Emotional detachment – Does it help us to be freer?
This concept is not understood and is not understood because it is not easy. However, there is more and more talk of emotional detachment because it is fundamental to our mental health and our happiness. So we will go in steps, first define it and then give the points to be able to implement it.
To define detachment, one must first understand what attachment is: “Attachment is an emotional state of dependence on a thing, a situation or a person.”
The behavior of attachment has two basic functions: a biological function, that is to obtain protection to assure the survival, and the other one of more psychological character, the one to acquire security.
What I do want to emphasize is that for Buddhists attachment is an attitude that overestimates the qualities of an object or person and then clings to it. I cling to people, situations or things until I make them necessary for me and so I become dependent on them. As you can see, the concept of attachment here is different, there are many toxic relationships that originate in a bad attachment and an emotional dependence.
So attachment is good or bad? Well, once again, I note that the same thing can be bad and good at the same time. Attachment is necessary to grow, to feel safe, to nourish us emotionally and its function is to be autonomous and independent adults. Therefore, attachment must give way to detachment sooner or later. I can’t depend on my parents all my life to feel safe because I’m likely to lose them on the road. Nothing lasts forever, so if I cling something and lose it, I will suffer.
Emotional detachment – what is detachment?
Misunderstanding may seem pure selfishness, but nothing is further from reality. Practicing detachment does not mean breaking ties with everything that is important to me, it doesn’t even mean to stop having goals or to want things. Rather it means that even if I want something, I don’t need it to live happily.
I do not stop wanting things or people, I just stop clinging to it as if it were the only important thing; meaning to walk looking the way and not the result. The excesses give us chains and they don’t let us be free.
In our personal relationships, detachment is key to our well-being. I can relate to you in a more free way, leaving spaces for individuality. I choose you but I do not need you, I prefer to be with you but I can be without you. I enjoy sharing my time with you, but I don’t live with the fear of losing you. Love ceases to be need, should be just love.
“Detachment is learning to love, to appreciate what we have and to get involved in relationships in a healthier and more balanced way.”
Emotional detachment – How do I put it into practice?
- Take care of your PERSONAL column
You are responsible for yourself. Do not pretend to leave in others this responsibility. No one should take care of you, except yourself.
- You are the architect of your life and every step you give.
Cultivate your own happiness, feel responsible, mature, become aware of your decisions and consequences, choose for yourself and never let your well-being and your mental health always depend on other people’s hearts.
Take the reins of your life and your personal well-being, because as its name implies, your well-being is personal and non transferable.
- Live your present and accept it
He lives here and now. Stop living in the past or in the future because an excess of past is sadness and an excess of future anxiety.
Living and dealing with the present alone is much easier than living thinking about that past that we can no longer fix or that future that is uncontrollable and sometimes uncertain. We can only enjoy what we do, when our body and mind are aligned.
- Accept that things are so, not everything is under our control.
Life flows and nothing prevails. Everything is constantly changing and I must learn to accept and stop trying to change everything and control everything
If I live in the present and accept it, without judging it, I will be able to live in peace.
- Learn from Change
Nothing lasts and everything moves. The world keeps spinning and the days go by and none is exactly the same. Knowing how to adapt to change is essential for survival, because it is the natural way of things.
Attachment does not help me to move forward in the changes, when everything around me changes, I must also do it, I can not cling to the past, neither to things, nor to people, because I will be anchored, clinging to the pain of loss.
- Appreciate what you already have
We must teach our mind to focus more on what it already has than what it lacks, because we do not run the risk of becoming the eternal dissatisfied. Because I’m going to tell you a secret: there will always be something missing.
“If you are not happy with what you have, you will hardly be with what you lack!”
Emotional detachment – exercise
To help you do this, there is an exercise that I often use in therapy, that of acknowledgments: for two weeks, every day before you go to sleep, thank life for three things you have and do not repeat one in those 15 days. You will discover the amount of things you already have and that you never value. Feeling thankful for what I have brings me closer to happiness than feeling just yearning for what I have not yet.
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