How to stop living in the past and finally look forward

Have you noticed that the past always comes back? Every day in our life the mind, as well as the heart, are crowded with memories or traumas that, most of the time, we would like to relegate to a corner and forget forever . Ugly. Sad. Difficult. Painful.

But forgetting everything to keep only positive emotions  is unfortunately only a dream. Although shared by many: nature has not endowed us with a selective (or at least not as effective) memory. And while letting go of the past is often difficult, there comes a time in life when we have to. In which we are ‘forced’ to turn the page because carrying on the pain and resentment would risk blocking us emotionally .


How do emotions affect our body?


Letting go of the past: tips on how to do it

But how to forget the past and move on without regrets?

Letting go of the past doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting. It can simply mean eliminating the emotional impact from the lived experience, accepting it and allowing ourselves to move forward .

What happens with very intense emotional experiences , such as the loss of a loved one or the end of a love, is that we do not fully assimilate them, so they remain ‘electric’ reactivating at the slightest stimulus rather than being relegated to the past : the more we reject it the more it torments us, which is why it is important to face it and accept it .

Furthermore, regretting one’s mistakes makes little sense since the past cannot be changed . And then even if we had the ability to relive it we could not change it because we did the best we could do for the person we were at that moment. In short, it is true that we can always improve, but not in the past.

Be aware of past events. It is useless to pretend that you have overcome certain painful moments in your life: you can lie to others but not to yourself.

Accept that you can’t change it

Reality is always mediated by the filter of our interpretation, which is why we need to completely renew the way we think about our past.

Gradually get used to the pain experienced

The best way to clear a pain is to gradually get used to it. Of course, it’s not that automatic, it’s a step to take gradually but, eventually, you’ll get used to it.

Face your fears

The fear aroused by the memory of a past event can make us change habits. Often we get the impression that certain episodes of the past are so bad that we are afraid to “touch them”, they are practically unacceptable, we try to escape and deny them, while in our head they are more alive than ever and they do nothing but give us discomfort .

Maybe it’s time to face them: why is that thing hurting you so much? Why does it scare you? Clarify and face your fear.

Eliminate anything that reminds you of a painful event

The painful memory is like a bad habit you try to fight – do it on favorable ground. It’s okay to deal with negativity, but removing the elements that remind you of trauma helps you stay in a comfort zone, from which you can work better. Don’t pretend to be friends with people who have caused you pain, avoid places that arouse painful memories, and so on.

Take your time

It doesn’t matter how long it takes to leave the past behind. Know that it may take a long time, but this shouldn’t make you frustrated. Being sick is perfectly acceptable and above all it is not the end of the world: respect the times of your suffering, only in this way you can accept and overcome it.

Help slide the past and leave it behind by repeating this ‘mantra’ by Daphne Rose Kingma : “To hold back is to believe that there is only the past, to let go is to know that there is a future “. And now take a deep breath and think about how you want your future to be ! There is certainly time for happiness .



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