Ten Steps to Calm

Letting Go Of Unhealthy Things : 10 Steps to Calm Series

Letting go of Unhealthy Things

Feeling trapped ? Let it go. Photo © Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer

Letting Go of Unhealthy Things

Part of living calm and serene is ending things that are bad for you and unhealthy for your soul. These things, such as bad habits, vices or relationships, may inhibit your abilities to thrive and soar into the positive life you deserve.

I tend to categorize these into three things:

Bad Habits



Just for the sake of definition, I’ll talk a little about each so that you can be conscious of the differences.  The key to solving all these problems is first identifying the problem to start with. Then work on ways to fix, and get rid of the problem!

Bad Habits

A bad habit may be something you do that’s just not good for you. An example may be, the fact you get angry when things do not go your way. Learning how to realize that this is a bad habit, and try to work on yourself and break this bad habit is part of healing and letting go of the unhealthy things that impact you. In this case, if you can work on a different response, and you do not get angry, you aren’t feeding the negative energy. Therefore over time , to curb the way you react.  Unfortunately in life many things do not go the way we anticipated, and most out of our control.

Another example of a bad habit is clutter. Let’s say you are a clutter bug from collecting or simply shopping  Simply having way too many worldly things that you do not need, or never use sitting around the house is a problem.  There are studies that say an over cluttered houses can make you depressed.  In fact, once your home gets to the over clutter mode, you really don’t know where to start.


Vices certainly are bad habits but not all bad habits are vices so I have this in it’s own category. Let’s say you like to indulge in drinking, studies show there’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine now and again,  but a vice to worry about would be drinking too much.  Are you having cocktails with friends and drinking responsibly, or going out and pounding down shots and drinks and trying to relax not remembering much after?   Many times we can easily want to drink or use vices to deal with anxiety, depression, or stress.  The problem is realizing that these vices may simply just make matters worse. Not only can the girl who’s drinking to forget end up with a DUI or in a bad situation one night stand, but she can do damage to her body, her mind and her wallet. Be aware of any vices that may be bad for you, and work on fixing them.


This for me is perhaps the hardest on the list, because a relationship could be a lover, a friend, or a family member that is simply unhealthy for you. Relationships are formed by two people coming together and sharing some form of bond. Whether this be a bond with a friend that’s turned sour, or a brother whose going down the wrong path, or the lover that is just not good for you–these are difficult scenarios but ultimately breaking the bond is necessary.

I had a situation once where I was friends with someone I really enjoyed, but things were not as it seemed. On the outside, he seemed like a great guy fallen on hard times.  On the inside, his life was chaos, and the more he showed me the more my heart ached. His family was a mess and he was staying in an unhealthy relationship, that was simply something off the likes of Jerry Springer. My instinct wanted to help him and I found myself in a three year unhealthy friendship that brought me down and made me cry, because it drained my energy.  The more I helped him, the more it just enabled him.  I would never be rude when he called and found myself listening to chaos an hour at a time.  Unfortunately, no advice or help I gave him mattered, the point was he had to help himself.  It took me a while to realize cutting the chord with this person was ultimately the best decision I would ever make. To date, he’s still in that relationship and things are still a mess, and now his children are suffering. Each person has to have their breaking point.

I have been told that some people in life are energy vampires.  Unfortunately, this can even be members of your own family who have chosen to walk to the beat of their own drum, and act in ways that aren’t healthy for you to be involved with.  It can be a spoiled marriage of which you stay for convenience or the children. It can be a life long friend who has chosen a bad path.  It can be almost any form of relationship that you can think of. For me, cutting the cord with someone you love is the hardest thing.

Fixing Issues

There are three steps to fixing the issues. I will break them down for you.

Identify the Problem. Sounds easy right?  Sometimes, not so much.   You have to admit the problem to yourself and be conscious of it.  Many of us do not like to admit we have problems.  It’s part of growing….

Recognize there needs to be Change.  Make a conscious effort to know there needs to be change, and have the willpower and courage to enable the change.

Make the Changes.   Find a way to make the changes.

Here’s an example and I’m a good one to talk about this, a recent move from a 4 bedroom huge old home to a 1 bedroom small cottage has left my house with stackable totes everywhere. I am still trying to organize, de-clutter,  give things to Goodwill, and find a place for keeping the things important to me.  Downsizing is a problem, I’m going from a gigantic house full of big things and now entering a minimalist lifestyle forced by room design and storage options. Overall, I realize this will be beneficial to my serenity.  In the meantime, the over abundance of goods is making me anxious, piles of things seem to look untidy and be closing in, a bit overwhelming I’m not sure where to start.  However, being conscious of this problem makes me want to fix it, and now I think twice about bringing something new home when I simply can’t fit anything new in the home.   I have made a chalk-paint board and write on it small goals every day, to list things on Etsy, or make bags of things I haven’t used or worn it it in a year so I can take them to Goodwill or the consignment shop. I’ve joined online yardsale groups to try to get rid of the extras and make a few bucks while doing so. I try to dedicate a day a week to just doing this! Little by little, my problem will start to disappear and I can start feeling more at home in my new house!

Letting go of unhealthy things can really help you!   Read all ten steps to calm here!

Enjoy this video from Rachel Waxman.