Forgetting what you don’t need reduces stress because it relieves stress that can negatively impact your thoughts.
When you decide to buy all new furniture for your home, what do you do? You probably have to get rid of most of your old furniture. Otherwise, there won’t be room for the new. The same thing is true of new ideas and new ways of doing things. Getting rid of negative and outdated thoughts prompts your thinking toward the new.
Let go of ideas, habits, and even old resentments with which you may have grown comfortable. Instead, explore new ideas, new approaches, and new opportunities that can spark inspiration.
Envision an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly feel it. The challenge is never how to get new and innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a room filled with our kids’ furniture. Stress is reduced when old stuff is removed from your thinking.
An old story dramatizes the effects of continuing to hold on to something than hinders managing stress.
An expedition of scientists went on a mission to capture a Tonkin snub-nosed monkey. Only an estimated 100-200 of this particular species exist, and they reside only in the jungles of Vietnam. The objective was to capture one of the monkeys alive and unharmed.
Using their knowledge of monkeys, the scientists devised a trap consisting of a small bottle with a long narrow neck. A handful of nuts was placed in it, and the bottle was staked out and secured by a thin wire attached to a tree.
Sure enough, one of the desired monkeys scented the nuts in the bottle, thrust an arm into the long neck, and grabbed a fistful. But when the monkey tried to withdraw the prize, his fist, now made larger by its contents, would not pass through the narrow neck of the bottle. He was trapped, anchored in the bottle, unable to escape with his booty, and yet unwilling to let go. The monkey was easily captured.
We may smile at such foolishness, but in some respects we operate in the same manner. We cling to the very things that hold us back, remaining captive through sheer unwillingness to let go. People fail so often because of what they will not give up. They cling to what has always worked, clearly after it has stopped working.
Since you cannot undue the past, the smart thing to do is forget it by not bringing it up again.
Tip: To manage stress more effectively, let go of what hinders you—and this includes old furniture and unsuccessful situations.