Relax—everything isn’t under control. And that’s a good thing. While trying to manipulate and manage situations can feel safer, it can also stress you out. By the same token, letting go can feel scary, but it can also be a relief. Finding the sweet spot between these two extremes is the key to a more balanced, happier life. Find your own middle ground with the help of these six pointers.

6 Ways to Let Go and Find Balance

1. Change the way you wake up.

Set the tone for balance with an early-morning ritual. “The habit that many people have of waking up and diving right into the workday with checking their phones and email is not conducive to ever letting go,” says Dave Romanelli, a life-balance expert and author of Happy Is the New Healthy: 31 Ways to Relax, Let Go, and Enjoy Life NOW! The first thing Romanelli recommends you do in the morning? “Make a peaceful start, whether it’s with meditation, a silent prayer or just breathing.”

2. Decide what’s important to you and don’t stress about the rest.

“You don’t have to do everything perfectly,” says Lizzie Alberga, a life-balance expert and founder of The Gorgeous Project, a social media platform promoting positivity through daily inspiration. “Figure out what your priorities are and what falls below the line for you.” What gives you energy, what do you feel passionate about? Devote time and effort to those things and let go of the rest.

3. Focus on the what, not the how.

Once you figure out where you want to go, the route will take care of itself, says Alberga. “I believe each of us can do, be and have what we want; we just have to articulate those things to the universe,” she continues. When faced with a fork in the road, “listen to your gut, not your brain,” Alberga advises. “Focus on how each option makes you feel: Does it make you anxious and stressed, or intrigued and calm?” If it’s the latter, you know you’re on the right path.

4. Don’t be afraid to switch gears.

It’s OK to lose your way sometimes. If you find you’re no longer feeling engaged at work or in a relationship, for example, it might be time to take charge and make a change. “When you’re not applying yourself anymore, you know something needs to be adjusted,” says Romanelli.

5. Accept others for who they are.

Let go of trying to change anyone but yourself. “My husband smokes. I have told him repeatedly he shouldn’t,” says Alberga with a sigh. “But I have to accept that it’s his decision, not mine. Likewise, I believe that children come through us—they don’t belong to us. My responsibility is not to create who my kids are; it’s to understand who they are and help them be the best they can be.”

6. Think in terms of moments instead of drastic changes.

Even a small shift in how you approach your day can make a big difference. “Sometimes just a moment can be enough,” says Romanelli. “It could be the music you stop and listen to, or a sunrise or sunset you enjoy. Or take a minute to do something loving: give someone a long hug, send a kind email, or read to your kids.” Shut down your electronics, he advises, and be totally present. “The secret is to take life one breath at a time. Just do the best you can to be all there in the moment you’re in.”

In the words of Alberga, sometimes you’re a leaf in a river, and sometimes you’re a salmon heading upstream. Sure, there are times to swim, but you’ll find your true balance when you let yourself just float for a while.

Looking for more ways to find peace and ease in your life—inside and out? Check out our remastered recordings of Bodhi Talks given by authors, healers, philosophers, teachers and scientists at the original Bodhi Tree Bookstore. Explore now here!

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About the author

Elizabeth Hurchalla is a Los Angeles–based writer and author of  Getting Over Him: Cosmo’s Complete Breakup Survival Guide and co-author of Why Don’t You… 701 Ways to Jump-Start Your Life and What to Do If a Bird Flies in the House and 72 Other Things You Ought to Know by Now. She’s also written for Google, Yahoo!, Livestrong and BBC Radio.