How to let go of the past?

Negative experiences are part of life.

Negative experiences can lead to a tumultuous future. Are you still carrying your painful history around with you? Is it sometimes painful to remember the treatment you received as a child?

Are you still angry at your ex three years after there was infidelity? Are you afraid to speak in public because you forgot your words at the board meeting? I have heard that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

Re-living the past is a skill.

Unfortunately, painful experiences are part of life. You may not want to hear this, but suffering is through your own doing for all these years.

To continually feel sad about bad experiences that happened to you. You are doing something to precipitate re-live the feelings.

This action is a skill. However, it is not a productive one.

Negative experiences – letting it go will lead to an optimistic future:

1. Avoid rehashing bad experiences. Continually thinking about your past negative experiences will affect your present and future outcomes. You may think that the repeated playing of the incidents in your mind is healthy or educational. However, the opposite is true. They will drag you down into despair and discouragement. Instead, try to learn from the negative experience as quickly as possible and immediately move on.

The more focus and emotional energy you devote to the past, the greater its influence on the rest of your life will be.

2. Make some new memories. Creating unique experiences is an efficient strategy to displace existing ones. Find somebody new if you want to get over your ex. Become more active in your life. Consider joining a club, making new friendships, and doing something different with your time. Make your new experiences so wonderful that they outweigh your old, traumatic memories.

3. Make a conscious choice to let go of the past. Declare your intent to yourself. Whatever you’re trying to do now is not working. Decide to act in response to the problem you’re facing.

4. Make some plans. Create milestones or goals for the future. Have something exciting in front of you that will keep you from looking back. A compelling purpose can be the most effective antidote to a tumultuous history. So, what do you have planned for your coming year?

5. Put more time into the present. There is growing evidence that practising mindfulness can help treat many psychological conditions. Think of mindfulness as the mental health equivalent of Omega 3 supplements. For example, practising mindfulness makes you more likely to cope with the past.

Mindfulness is a simple practice but requires some understanding and effort. For this purpose, pay attention to your environment and your current activity. For example, if you’re walking your dog, you’re paying attention to what you see. Your thoughts are not about your ex,  the broken geyser, or the overdue reports for tomorrow.

A mindful state takes a lot of practice, but learning it is well worth the effort.

6. You should avoid blaming others. It is convenient to blame others. In so doing, you absolve yourself of any responsibility. As long as you hold grudges or have bitterness towards people in your past, it will always hinder your growth. Let go of your negative feelings and forgive everyone involved. Once you have done this, the negative experiences will become much more distant.

7. Strive to find peace. Do your best to find peace within when you are upset. You may want to practice slow and deep breathing. As you exhale, allow the past to flow out with your breath. Do this until you feel no more negative energy. Once you reflect on past events and feel at peace with them, you are free of their control.

Take away

Do you suffer as a result of your past? Stop treating yourself in this way. Sometimes things in life don’t go as you wanted them to, but that doesn’t mean they have to control your entire existence.

Allow yourself to forgive those who have hurt you in the past. Please pardon yourself. Be optimistic about the future and the fantastic possibilities that may await you.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a powerful tool for dealing with your past negative experiences. However,  Mindfulness can also be a preventative measure during times of emotional turmoil.

Start by setting aside 5 minutes for mindfulness practice the first week, then progress to 10 minutes the following week until you can practice for 20 minutes.

If you can’t commit to 20 minutes, do what you can. Even 5 minutes (or twice a day) will make a significant difference.

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