Perhaps the most important emotion regulation skill, “learning to let go”, can be very difficult but is worth the effort you invest. Humans have a tendency to become stuck when attempting to process negative emotions. Instead of simply letting them go, we often hold even tighter to them, obsessing over every little bit of our emotional experience and wondering why it’s happening to us.
It sounds paradoxical, but the act of accepting that we are feeling emotions we would rather not feel can be the key to letting go of them. When we accept that we are suffering, we stop running from the difficult emotions and turn to face them – and when we do, we might see that it wasn’t the big bad monster we thought it was, but a smaller and more manageable beast.
Follow these steps to work on your ability to let go of negative emotions: