfortunately, you can’t install a beneficial program just by consuming it once. You have to expose your mind to it over and over until it is installed in your mind.

Now, how do you hit the “end task” button on an unwanted program in your mind? There are two ways I know of. The first one is the letting go method. And the second one is journaling about it. Sometimes, one works better than the other. Sometimes, you’re better off using both of them in combination.

How do you install the beneficial programs? You do that by using the spaced repetition method.

A Simple, Easy, Powerful Way to Release Your Unpleasant Emotions

Yesterday, I shared a powerful yet simple method to let go of your unpleasant feelings. This method is based on focusing your attention on the physical sensations that feeling creates in your body.

You don’t pay attention to the thoughts that are triggered by that feeling. You don’t label the feeling. You focus on the sensations in your body, stay with them, and release them if you can.

For example, if you feel anger, scan your body for how it manifests itself in your body. You might feel some tightness in some muscles. You can release those muscles and see your anger being released with that tightness.

You might start to use this method and realize that you have countless unpleasant feelings, a wide range of anxieties, anger, shame, guilt, desire, and so on.

You might feel hopeless because as you release a feeling, another one might come up. If you’re in that state, don’t give up your hope because your feelings are connected.

As you release one unpleasant feeling, you’re also releasing other feelings connected to it. Even though your unpleasant feelings might look like a bottomless pit to you, you are making progress by using the letting go method.

You might release a certain anxiety, like fear of heights. And you will realize that your public speaking anxiety is also diminished.

As your social anxiety decreases, you might realize that your anger, shame, guilt, desire, and sadness also decrease because they are all connected to each other.

You might feel anger because you might not be enjoying your life due to your social anxiety. That might also trigger sadness in your psyche.

Your social anxiety might also trigger an intense desire in you because you might be missing certain aspects of life such as friendship, romance, and sex.

As you release a dominant unpleasant feeling, you also release a body of connected unpleasant feelings.

Your dominant unpleasant feeling might be anger. And that might cause sadness because anger might keep you from having a joyful social and family life.

So, you don’t need to be overwhelmed by all the unpleasant emotions that you feel. They are all connected to each other and releasing one help you release others as well.

Just pick one unpleasant emotion and work with it. If your major unpleasant emotion is public speaking anxiety and you don’t dare to work on it now, pick another fear that you can work on, and start facing and releasing it.

As you release various fears, you’ll realize that it will be much easier to work on your major fear, like public speaking anxiety. Until then, it might disappear altogether.

There’s a catch to this method though. You need to face your unpleasant emotions. If your dominant emotion is fear, you need to face your fears. If it is anger, you need to face your anger. If it is shame, guilt, or sadness, you need to face all of them.

You can’t release an emotion without facing it. You need to experience those emotions, let your body process them, and consciously release them from your body. That’s the way to true freedom.

Becoming Fearless

Yesterday, I watched two David Hawkins videos [1, 2] on fear, which made me get his letting go method even on a deeper level.

We might know something on an intellectual level. That idea might resonate with us. We might even use it in real life.

Then, there are moments when we get the same idea on a gut level. We feel it so deep that it becomes our second nature.

This discussion reminds me of the four levels of learning. On the third level, we need to make a conscious effort to use a certain skill like driving a car. On the fourth level, it’s almost automatic.

Even though I read, wrote, and listened about the letting go method countless times, there are still moments when I discover something new. Watching the two videos above was such a moment.

Even though there is so much self-help content out there, we don’t come across the letting go method often. That’s why I’m trying to promote the work of David Hawkins to the extent I can.

Since I don’t come across the letting go method that often, I might be forgetting about it in time and need to refresh my mind once in a while. That’s a part of the learning and retention process called the spaced repetition method.

Keeping a personal knowledge base and reading it often helps it too. My blog is kind of a personal knowledge base for me.

Let’s get into the topic in the title, becoming fearless. Fear, like all other emotions, has some effects on our body.

The letting go method involves not paying attention and investing mental energy into the thoughts that stem from a feeling like fear. That means if you feel fear, don’t express it. Don’t even label it as “fear.”

