I want to preface this post with the fact that I am not good at letting go of stress. I am not writing this because I let go of stress successfully all of the time - I am writing it because I need to learn how to let go of stress, and maybe some of you can relate.
If you have a big deadline for a project at work and are stressed out about it, what is the source of the stress? The work? Probably not because that is just a series of actions. What about the deadline? No, I think that is just a constraint. Perhaps your reaction to those external events...bingo! It is the worry and fear that you won't make the deadline, or if you do finish the project, it won't be good and you might look incompetent The worry that causes the stress reaction is due to the fact that we want things to turn out a certain way and it might not happen that way.
The reality is that in this example we don't have complete control over how it will turn out. All we can do is do the work to complete the project. The fear and stress are only getting in the way.
In letting go of fear, worry, stress, etc. you gain a peace of mind.
I am nowhere near good at this yet, but I am loving what I have learned so far...
1) Notice why you are stressed out. What external event is stressing you out? Why is it stressing you out?
2) Notice what you are holding onto. If your response is fear, it is probably because you are holding onto something. That something is more than likely something you can't control or something you want to turn out a certain way.
3) Realize that it is not real. The wishing that you could control things is just made up in your head. We all do it, but it is not a real thing, therefore you can let it go.
4) See what it is doing to you. This thing you have made up in your head is stressing you out, which is not enjoyable. Realize this.
5) LET GO. If something you have made up is causing you pain, let it go! Why hold onto it? By letting go, you release the pain and are just left with the work you need to do.
My goal is to be able to breathe and smile in the middle of chaos. Let go of the desire to control certain outcomes and feel the stress vanish from your life.
For me, this is SO much easier said than done. It will take a lot of practice. We often forget about the process (5 steps) when a situation arises, and that's OK. Life is a constant practice. I intend to keep practicing and let go of wanting to be perfect at it.