7 Things To Let Go Of To Be More Positive

If you're trying to be more positive, consider letting go of these seven things, which could be holding you back from the happiness you deserve.

We all know how important it is to stay positive, but sometimes it can be hard to actually implement those happy and upbeat thoughts when we have so many other emotions or issues on our mind.

Adapting an optimistic mindset can do wonders for both our physical and mental health, with benefits including overall lower blood pressure, a longer life and better coping skills.

But to reap these benefits, we need to figure out how to get to a place of positive thinking. It takes a little bit of work, but letting go of some negative sentiments can make a difference in how we feel.

“There are so many things that people carry with them that they need to let go of to live the full and happy life they want and deserve,” says Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC.

If you’re trying to harness the powers of being positive, consider letting go of these seven things, which could be holding you back from the optimism you deserve.


1. Resentment

“Holding onto resentments serves no purpose but to hurt you,” says Martinez. “I will often ask clients if they think the other person is thinking about this as much as they are. They always answer, ‘no.’ Then I ask why they are letting the person own so much space in their lives and their mind.”

2. Toxic Relationships

“There are a lot of people that will hang on to a relationship no matter how unhealthy it is for them,” says Martinez. “This can be romantic, friendship, or family. The healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to decide who is healthy to surround yourself with. If someone does not fall in that group, you may want to consider if they belong in your life.”

3. Your Childhood

“Many grown-ups hold on to incidents from their childhood, and let it shape the person they are today,” says Martinez. “They need to realize that the one thing they have control of is themselves and their destiny. They are in control of the type of life they will lead, and what it will look like.”

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4. Jealousy

“Jealousy is a habit that is essential to learn to let go of, especially if the person they are involved with has done nothing to damage their trust,” says Martinez. “They have to examine the root causes of their trust issues, that this is a a new and unique individual, and do any individual work that is needed to deal with these issues for good.”

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5. Bad Self-Image

“So many people hold on to old low self-esteem issues, or areas that they are now successful in that they were not always,” says Martinez. “You have grown, you have changed, you have learned and you have mastered. See yourself as you are, not as you were.”


6. Excuses

“Many of us do not live up to our full potential based on excuses we might make,” says Denise Limongello, LMSW. “Taking an inventory on the areas of your life where you feel stuck might give you an idea of what is and what is not out of your control.  If you discover that you are making excuses instead of actually doing things you’d like more of in your life, it might be time to let them go.”

7. Past Life-Plans

“Life’s unpredictability can certainly throw us off,” says Limongello. “Depression is often associated with change, and particularly with failed life-plans such as marriages or career decisions. If you find yourself on a different path in life than you once intended, it might be a good idea to let those plans go and move onto to new ones.  Embracing a Plan B can be a great way to remain positive when life doesn’t always turn out the way we pictured it.”