12 Tips to Letting Go of a Burden
I’ve been thinking recently about the things that cause me to feel overburdened.
It’s really helped me focus in on why I do, what I do, and when I do it.
I have some techniques that have really helped me to let go of the things that make me feel overburdened and decided to put them all together in one place and share them with you.
Just note that I reserve the right to add to this list as I learn new things that help.
I have always been a lover of learning, so I hope that never stops.
I hope to continue to find new things to help me, and others, through this journey of life.
I love that we’re all unique and that means we deal with our burdens uniquely too.
I’d like to help you find things that help you to feel less burdened and the more tips I share, the more likely it is one will hit home for you.
Some of these I think I’ll do an entire podcast on in the future. Some of them I have already done a full episode about and I’ll refer you back to those.
For today, I’ll give you a brief overview of the first 12.
OK. Let’s get started on that list…
12 Tips to Letting Go of a Burden
I first started thinking about this first tip a few weeks ago when I was running on my treadmill.
- #1-Relax/Ease up. Stop trying so hard.
I’ve told you before that I run. It’s hard for me to say that I’m a runner because I doubt that the little bit of running that I do qualifies me for this title. But, because I know that it’s good for my cardio health and because I’m just stubborn enough to not quit, I’ve continued to do it.
I’ve heard of something called a “runners high” but truthfully only experienced it once, so running is usually pretty hard for me to do.
Here’s where I made that realization about ways I can feel less overburdened…
When I started feeling really tense and having a hard time running, one thing that really helped me to keep going was to relax my body. Let my arms and hands hang down a bit looser.
Try to remove the tension from my shoulders.
Stop tightening my jaw.
Take longer and slower strides.
I know it might sound crazy, but it actually helps.
Instead of trying to make an iron will to keep going, I made it feel more like a relaxing massage.
Take a second and think about how you could apply that to something that is stressing you out. Could you think about relaxing instead of tensing up? How could that help you deal with your situation better?
- #2-Change your focus
I’ve shared this quote before, but I love it so much that I want to share it again.
“The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the Focus of our lives.”Russel M. Nelson
We get to choose what we focus on. The things we focus on begin to be more important to us.
What if what you’re feeling isn’t really what you want to be feeling?
What if it’s just not worth all of this energy you’re giving it?
CHANGE YOUR FOCUS!!
Choose to think about something else. If I go back to my running example, I do this when the relaxing doesn’t work.
If I’ve tried to relax my body and I’m still feeling stressed and like I’m not going to be able to keep going, I try to redirect my brain to think about something else.
My brain, and yours, is wired to solve problems. Why not let it do that!
If I’m trying to come up with an idea for a workshop or what to talk about on the podcast, I make a choice to focus on that as I’m running.
Oh how my brain loves to run wild with that!!
Pretty soon I’ve forgotten that my body wanted to give up and I’m getting new ideas left and right! It’s what’s actually helped me to keep being “a runner.” Definitely air quotes there.
I’ve gotten more ideas while doing that then most any other way. And it’s all because I chose to change my focus.
- #3-Pay attention to how you’re feeling. Listen to it. Name it.
Can you identify the actual feeling you’re feeling?
Is it fear? Is it uncertainty? Is it embarrassment? Is it shame?
Let yourself feel it for a minute. Close your eyes and focus in on it.
Did you ever read the children’s book, “There’s No Such Thing As a Dragon”? I used to love that book. This little boy notices a dragon in the house. He tells his mom and she says, There’s no such thing as a dragon. So he tries to ignore it. He keeps telling his mom about this dragon as it gets bigger and bigger and she gives the same answer, There’s no such thing as a dragon. It gets bigger and bigger and bigger until it fills the whole house. Finally, the little boy says, There IS a dragon, a very big dragon and starts to pet it. Well guess what, it gets smaller and smaller until it’s puppy size again. The mom finally admits to seeing it and says, that I guess it just wanted to be noticed.
Maybe we just need to notice our feelings instead of trying to ignore them and then they’ll get smaller.
- #4-Tell someone what you’re feeling
Sometimes just saying it out loud changes the amount of influence it has over you.
When I’ve tried a lot of the other things and they’re just not doing it for me, I’ll text a friend or one of my daughters or I’ll talk to my husband. I’ll just get it out there. Sometimes, the burden lifts faster than I thought possible.
- #5-Write a list of things you’re grateful for
I do an entire episode about this in Episode 19
Believe it or not,
You get to choose every moment of every day where you choose to put your focus.
Do you choose to focus on the GOOD things that are happening to you and around you AND do you do it on a regular basis?
Or do you allow yourself to get stuck in regular pity-parties?