That doesn’t mean suppressing the feeling. When you suppress a feeling, you resist it. You try not to feel it. This usually happens by tensing muscles in your body. The antidote of suppressing, therefore, is relaxing the muscles that you tense when you feel a certain feeling.

When you release the tension in your muscles when you feel a certain feeling, the intensity of that feeling will increase at the beginning, but as you get used to it, the intensity will decrease and eventually vanish.

It’s possible that new waves of the same feeling will come back, over and over. As you keep using the letting go technique, the magnitude of those waves will decrease, and eventually, they’ll disappear altogether.

Expressing, labeling, and suppressing emotions like fear make those feelings stick in our psyche. There’s one more behavior that prevents us from letting go of unwanted feelings. That behavior is escaping.

When you escape an emotion like fear, it stays in your psyche. You don’t find the opportunity to face and process that emotion.

We are meant to face and process our emotions. That’s how we grow as human beings. Escaping our emotions keeps us from growing.

When I was a kid, I was afraid of cats. As I grew, I got used to cats and started to love them, but I had to face my fear first. If I kept escaping cats, I’d never overcome my fear. You might find that funny, but how about your fears? For example, are you afraid of public speaking? Are you escaping it?

We don’t escape our feelings directly. Sometimes, we escape them indirectly. When we feel anxiety, we get a drink, we check our devices, or we eat comfort foods. Those are all different ways of escaping from unpleasant emotions. They keep us from processing and letting go of unwanted feelings.

So far, we have seen that expressing, labeling, suppressing, and escaping our emotions don’t help us overcome them. How can we overcome them then? What is the letting go method?

The letting go method involves staying with the physical sensations of the emotions while not paying attention to the thoughts that stem from those emotions.

Suppose that you feel public speaking anxiety. First of all, don’t even label it as performance anxiety, fear, or using another term. Second, don’t pay attention or invest more energy into all the disaster scenarios that your mind comes up with.

Just focus on the physical sensations in your body. Can you stay with a dry mouth, weak legs, and sweaty underarms? I bet you can. We all go through greater physical challenges than those physical sensations. Simply, allow those sensations to be there.

Are a dry mouth, weak legs, and sweaty underarms a problem for you? I bet they aren’t. So, public speaking causes dry mouth, weak legs, and sweaty underarms, so what? Just stay with those sensations, and after a while, they’ll vanish.

You can let go of any irrational emotion using the letting go method, including all the irrational fears you have.

What kind of a life would you have if you let go of all of your irrational emotions?

You Can Transform Your Life, But Do You Want to?

When something doesn’t work in your life, you might complain about it. You might even say that you want to change it. But that’s all on the conscious level.

On an unconscious level, you’re likely holding a belief that is causing the dysfunctional condition in your life.

I read a blog post by a person who started a new job. They didn’t receive the benefits they were promised during the interview. The management of the company was all over the place, and the company was having financial difficulties.

Thanks to the booming economy, this person started to receive new job offers with better conditions. You might think that they immediately quit their job and switched to a company with more competent management.

That wasn’t the case. That person didn’t do that. They stuck with the company that underpaid them, that didn’t provide the benefits they promised, and that had incompetent management. Can you imagine why?

This person saw their act of staying in the underpaid job as a heroic act. They saw themselves as the martyr who sacrificed themselves for a company who needed them. They derived a sense of significance, importance, and pride from this act.

If they switched to another job in a company with competent management, they’d be just another employee. Sure, they’d be paid better and receive a better benefit package, but they’d lose their status of the self-sacrificing martyr.

In this case, this person is aware of the benefit they were receiving from their unfavorable position in their career. Most of the time, we aren’t conscious of the benefit we derive from the dysfunctional situation in our lives.

David Hawkins recommends to let go of the juice you get out of a feeling to let that feeling go. You might be struggling with fear, sadness, or anger, and you might want to let them go, but have you asked yourself what juice you get out of those emotions?

Even though anger is considered to be a negative emotion, it’s also an energizing emotion. When we feel angry, we feel alive. We feel on fire.

If you can’t let go of the juice of feeling alive, feeling on fire, feeling energized, you won’t be able to let go of your anger. Then, you might ask yourself why all “the idiots” find you. You come across all those “idiots,” because you secretly enjoy the feelings they incite in you.

