The experience of attachments to loved ones, grieving, troubled relationships, and desires that we can’t seem to achieve are all a part of life. When we face these emotional attachments, it can bring about feelings of loss, anxiety, and worry. When these feelings overwhelm us, especially when we can’t change reality, learning to cope by releasing these attachments is essential to be able to bounce back. For example, when we lose something, we go through a period of grieving. This process usually begins with denial, then to feelings of anger, sadness, and then acceptance. It is essential to become aware of your emotions and recognize when you’re attached. This ensures you’re not stuck in any of these stages and that you can process each and move forward.
Here are 5 ways to deal productively with emotional attachments to things that can’t be changed:
- Acknowledge and accept your feelings. Practice bringing your feelings out by noticing any physical tension in your body. These can be headaches, back or neck pain, gritting your teeth, or tears. It’s common to avoid, suppress, or repress feelings. However, when you can’t recognize feelings that are connected with your physical pain or deal with your negative emotions, this leads to physiological problems as well as psychological ones. Feelings like anger, confusion, frustration, resentment, regret, fear, and other painful emotions may occur when you face an emotional attachment to things that can’t be changed.
- Step back from the attachment to focus on positive aspirations. The closer your connection to your emotional attachment, and the more intense it is, the more profound the emotions may feel. Seek something positive in your life that feels good, whether it is a relationship, time with close friends, or an activity that generates vitality and gives your life meaning and purpose. Getting into a good relationship, doing volunteer work, joining fun recreational activities, or traveling are just some of the examples of how to bring about something positive.
- Continue to notice your responses. Once you’ve observed the types of emotional attachments in your life, ask yourself how you tend to deal with them. For example, do you get swept up in the emotions of others? Do you tend to be the voice of reason when others get frantic? What practices, if any, do you already have to deal with your anxiety, worries, and loss? What methods do you have to prevent your emotions from becoming attachments?
- Learn from your experience. Every emotional attachment has a message. You may realize that the information is for you to learn to adjust to what you cannot change, to be more accepting, to learn to be more resilient or to change something you can. See if you can step out of the emotion and observe the message clearly. With a little more awareness, you will benefit from the experience as you look back and find an element of growth in it. There is an old saying that says, “help me change the things I can change, adjust to the things I cannot change, and give me the wisdom to know the difference.”
- Develop a plan for action. Ask yourself how you can release the emotional attachment. What practices and steps can you put in place, so you stay calm and centered? For example, can you make a habit of asking yourself: what can I do to keep aware of my emotions? How can I adapt to what I can’t change? How can I choose some activities that will be positive for me? The insights in this article are the opinions of the writer.