Think of the quality of life that you would have if you chose to focus on the positive things that are happening around you every day.
- #6-Ocean Breath
Episode 25 of this podcast talks about this technique.
I recorded it right before Christmas so I refer to that time of year, but I believe Ocean Breath can help you any time.
Ocean Breath is basically listening to the sound of your in and out breath as you slow it down. It actually sounds like the ocean when you listen for it.
Just a few minutes of this can really help calm you down.
I received a message in the Hunkeedori Facebook group from one of my new friends there about how Ocean Breath has helped her.
Here’s what she said: “Ocean Breath really works – When I become irritable – I lay down for a few min. Listen to my breathing. It really calms me.”
I suggest writing the words “Ocean Breath” on a sticky note and putting it somewhere you look often. Let it be a reminder that no matter how busy things get, how impossible it feels to get everything done, YOU have access to a little bit of calm.
Go back and listen to Episode 25 and I’ll walk you through how to do it.
Are you shocked that I brought this up?
If you’ve listened to this podcast much at all you know that I’m a big believer in the power of journaling. Give yourself 30 minutes to just sit down with a pen and some paper and just start writing about it.
Let your inner self step up and help you with this. She knows how to talk to you in a way that no one else does. Allow her to step in and help you with the feelings you’re experiencing.
It will take you more than a few sessions to get the hang of this, but just start writing and see what happens. I’m willing to bet that you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Journaling slows your mind down, and in the process, helps you uncover what you really believe about things.
Just seeing them on the page helps you to
#1: process exactly what you’re thinking
#2: it helps you physically see what you’ve been thinking and
#3: allows you to decide if you believe what you’ve been thinking or not.
Listen to Episodes 3 & 8 to learn more about journaling.
Sometimes you just gotta stop thinking about yourself!
Let’s be honest. We can get overrun with all the things we’re dealing with and forget to look outside of our own troubles.
Instead of focusing on what is burdening you, look around.
There is always someone who needs something.
What’s something simple you can do for them?
Could you bring them a drink? Could you give them a call and listen more than you talk? Could you offer to pick up some groceries for them when you’re at the store? Could you send some flowers? There’s an endless list of things you can do for someone else. And, they’re usually really simple to do. This is a great one that we don’t try often enough!
- #9-Listen to an uplifting or an emotion provoking playlist of music
Do you have playlists on your phone?
Have you ever divided them up into lists of emotions they make you feel?
What if you had a list of songs that get you motivated?
What if you had a list of songs that uplift you?
What if you had a group of songs that make you cry?
What about one that makes you want to dance?
Wouldn’t it be cool to have that ready for when you need it?
Figure out a time in the very near future when you could set this up for yourself. It’s not something you’ll feel like doing or have time for when you need it most.
- #10-Choose to let it go.
Now, I didn’t say to bury it deep and just forget about it.
Actually make a conscious choice to not let it bother you anymore. Is it possible that you’re letting it weigh you down when it really doesn’t deserve all of this attention?
It’s possible, isn’t it?
- #11-Move your body
Some people really need to get their heart pumping and sweat it out.
Some people really need to sit quietly and stretch.
Some people feel better when they’re outside and walking or running and others enjoy being in their homes on a treadmill.
It doesn’t matter what kind of person you are, just discover what type you are.
Then, you’ll know what way you need to move your body that will help remove those feelings of being overburdened.
I’m sharing this one last because unfortunately sometimes it’s what I go to last.
I am a believer in a Heavenly Father that loves me and cares about me.
I believe that when I pray and ask for help, I receive it.
Actually, sometimes the answer is to try one of the above mentioned things. But sometimes, it’s just a feeling of peace that comes to me when I’ve taken the time to share what I’m burdened with through a prayer.
So there you go. My list of 12 things that can help you deal with your burdens better.
I’ve got a few more, but I think I’ll save them for a later episode. There’s a few of these that I’d like to go into more with you so I’ll do that on future episodes as well.
Because I feel so strongly about the power of these techniques, I’ve made a PDF that you can download for free that lists these out for you so you can put them where you can be reminded when you need it. Click the link in the shownotes and I’ll send it to you. You’ll also be signed up for my Keeping it Together community where I send you emails to keep you up on all the latest episodes of the podcast and all things Hunkeedori! I hope it will be helpful to you.
If you heard something on today’s episode that really helped you, will you do me a favor and help someone else as well! Share it with a friend. Tell them about this podcast. It would also help others find us if you leave a review for this podcast. It’s really easy to do and it would help me and others so much!
Thanks for listening and I hope that you find yourself feeling Overburdened No More!!!