Sadness can be a sweet emotion as well. You might get a cup of tea, listen to Brahms in the silence of the evening, and get into that low energy state, which can be very relaxing. If you are addicted to that emotional state, don’t complain about all the losses you incur in life that trigger that feeling.

If there’s something in your life that doesn’t work that you want to change, look at the feelings that condition triggers in you. Then look at the benefits you’re getting from those feelings. Are you willing to let go of those benefits? If yes, do it, and you’ll transform that dysfunctional situation in life.

  1. What’s the dysfunctional situation in your life?
  2. Which emotions does it trigger?
  3. What are the benefits of those emotions?
  4. Are you willing to let go of those benefits?

The Secret to an Amazing Life

It must have been more than a decade since I read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Among other ideas, a thought experiment in the book stayed with me over the years. That is imagining your own funeral.

Maybe, the idea was dramatic. Maybe, it’s the fact that I discussed it with my family. Or maybe, it’s the combination of both that made it stick in my mind, but to this date, that idea still fascinates me.

The underlying idea of the funeral exercise is to remember your own death, or memento mori as it is referred to in philosophy. The whole idea is sobering, especially the formulation by Pema Chödrön.

“Since death is certain and the time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing?” Pema Chödrön

Sometimes, I’m looking forward to a weekend or a vacation. Then, that weekend or vacation comes to an end in a heartbeat. I don’t even understand what happened. Nowadays, I remind myself that fact in the first few hours of a weekend or a vacation.

“This weekend or vacation will end in a heartbeat. Soon, it will be Sunday evening. Soon, I’ll be on an airplane traveling back. What do I want to make of this weekend or vacation?”

I can’t help but think about the same about my life. Even though that last day seems to be too far to be concerned with, I know that when it comes, it will feel like it came too soon. On that last day, I don’t want to feel like I have wasted my life .

You might think that I’m being pessimistic and dark. That’s not my intention at all. Thinking about my own death can feel sad at times, but at the same time, it incites the desire to make the most of my life. In a way, memento mori makes me think carpe diem, seize the day, because I have one opportunity to live and it can end any time.

Thinking about your own death can help you let go of what doesn’t serve you in your life. Do you really want to have spent your days being glued to your smartphone, hung out with people that you don’t care about, or indulged in whatever your bad habit is?

Do you really want to have spent your life working for the future only? Some people are only interested in their legacy. That’s fine if that’s what you want. But I also want to have experienced some beautiful memories in my life.

Sure, my work in the past provides me with a life that I’m grateful today, but it’s the memories of exceptional moments that make me glad that I was alive for 39 years.

It’s important to have a decent lifestyle, but it’s also important to collect some memorable moments throughout your life. So, I’d rather balance both as I go through my life. And we’re all better off letting go of our habits that serve neither.

Why Does No One Care?

If you ask a why question to yourself, ask yourself whether you’re really interested in finding an answer or you’re just venting off.

Asking why questions repeatedly can be helpful to find the root cause of a problem. You can solve a problem by addressing its root cause.

If your problem is drinking too much coffee, you might question why you do that. You might find out that you do that to cope with the stress of dealing with your colleagues.

You might decide to use other stress management techniques instead of relying on coffee when you interact with your colleagues. Self-awareness can help you solve a lot of problems.

If your why question doesn’t lead to the root cause of a problem, you might be making thinking errors on three levels.


The question in the title of this post doesn’t sound constructive. It would be a constructive one if it were formulated like one of the following.

  • Why doesn’t anyone care about my cause?
  • Why doesn’t anyone care about my content?
  • Why doesn’t anyone care about me?

Even the last question is more constructive than the one in the title.

When you ask those questions, you might find answers like the ones below.

  • People already have enough on their plates.
  • There’s already enough content online.
  • People already have enough people in their lives to care about.

The follow-up questions will be the following.

  • How can I formulate my cause so that it stands out among the issues that people have to deal with?
  • How can I compose and promote my content so that it catches the attention of people?
  • How can I find the people who are willing to care about others?

If asking a why question doesn’t help you make progress with the matter at hand, formulate it as a how question. How questions require you to take the responsibility and can be more empowering than why questions.


