Breaking the Burden of Overattachment

How can you let go of the result to reduce stress and bring clarity into the process?

People who have their eyes on the prize are generally more determined to get results. They know what they want, and what lengths they must go to achieve their dreams.

But there is a limit.

When attachment to something turns into an obsession, it becomes overattachment. Overattachment is toxic because it comes from a place of desperation and energetically pushes that thing away.

By feeling like you need something to be happy, you’re stepping backward with your fulfillment. You don’t feel whole without something external to you, and that’s an issue.

Therefore, tackling overattachment simmers down to the question: how can I build a healthier relationship with the things in my life?

Here we’ll explore how to create a healthy relationship with things in your life to prevent it from becoming an obsession.

What is overattachment?

Lost time

Overattachment refers to an unhealthy or excessive attachment to any person or thing.

People tend to get overattached when they value a particular thing in their life higher than themselves.

There is nothing wrong with desire. Simply wanting something and feeling driven by it can be beneficial. However, desire can become an obsession when it comes from a place of need rather than want.

Overattachment is a problem because it makes you believe that your happiness is dependent on something external.

Overattachment can lead to: 

Overattachment is a step backward in the happiness paradigm. If you want to feel whole, you need to be your own center of gravity.

Nonattachment is a tenet in philosophies such as Buddhism and Taoism, and it’s seen as a crucial pillar in living a happy and fulfilling life.

Here is the difference between want and need:


Desire can be beneficial because it motivates you to take action. Therefore, wanting something can be beneficial by helping you move towards your dreams and desires.

Want is to have some attachment to an outcome.

Want provides positive feelings like ambition, motivation, and inspiration.


The feeling of need can be toxic because it comes from a place of desperation. When you feel like you need something in your life, you’re giving away your sense of power.

Need is to be overattached to something.

Need creates negative feelings such as desperation, stress, worry, jealousy, and contempt.


Common forms of overattachment

Overattachment occurs with anything you feel you can’t live without.

Some common forms of overattachment include:

  • Feeling like you need to get into a specific university course or job
  • Feeling you need to make a certain amount of money to have a good life
  • Feeling like you need a certain person in your life to get by
  • The need to be successful
  • The need to be in a relationship
  • The need for a certain substance or drug to feel happy
  • Anything you feel you can’t live without

Feeling like you need something creates resistance because as long as you don’t have it, there is a forcing current in your life.

The value of the thing you feel you need becomes disproportionate. If you don’t have it, you suffer. If you do have it, it probably won’t make much difference because it’s coming from a place of need rather than a place of want.

Read the article below to learn more about forcing currents in your life, and why it’s in your best interest to avoid them.

How to practice nonattachment

Nonattachment: Breaking free from possessions

Nonattachment is a central theme in various religions and spiritual belief systems because all things are impermanent. Sooner or later, we will need to let go of everything. The more attached you are to any given thing, the harder it will be to eventually let go of it.

Living life through a frame of nonattachment helps:

  • Reduce stress and worry
  • Become more at peace with the present situation
  • Let go of past people, things, and situations
  • Feel more free, like you don’t have a burden

Below are some things you can do to practice nonattachment. Otherwise, to learn more about why impermanence plays a crucial role in nonattachment, visit the link below:

Let go of the result

Being too attached to a particular outcome can cause you a great deal of stress.

The best way to let go of the result is by accepting what is outside your control.

By doing everything within your power to bring about the desired outcome and realizing when the rest is out of your hands, it’s easier to accept the outcome for what it is and move forward from there. 

Lower your expectations

You probably set expectations on yourself that cause a lot of pressure. Although some expectations are necessary to guide you toward your best life, imposing unreasonably high expectations on yourself can cause issues.

Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you don’t meet your self-imposed expectations. It doesn’t matter what you accomplish or how well you do. Focus on enjoying the process rather than the end result.

Put it into proportion

It’s important to look more honestly at your life situation. As overattachment occurs when you value one thing much higher than everything else, recognize when you’re disproportionately valuing something, and it’s taking your power instead.

Start looking at the true value of everything in your life. What really matters to you?

By looking at life this way, you will find that the things you’re obsessing over have likely been put on pedestals.

Look at the underlying cause

Sometimes it just takes a good look at your priorities to shuffle them.

Think about what will make you genuinely fulfilled. How will your life change if you achieve your goals? What thirst will buying that car, house, or item quench? We tend to think that achieving a particular outcome will solve a deeper underlying issue in our lives.

For example, many people are desperate for a loving partner because they are lonely. Even if they get the partner they dream of, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t be lonely anymore. In this case, these people should be working on their issues with loneliness first and foremost, which may then attract a loving relationship into their lives.

Looking for an external solution to your pain is to beat around the bush. Look at the underlying cause, and do the inner work.

Accept the worst-case scenario

You release a lot of pressure on yourself when you accept the worst-case scenario. Nobody performs at their best when under heavy pressure, and that stress certainly won’t help you achieve the best outcome.

To accept the worst-case scenario, you need to ponder it. Don’t just think about it, plan for it.

Sound bad, I know…

But accepting the worst-case helps take off the load because you’re no longer dependent on the best outcome. When you accept the worst-case scenario, you can work towards the best-case scenario with a fresh mind, not from a place of desperation.

Create backup plans

To lessen your attachment to a particular outcome, make backup plans.

Keep alternatives in mind if you don’t get the result you want. By applying yourself from many different angles, you might not get first place, but you will get a place.

For example, I would love to be a full-time writer and develop this website into a full-time business. Perhaps it will turn into something great one day, who knows, but I’m not putting all of my eggs in that basket.

I’m also an English teacher and I have a background in Landscape Architecture. I have experience bartending, where I can work anywhere in the world and have fun. I coach people. I am not over-attached to a particular outcome because there are other paths I can take if it doesn’t work out.

Appreciate what you have

Being appreciative of what you have is a good way to develop nonattachment.

You will stop putting so much emphasis on what you need by appreciating what you have. Sometimes you need to step back and realize how good you have it.

Therefore, enjoy sipping on that latte or watching an episode of your favorite series. Enjoy all the moments you share with people. Bring yourself back to the present and learn to appreciate every fleeting moment. The more you appreciate what you have, the less fixated you are on what could be.

Let go of what you don't need

Start removing things from your life that no longer serve you.

Cutting back and decluttering helps to prevent overattachment because you are putting more emphasis on intrinsic values.

The more you cut back, the more you cultivate a healthier mentality. Therefore, declutter, clean up, and minimize what you have in your life.

To learn about a better path toward satisfaction in life without clawing your way toward shiny new things, read this article:

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