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February 13, 2012

Letting Go

Into every life, a little rain must fall. Without rain, flowers would never bloom. I must be getting ready to bloom because I've had a very rainy week. Disappointment, frustration, loss, and general irritation with everything around me has ruled the day - in short, I've felt depressed. And when I get depressed, I feel GROUCHY! Are you curious if you may be depressed? Take this self-assessment.

Short spells of depression are normal in every life - it only becomes a problem if it lasts longer than a couple of weeks and interferes with daily functioning. Luckily, I've had several instances where I've felt pretty darn good. Working with patients and making them laugh makes me happy. Getting a compliment about my clinical thoroughness or patient interactions from doctors, nurses, or other clinicians helps buoy my spirits. A good meal or the satisfaction of accomplishing something at home has helped me feel happy.

So what could be going on? 1) one of my favorite co-workers moved on to another job; 2) my boss (who I absolutely love) and I have had a disagreement; 3) it's February - the longest month of the year if you tend toward SAD; 4) I haven't been sleeping well thanks to my cat disrupting my sleep in the night; 5) could it be menopause barreling down upon me like a Mack truck on I-95? Throw in a dash of bickering, perfectionism, and a heaping helping of "I can't let it go," and you have a recipe for GROUCHY!

I'm lucky to feel the way I do. HA! But this is truly a gift, because I know there is a problem and I have an opportunity to do something about it. So I trolled the internet looking for insight about what it means to hang onto internal baggage. And for people like me, who fall into bad habits once in a while, how do we let go when we realize we're mentally constipated.

For those who subscribe to religious guidance, advice similar to a 12-step program may offer profound insight into relinquishing control to a higher power. For those who are more secular, this advice might not be so helpful. These folks may find pursuit of a psychological explanation more helpful (or both, if you want to be thorough). It may also be helpful to realize the benefits of letting go, not only for mental well-being, but for physical health, as well.

This is all fine and good, but the big question becomes HOW do I let go? I found an entire section on a website called Tiny Buddha - simple wisdom for complex lives about letting go. I found the article "40 Ways to Let Go and Feel Less Pain" helpful for me. Another article that offered me insight and a way to process my emotions is titled How to Release and Prevent Resentment in Your Relationships, also on Tiny Buddha.

Sometimes it is helpful to know that we are not alone with our difficulties. Given the abundance of websites, books, articles, and even a TV show titled the "Psychology of Letting Go," it is clear that other people struggle with similar emotions. I hope that my search for peace through forgiveness can be helpful to others.

Posted by linda at February 13, 2012 7:56 AM

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