In psychology, projection means denying the existence of an undesired property in oneself and seeing it in others. For example, I might deny that I’m selfish and blame others for being selfish.

If you’re asking yourself why others don’t care, ask yourself whether you care. If you really cared about the problems of others, you might not have the time to ask yourself the question in the title.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

I saved the most intricate one to the end because it’s the most difficult to understand, but once you understand it, it will change your life.

When you look at the world through a certain filter, you won’t perceive the events that don’t match your filter. I see this very often in online forums like Quora where people are discussing their problems.

Some of the questions discussed in online forums aren’t actually questions but rants. Here are some examples.

  • Why doesn’t anyone care?
  • Why are people so angry?
  • Why do people not respect me?

The people who are asking these questions are actually making a statement.

  • People don’t care.
  • People are angry.
  • No one respects me.

When you look at life with that filter, you won’t see the people who care, who aren’t angry, and who respect you. You’ll only see the ones that match your concept of people.

You’ll expect people to match your beliefs and treat them accordingly. As a result, they will fulfill your expectations. This is called self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you expect people not to care, you won’t make an effort to make them care, and they won’t care. If you expect them to be angry, you’ll act passively, and as a result, they will be angry. If you expect them not to respect you, you will act submissively, and they won’t respect you.

If you find yourself asking questions that are in reality a rant, just formulate the question as a statement. Accept that you have that statement as a limiting belief. And take the responsibility and start replacing that limiting belief with its opposite.

  • People do care.
  • People are calm.
  • People respect me.

Look for people who satisfy those statements. If you look carefully, you’ll find those people in your environment.


When you find yourself asking questions like “why doesn’t anyone care,” ask yourself whether you’re really looking for the root cause of your problem or venting off.

If you’re just venting off, formulate the question as a how question, which will empower you to take the responsibility to solve your problem. Instead of “why doesn’t anyone care,” ask “how can I make people care?”

If you find out that your questions are actually rants, ask yourself whether you’re projecting your own unwanted attributes on to others. Do you care about other people?

Last but not least, formulate your question as a statement. “People don’t care.” If you’re just venting off, this statement is most probably a limiting belief. Now, replace this limiting belief by cultivating its opposite. Look for evidence of its opposite, and you will find plenty of evidence, because people do care!

Beyond Awake

For the sake of simplicity, let’s define two degrees of awareness, asleep and awake. When you’re asleep, you aren’t aware of much. When you’re awake, you’re aware of your environment and yourself. What if there was a degree higher than the state of being awake?

That degree is called meta-consciousness or metacognition. When you reach the level of meta-consciousness, you become aware of your consciousness, your thought and emotional patterns.

There’s nothing esoteric about meta-consciousness, it’s a highly practical concept that you can use in your daily life.

Our Biases and Fallacies

Our biases and fallacies are reported extensively. Yet, most of us aren’t aware of them. In various cases, we can correct our cognitive and behavioral errors just by learning about them.

If you want to learn more about biases and fallacies, I recommend the book You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney. It’s comprehensive and easy to read.

One of our instincts is our urge to impact our environment. Yet, most of us aren’t aware of that urge and fall prey to it. That included me until I heard about it in the audiobook Outsmart Yourself by Peter M. Vishton.

We can improve our thinking and emotional patterns and our behavior just by learning about our biases, fallacies, and instincts. But there is a level beyond that. On that level, we become aware of our thinking and emotional patterns.

Becoming Aware of Our Thinking and Emotional Patterns

Suppose that you want to give up a bad habit. You can use sheer willpower to resist the cravings when they come up, but you have an alternative. You can observe your cognitive patterns and explore what causes the cravings in the first place. You can either eliminate the triggers in the first place or find more constructive ways of handling them.

Suppose that you want to eliminate drinking too much coffee. You realize that your coffee machine acts as a trigger. You can simply eliminate that trigger by getting rid of your coffee machine. However, you can’t do that at your job because other people drink coffee too.

In that case, you might want to observe your cognitive patterns. What is triggering you to drinking coffee? You might realize that every time you feel stressed, you feel the urge to drink another cup of coffee.

