Let It Go: How To Stop Letting Things Bother You

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated February 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Are you wondering how to let things go? You may have heard advice about letting go of things that harm you to improve your mental health and daily life. However, letting go of worry, stress, and hurt can often be easier said than done. 

When someone or something bothers you, you might feel emotionally attached to that person or thing and feel unsure how to proceed. Several research-backed strategies can help in moving forward when you're ready. The next time you dwell on a negative situation or painful feelings, consider trying one of the following techniques. They could help you learn how to not let things bother you in the future.

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Techniques for letting go of what bothers you

You might try the strategies below if you are searching for ways to let go of what bothers you to increase your relaxation and sense of calm. 

Practice mindfulness and meditation

Meditation or mindfulness may help you learn ways to stop dwelling on distressing thoughts or negative emotions. They might also help you stay in the moment and learn to connect with yourself on a more profound level. With mindfulness meditation, you can sit quietly without interruption and focus on breathing. Listen, feel, and focus on each inhale and exhale. While you are breathing, thoughts that distress you may come into your head. If they do, try to let them go without judgment and return to your breathing.

Mindfulness meditation offers an opportunity for self care and a moment to focus on the present moment rather than worries or painful feelings. You can use this technique outside of structured meditation time to calm down, breathe, and evaluate whether a situation bothering you is worth spending your energy on. There are many guided mindfulness exercises available online at no cost if you find it easier to get into practice with the guidance of a teacher. Studies also back up the impacts of meditation, showcasing how meditation can increase self-compassion and health. While you can plan a time each day to practice mindfulness, you may also find it useful to use this practice when you notice a bad mood coming on. This may reduce the time that you spend focusing on negative thoughts.

Try to minimize complaining

Complaining can be a natural response to feeling upset. However, talking about a problem excessively may not help you. While mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment, complaining is an activity that stimulates your mind to stay worried about the past or future. When you complain, you may magnify a problem, making it feel more significant. However, you may be able to learn to control this habit with practice. 

For instance, if you have ever been cut off on the road while driving, you might have found it scary and infuriating. When this happens, it might feel tempting to complain about it to others and let it ruin your day. However, doing so can give the frustration and negative emotions more power over your well-being without accomplishing anything. Instead, try to acknowledge the momentary frustration, recognize your emotions, release them, and move forward.


Put your worries in perspective

If you ruminate on a particular subject, consider asking yourself, "What is most likely to happen"? Follow your answer through to its logical conclusion. You may realize that whatever happens, there are techniques you can use to get through it and find relief. The anxious brain often focuses on the worst possible scenario. However, knowing you have a plan for that scenario and any others that could occur can help you feel more in control of your worries. 

Try to keep in mind that you might not know what will happen until you experience it. Recognize that the nerves you feel have started from a thought you are creating about what might or could happen, not necessarily what will happen. 

You can ask yourself the following:

  • How much will this matter to me tomorrow? 
  • How much will I care about this in a year? 
  • What have I done in the past to cope with problems like these? 
  • What skills do I have that can help me solve this problem? 
  • How can I convince myself that I can cope with any outcome?

Release control

You might find yourself overthinking when you encounter a situation where you feel out of control. You might be able to free up mental space and find a calm state by learning to accept what cannot change and change what can. You might not be able to change or control the random events of life or other people's behaviors. However, you may be able to change how you respond to these situations, so instead of focusing outwardly on what is outside of your control, try to release that worry and emotional pain and focus on how much you can do. For example, if someone posts something that bothers you on social media, you can consider whether there is anything you can do about it. If there isn’t, you might find it helpful to let go and focus on something else in life that is within your control.

Need help letting things go?

Talk to a professional

If you still struggle with how to let things go, consider contacting a licensed counselor for support. Working with a counselor can help you develop new strategies and tools for well-being. In addition, if you frequently experience uncomfortable thoughts or emotional pain, you may find reaching out to your therapist from home helpful. With online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp, you can reach out to your therapist at any time using in-app messaging, and they will respond as soon as they can. You can also schedule a session with a therapist quickly, avoiding waitlists you might encounter with in-person therapists.

Online therapy has been proven effective for various concerns, including mental illnesses involving distressing thoughts, anxiety, and depression. For example, in a significant literature review, researchers examined the effectiveness of internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (ICBT) for various mental illnesses. The review concluded that "ICBT is effective in treating and managing various psychiatric disorders like depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, and panic disorder."


While letting go can often be helpful advice, it may be easier said than done. If you’re interested in learning ways to stop letting things bother you in life, it may help to consider implementing some of the practices above, such as practicing mindfulness and letting go of things you can’t control. If you are trying to incorporate this ability into your life, consider trying the above strategies. If you need additional help with not letting things bother you, you may benefit from speaking to a licensed therapist. They may help you understand why you’re feeling the way you do and offer some of the best tips on how to not let things bother you. If you don’t have time for traditional in-office therapy, you might consider online therapy. With BetterHelp, you can be matched with a therapist who has experience helping people with similar concerns. Take the first step toward letting go of things that bother you and reach out to BetterHelp today. For additional support and help moving forward, consider reaching out to a counselor for guidance.

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