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Letting Go is Key to Reduce Stress

Letting go. I’ve written about the concept of letting go off an on for years.Next to posts about how to reduce stress it’s one of my favorite topics. It’s one of those topics that I just can’t “let go” of ;). Letting go is hard, and it’s also something that so many of us don’t do often enough. You see for the last few months I know I have been burning the candle at both ends. Traveling ALOT, writing more, working on the final touches of my new book and balancing the explosive growth…I mean I’m even having a hard time trying to keep up on social media! All on top of everything else I do day in and day out.

Like many of you out there, my “work” is only part of my life. I volunteer, take care of the house (well sort of) and I am mom, wife, grandma, friend, daughter and so much more. My plate is full, strike that…overfull.

So last week after speaking to a group of military spouses at Ft. Benning I found that I had a few hours to think during my flight(s) home. (You know you’ve got to much on your plate when the only time you can think is on a plane ride home…sigh). Anyway, during my think time I began to realize how stressed I was feeling lately.

It was like I was there in body going through the motions, but my mind was elsewhere tackling the next thing on the never-ending list. In fact I found myself frustrated whenever I was “forced” to sit and watch Netflix with my husband (usually something we both enjoy) or the fact that I got mad when he didn’t agree with me that cereal is a perfect dinner choice.

And that’s not the worst of it. I can’t recall the last time I actually sat down to relax without mentally working on something else, or feeling guilty for not working. So in that moment of reflection some 32,000 feet up in the friendly skies I decided that I really needed to “let go” of some of the things in my life to reduce the stress so I could actually relax and enjoy what I’m doing.

So what did I do?

  • I requested a committee to help me with one of my volunteer positions
  • I handed over the social media detail for the military ministry I’m part of
  • I decided it was time to move on from my position writing for the local magazine
  • and I chose to not host Thanksgiving this year.

Letting go of these things made such a difference in my life. For the first time in months I actually had time to read a chapter last night before I went to sleep. The best part of the decision was that this time the process of letting go had no guilt or regret associated with it. In fact it felt empowering to recognize where my stress was coming from and take action to alleviate it.

It felt great to open up some space and allow a little wiggle room in my life because I know that the right and perfect people will step into the space I’ve left and they will do a better job.

Letting go for the right reasons feels good. Doing it with integrity feels even better. Each and every call I made to physically “let go” was greeted with understanding and support. I started this entry saying letting go is hard, but as I put words onto the page I realize that statement  isn’t true at all. The reality is that I can see the value and benefit when I let go because letting go of the right things is the key to relieving stress in our lives.

What can you let go of to make space and reduce stress in your life?


~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up  and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at

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