When you take one more step backward, you realize that you feel stressed when you have to deal with your colleagues. Through self-observation, you realize that the stress of dealing with your colleagues is triggering you to drink coffee.

Breaking Dysfunctional Patterns

Now, that you’re aware of your cognitive and behavioral patterns, you can expect when to feel stressed and when to feel the urge to drink a cup of coffee. You anticipate both conditions in advance and prepare for them.

You can find alternative ways of dealing with stress such as deep breathing and drinking a glass of water. You can use those relaxation methods when you’re dealing with your colleagues.

Becoming Aware of Subtle Patterns

Some of our cognitive and behavioral patterns aren’t as obvious as the example above. They might be obvious to others, but being aware of our own patterns is much more difficult. It’s like a fish becoming aware of water.

There are two behavioral patterns that I became aware of recently. The first one is apathy and giving up, and the second one is being reactional and making hostile comments. When I observed my cognitive patterns behind both behavioral patterns, I realized that they both stemmed from anger.

When I get angry, I either express it or suppress it. When I suppress it, I fall down to the level of apathy and give up. When I express it, I make hostile comments. Needless to say, neither method is pragmatic.

Moreover, acting upon them reinforces them in my psyche. Every time I act on them, I increase my tendency to use the same dysfunctional patterns next time. The behavior becomes even more automatic. It is ingrained deeper in my psyche.

Becoming Aware of Repressed Emotions

My patterns of expression and suppression were so deeply ingrained in my psyche that they happened almost in light speed. I wasn’t even aware of feeling angry before I react or give up. It required some study and self-observation until I could recognize these patterns in me.

Now, when I’m about the give up or make hostile comments, I stop myself and acknowledge the anger underneath those behaviors. I use the letting go method on the anger, while I look for a constructive behavior and do my best to act on it.

In letting go, you don’t push through with force. You tap into your power by releasing the breaks. When you release your breaks, your inner power drives you.


Studying psychology is definitely interesting, but there is something even more interesting, which is recognizing your own cognitive and behavioral patterns for the first time after 39 years of existence.

I highly recommend that you learn more about psychology, observe your psyche, and apply what you have learned to your own cognitive and behavioral patterns. Your results in life will justify the time and energy that you invest in it.

Discharging Negative Emotions Trapped in Our Psyche

Yesterday, I wrote an introductory post about the letting go method by David Hawkins. The letting go method is a simple and effective way to process and regulate intense emotions. It involves staying with the emotion without expressing, suppressing, or trying to change it in any other way.

When you stay with an intense emotion, it runs its course, and it subsides. The next time you feel it, its intensity diminishes. As you keep using the letting go method, the once intense emotion eventually disappears.

The Pitfall of the Letting Go Method

There’s a pitfall when applying the letting go method. When you stay with your emotion, thoughts stemming from that emotion will come up. The danger here is to dwell on those thoughts.

If you pay attention to those thoughts, if you invest more mental energy into them, or in other words, if you dwell on them, you’ll only make the emotion stronger instead of processing it and discharging it.

The trick here is to become aware of the thoughts, acknowledge them, and let them go while staying with the underlying emotions. This requires some mindfulness which you can develop over time with practice.

The Emotional Labor Required by the Letting Go Method

So far, the letting go method might sound easy. Make no mistake, it’s a simple process. It requires only some basic knowledge of your expression and suppression mechanisms, but it can require some serious emotional labor at times.

When you’re hit with intense emotions of anger, fear, or sadness, you might get overwhelmed when you try to stay with them. In such cases, David Hawkins suggests that you stay with the emotion to the extent possible, and then express or suppress the remaining part of the emotional energy consciously.

How Does Letting Go Heal Your Psyche?

The letting go method requires your mindfulness of your emotions, especially the ones that you’re suppressing. This can be hard at times because it requires self-awareness and honesty. You might be angry, but you might not realize that you’re angry or you might deny it.

You need to acknowledge your emotions to be able to stay with them and to let them go. The emotions that you’re able to feel, acknowledge, and let go are the ones that are closer to the surface. As you let those superficial emotions go, more emotions will come up from the depths of your psyche.

