Letting Go: The Benefits of Letting Go of Emotional Baggage

Letting go is a powerful practice that can help individuals move forward in life. It involves releasing negative emotions such as pain, guilt, anger, and fear that can be carried from past experiences. Letting go allows individuals to create space for new possibilities, increased focus and potential, and improved mental and physical well-being. This article will explore the benefits of letting go, and the research that supports it.

The practice of letting go can be traced back to ancient Eastern philosophies, such as Buddhism, which emphasizes the importance of releasing attachment to objects, people, and situations in order to move forward in life. In the modern Western culture, it is primarily associated with the idea of ​​letting go of the past and focusing on the present. This idea has been embraced by numerous psychologists and therapists who have studied the benefits of letting go and helped to develop methods for doing so.

Letting go has been found to offer numerous mental and physical benefits. Studies have shown that it can reduce stress and anxiety, improve emotional regulation, and decrease rumination and intrusive thoughts. It can also help individuals to focus on the present, become more accepting of themselves and others, and develop healthier relationships. Additionally, letting go has been found to reduce physical symptoms of stress such as headaches, fatigue, and insomnia.

In addition to these benefits, letting go can also help individuals make progress in their lives. By releasing negative emotions, individuals can create space for new possibilities and opportunities. This could include pursuing interests and goals they had let go of due to fear or anxiety, or connecting with individuals who can help them to reach their goals. Additionally, letting go can help individuals to focus on the present and to develop healthier coping skills to manage stress and difficult emotions.

The research suggests that letting go can be a powerful practice for individuals who are looking to make progress in their lives. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve emotional regulation, and create space for new possibilities. Additionally, it can help individuals to focus on the present and to develop healthier relationships and coping skills.


McKay, M., Wood, J. C., & Brantley, J. (2007). The dialectical behavior therapy skills workbook: Practical DBT exercises for learning mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Lodro, R. (2015). The wisdom of letting go: How to find peace and happiness by releasing the past. Boston, MA: Shambhala.

Lim, C., & Koo, M. (2018). The effects of letting go on psychological well-being: A systematic review. Psychology, 9(5), 718–731. doi:10.4236/psych.2018.95051

Scroll to Top