Sunday, December 28, 2014


Let go
Image by Banksy

Detaching and Letting Go of Emotions?

Detaching ourselves from our emotions can be a very difficult process. For the vast majority of people, each day is another opportunity to ride the emotional roller-coaster. When things go our way, we are happy. When they don’t, we react with anger, sadness, fear, disappointment, frustration, and resignation. In fact, we are typically so accustomed to experiencing these emotions that we believe our lives will always be marked by emotional reactions to the challenges we experience. We tend to let ourselves believe that this is “normal” and everyone does it. 

We tend to let ourselves belief that we are emotional beings reacting to situations and circumstances beyond our control. This misconception is so ingrained in us that we usually do not even see the possibility of living without immediate emotional responses. How many times have you heard people say “We are human beings and we’re entitled to our emotions?” By coming from the perspective that we will always be at the mercy of things that people say or do, we forfeit our ability to retain control of our emotional well-being.

When our significant others say something that irritates us, we lash out. When our supervisors criticize our work, we fear losing our jobs. When we are not invited to a party, we react with sadness. When we are falsely accused of something, we respond with indignant rage. When a relationship with someone dissolves, we tend to throw blame at the other person. We allow ourselves to react in an emotional way that does not support our happiness or peace of mind, and that allowance robs us of our personal power.

So if these emotional responses do not support our happiness, why do we continue to allow them?

If we hate being in such a state of constant low vibration, why do we continue to find reasons to revert back to this state? Why do we relish the opportunity to take our state even lower? In the same way, we hate feeling sad but somehow, we find no shortage of opportunities that “make us” sad. 

Knowing that "like attracts like", we should know better, but no matter how practiced we become navigating the obstacles we've grown accustomed to, we fail to transcend until we get so tired of it that we have no other choice but to transcend. Why?

It is because we have become addicted to our comfort zones.

We have become addicted to a positive feeling that we enjoyed, and when it reverses or disappears, we are like crack addicts trying to find a fix. We do anything we can to get the feeling back, even to the point of obsession. But when we fail to get the feeling back, we allow the thoughts and feelings... the emotional responses mentioned earlier to intervene in our lives. It throws us out of alignment and we often have difficulty realigning emotional control. To prevent this, we must learn to detach from the things that we allow to make us feel this way.

So how do we detach? Before we answer that question, let's examine the cause.

The cause is attachment. Attachment, the way I am using it here is defined by Merriam-Webster as "strong feelings of affection or loyalty for someone or something". This attachment could be to a person, a job, a material object, or even attachment to the outcome of a situation. The last one being quite common to everyone.

When we allow ourselves to become attached (more accurately overly-attached) to someone or something, the sudden absence causes us to panic and react in the ways mentioned above. And then we experience the feelings of anger, sadness, fear, disappointment, frustration, and resignation. 

The best way to detach is to allow yourself to experience people and situations without attachment in the first place. If you can learn to experience without attachment, you can find bliss in the moment and allow joy without fear. Okay... so how do we do that?, you ask.

Here are some tips that I follow when I recognize that I should not attach to something. I am going to throw in something to remember... As human beings, we are inevitably going to attach from time to time. No one is perfect at preventing attachment, so be easy with yourself.

Experiencing Without Attachment

1. Accept the moment - Don’t dwell on the past; that moment is gone, never to return. You cannot get it back. Do not try to make the moment last forever. Just enjoy it because it will eventually pass out of your life. Nothing is permanent because vibrational energy changes, people shift in and out, and everything is fluid. thinking of the past or the future will only cause you pain.

2. Believe now is enough - Now is all we have...tomorrow will not be the same as today, no matter how much you try to control it. A relationship might end or you might have to move. Realizing that all you need is now will allow you to appreciate and enjoy what you have.

3. See Yourself Objectively - Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings when they veer toward attachment; they can betray you. When you dwell on keeping, controlling, manipulating, or losing something instead of simply experiencing it, you bring yourself worry. Worry leads to anxiety and anxiety leads to pain.

Instead, try to be the observer. Try to see yourself and the situation from a third person point of view - without judgment. From there it is easier to choose actions and reactions that will help you toward a desired outcome.

4. Define Yourself Realistically - We are constantly evolving and growing. Define yourself in terms that can withstand change. Do not define yourself by possessions, roles, and relationships. Doing so breeds attachment and a loss will result in not only losing what you have, but also who you are.

5. Enjoy Now - No matter how much time you have in an experience or with someone you love, it will never feel like enough. So don’t think about it in terms of quantity or time invested. Aim instead for quality. Attach to the idea of living well moment-to-moment. That’s an attachment that can do you no harm.

So what do we do if we fail to experience without attachment? What do we do if we are experiencing a perceived loss to which we have already attached ourselves? How do we stop the snow-ball effect of emotions and anxiety to come? There are some techniques to help.

Emotional Detachment Techniques

1. Spiritual Breathing - Taking a deep breath will help you to detach your emotions from a situation. When you are emotionally stressed, holding your breath is your body’s way of coping, but this will cause the effects to be worse.

2. Neutralize Your Thoughts - Neutralizing your thoughts toward the negative actions or words of others is another good detachment technique. By clearing your mind from the current behavior or situation, you can detach in a healthy manner.

3. Journaling - Keeping a journal is another way to help detach emotionally. By tracking the actions of others and writing them down, you can see how you have allowed their actions to negatively impact your life and take the steps needed to detach.

4. Recognize you self-worth - You are always feeling what you think. You are not necessarily always feeling “the truth,” or even your own personal truth. Every emotion, feeling, or mood you experience follows directly from the thinking you are experiencing. That thinking is not always accurate or important. It does not always indicate what’s best for you. In reality, your feelings are nothing more than feedback about your thinking. Feelings are not feedback about your mental health, the state of your life, or whether you have the “right” job, partner, or dietary habits.

5. Do Something Different - Step out of your comfort zone. One of the benefits of detaching is not having to compromise. Go to a hockey game, attend the ballet, or stay up late watching old movies. Use engaging, healthy activities as a way to replace your emotional attachment to the loss you are experiencing.

My mother used to tell me that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to detaching from people, things, or situations, it is better to never over-attach in the first place. When we become overly attached to someone or something, the possibility of loss leads to fear. Fear leads to suffering.

Feel free to leave comments, share, and as always...

Stay Zen!

Joe Vulgamore PCP CBI is author of the Best-selling book "Alignment- Law of Attraction and the Seven Universal Laws" and "Powerful Powerful You - Understanding Your Power". He is a Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, and Holistic Healer. For almost 30 years, Joe has helped thousands of people from over 14 countries, across 5 continents, to make life-transformations through one-to-one coaching and workshops.


  1. Thank you for another great article! I'll make sure to write down the useful tips mentioned & review them regularly 👍

  2. Thank you Amal... I'm glad it was helpful :-)

  3. Even if I find things to do my mind wanders back to the relationship again and again. I start to get anxiety and panic and crying fits. I've tried breathing and self tapping etc it's not helping.

  4. Even if I find things to do my mind wanders back to the relationship again and again. I start to get anxiety and panic and crying fits. I've tried breathing and self tapping etc it's not helping.

  5. Thank you so much for this Joe. I will come back to this article and re-read again because this information is very helpful

    1. My pleasure. Please share this article with anyone who can benefit from it.

  6. What an awesome article! ! Thank you so much for sharing! ! :-)

    1. Thank you very much and you're quite welcome! Please share it with anyone who can benefit!