David Hawkins makes a distinction between suppressed and repressed emotions. Suppressed emotions are the ones that we felt but decided to avoid consciously.

Repressed emotions are the ones that weren’t recognized consciously. They are trapped in our psyche, impacting our thoughts, choices, and behaviors, and we aren’t aware of them.

By letting go of suppressed emotions, you enable the repressed emotions to come up. As they come up, you apply the same technique to the repressed emotions. That way, your psyche is being cleaned up from emotions that were trapped in your subconscious for a lifetime.

If you want to learn more about how the repressed emotions get trapped in our psyche and impact our lives, I recommend the books Breaking Free and the Disowned Self by Nathaniel Branden, which are available in Open Library.

Connections between Emotions

David Hawkins mentions shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, and pride as lower levels of consciousness. He suggests letting go of thoughts and emotions stemming from those levels. You might think that desire and pride are positive emotions, but Hawkins defines them as weakening.

Another interesting idea from the book Letting Go is that all the emotions from those lower levels are connected to each other.

For example, you’re afraid of heights, and you have public speaking anxiety. By working on your fear of heights, you’re also indirectly working on your public speaking anxiety. Moreover, by working on a fear, you’re also working on your anger, grief, guilt, and shame.

The connection between emotions makes the letting go method a power tool. You don’t need to figure out all of your negative emotions and to work on them separately. You can work on any negative emotion as it comes up. That work will have a healing effect on all others as well.

Hawkins encourages working on your negative emotions proactively. In other words, he recommends to go toward the eye of the storm. Do you have a fear of heights? Go to a high building and face your fear. Do you have public speaking anxiety? Find an opportunity to get in front of people.


The goal of the letting go method is to let go of the thoughts while staying with the emotions. Distinguishing between thoughts and emotions is a challenge at the beginning because thoughts and emotions are tightly connected. We need to be aware of the danger of dwelling on thoughts which would increase the intensity of emotions that we’re trying to discharge.

Intense emotions are hard to endure. That’s why our knee-jerk reaction is to express or suppress them. It requires some serious emotional labor to stay with them. It’s a muscle we develop over time.

The letting go method is like a detox mechanism for our psyche. It not only discharges the energy of the emotions we feel at the moment, but it also cleans up the emotions that are trapped in our psyche for a lifetime.

Emotions are connected to each other in our psyche. When you discharge the energy of a specific fear like social anxiety, you also discharge the energy of all fears. Moreover, you also discharge the energy of other emotions like anger, grief, shame, guilt, and so on.

Can you imagine how fulfilling, peaceful, and joyful your life would be if you let go of your fears, anger, shame, guilt, and grief?

What Does Letting Go Mean Anyway?

I often refer to the letting go method by David Hawkins in my posts. Today, I want to dive deeper into this method and answer two questions.

  • What is it?
  • Why is it useful?
  • How to use it?
  • How does it relate to our daily life?

What Is It?

The letting go method is an effective way to process and regulate our emotions. It’s simple. It doesn’t have any side effects. It’s useful in all areas of our lives. It has a healing effect on our psychology and life. It only requires learning a few basic concepts but some emotional labor to apply.

Expressing an Emotion

When we feel an intense emotion, we tend to deal with it either by expressing it or suppressing it.

Expressing an emotion means communicating it to others or to yourself. You might scream to a family member when you’re angry. You might journal when you’re sad. You might dwell in thoughts of disaster scenarios when you feel fear. In other words, you act on your emotion.

When you act on your emotion, even on a thought level, you’re reinforcing the emotion in your psyche. You might feel relieved when you shout at a family member, but this will only result in greater anger the next time. If you don’t want to reinforce an emotion, don’t express it, not even on the thought level.

Suppressing an Emotion

Suppressing an emotion means being aware of it but using an escape strategy to avoid it. You might turn to alcohol when you feel stressed. You might grab a cup of coffee when you feel sad. You might turn on the TV, radio, or scroll through your social media feed to escape boredom.

You might suppress emotions by distracting yourself with thoughts. When you suppress an emotion, it stays in your psyche. You don’t process it, and you don’t discharge it from your system.

Letting Go of an Emotion

The way to process and discharge an emotion is to stay with it without expressing or suppressing it. This can be overwhelming at the beginning. By not expressing or suppressing your emotion, you give your psyche a chance to process it.

The emotion runs its course, and it eventually subsides. It might come back later, but its intensity will be lower. As you keep using the letting go method on the emotion, its intensity gradually diminishes, and it eventually disappears from your psyche.

Application in Daily Life

Suppose that you waste time on social media before starting to work every day. When you observe your emotions, you realize that you use social media to avoid the stress at the start of your working day. The next time you start your working day, you try to stay with those stressful emotions as long as possible and let them go.

Maybe, you can stay with your stressful emotions for fifteen minutes on the first day. Then, you succumb to your social media habit. Congratulations, you have at least processed fifteen minutes worth of stressful emotions.

Every day, you work on increasing that social media free period using the 1% improvements principle. You stay with your stressful emotions as long as possible without expressing or suppressing them, every day a little longer. Soon, you’ll reach an hour, two hours, four hours, and eventually a complete working day without checking your social media feed.


The letting go method by David Hawkins involves staying with an intense emotion without expressing or suppressing. That means not thinking about it, talking about it, communicating it, but at the same time, not avoiding it, escaping it, or trying to change it in any other way.

When you stay with an intense emotion long enough, it runs its course, and it subsides. It might come back later, but its intensity will be lower. As you keep using the letting go method, the emotion will eventually disappear.

So far, the letting go method seems to be simple and easy. It is a simple method, but it has some pitfalls. It involves some emotional labor. Tomorrow, I’ll discuss the possible pitfalls and how to deal with overwhelmingly intense emotions.

A Racing Mind, a Blessing or a Curse?

Do you have a racing mind that jumps from thought to thought and comes up with new ideas all the time? That sounds like a blessing because you have a constant stream of new ideas. What can be wrong with that?

On the other hand, a racing mind can be a serious liability, keeping you from focusing on a task until you complete it. How would you deal with such a problem, if you’re distracted by your racing thoughts?

I had a similar problem. On any given day, my mind would bombard me with dozens of ideas, nudging me to act upon them immediately. At a certain moment, I realized that my to-do list had thousands of tasks. It was impossible for me to complete all of those tasks.

Overestimating Ideas

When a new idea came up, I used to think that it was the Holy Grail. After a while, I realized that it wasn’t. However, I wasn’t ready to let go of all the ideas that my mind came up with. My solution was simple, write them down and move on.

Whenever I come up with a new idea, I write it down in my Evernote and move on. When I have time, I go over those ideas and pick the ones that are worth considering.

Throughout the time, I made a few conclusions about my ideas. They are usually repetitive. My mind comes up with similar ideas over and over. That’s why it’s important to expose our minds to new ideas. The best way to do that is to read books, but there’s some valuable online content as well.

The second conclusion I made about my ideas is that I will never have the time to implement all of them, even the majority of them. In a way, that discouraged my mind from coming up with new ideas all the time.

Do Your Ideas Serve Your Goals?

Moreover, I realized that the majority of my ideas were about irrelevant topics that didn’t serve my goals. That realization helped me to focus on my goals, on my tasks, and on what mattered to me. Nowadays, I don’t come up with new ideas about topics that don’t matter to me.

If you have racing thoughts, you’re probably feeding your mind with lots of stimulation, social media, TV, caffeine, and so on. Reducing social media and caffeine helped me with mental clarity.

Mental clarity is the absence of irrelevant racing thoughts in your mind. That way you can focus a greater portion of your mental capacity on what matters.


Having a racing mind that produces new thoughts and ideas all the time sounds like a blessing, but it has its disadvantages.

Our minds usually produce the same thoughts over and over. We also don’t have the time to implement all the ideas that our minds come up with. Majority of those ideas are on topics that don’t serve our goals anyway.

What’s the best way to deal with a racing mind? Just write down those ideas and carry on with your day. You can go over your notes over the weekend. You’ll realize that majority of your thoughts are repetitive and irrelevant to your goals.

When you let go of your racing thoughts, you’ll be left with mental clarity, which leaves you with greater mental capacity to focus on the tasks that serve your goals.