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How To Move On From The Past: Top Tips For Letting Go


Do you find yourself constantly reliving painful memories? Does the past consume your thoughts and make it difficult for you to unwind? Negative experiences and recollections can sometimes hold a person hostage, making it difficult for them to be happy. It could be anything from a failed relationship to a betrayal that still stings or even the death of a loved one. You can probably relate because something bothers you despite your efforts to shake it off.

Whatever you may have gone through, or whatever baggage you might be carrying from the past, there is always a way forward. We want to help you move on with your life, free of the pain and frustration of the past.

Dwelling on something you can't change will only dishearten you and limit your growth!

If you want to let go of things and move forward, it is possible to do so. You just have to get honest with yourself and see the big picture.

Why Is It So Hard To Let Go Of The Past?

Being obsessed with the past makes it hard to enjoy the present. Even though you know that thinking so much about the past is unhealthy, you might still struggle to overcome this habit. It can be frustrating to keep returning to something you've worked hard to overcome.

It isn't easy to let go of the past for many reasons. Maybe you are afraid that those events will repeat themselves. Or you blame someone for how things turned out and never got an apology, making it difficult to move on. Your mind is bustling with unanswered questions, making it difficult for you to let go. In other words, you lack the closure that is vital for you to let go of the event.

Reliving painful memories over and over again is mentally and emotionally draining. To let go of the past, you must first understand why you can't stop thinking about it. Knowing what "rumination" means would be helpful.

Rumination is the habit of dwelling on unpleasant thoughts and feelings rather than using the present moment and the opportunities it presents. Rumination is associated with many problems, such as depression, low self-esteem, relationship conflict, and interpersonal difficulties.

Your ability to relax will be severely impaired if you constantly dwell on the bad things that have happened in the past or place too much importance on irrelevant events.

Going over past events can lead to negative self-talk, which is a demoralising experience in and of itself. When people ruminate, they are stuck in a negative thought pattern that prevents them from moving on from the past and focusing on the opportunities in front of them. Rumination can be the result of several things, including habitual negative thinking and feeling pessimistic.

How to Move On From the Past

In order to let the past be the past, you must accept why it poses a problem and be open to making mental shifts. You might notice that your past trauma or struggles affect how you think and feel in the present, limiting your experience of life. Making mental shifts in the present will lead to a new understanding of how we connect to the past and find a way forward.

You'll need to have some serious resolve to replace harmful behaviours detrimental to your mental health with more positive ones.

Tip 1: Give Yourself Closure and Be Forgiving

To achieve closure, one must accept and acknowledge the past as it is and welcome the new beginning that lies ahead.

When you're thinking about the past again and again, it is likely that you're just looking for closure. Perhaps you have regrets or wish you could have said or done something differently. Maybe there was a special someone you should have forgiven. Or maybe you feel guilty about the way you treated a deceased family member. How can you get over whatever happened if you didn't get the closure you needed?

With closure, you can accept what happened and move on. While there are many ways of achieving closure, all of them require you to be fully transparent with yourself. You must be truthful about your thoughts and how you perceive the past. Keeping a personal journal can be a convenient route to closure, as it will give you a place to express yourself, thereby forcing you to confront certain realities and emotions.

Journaling is a great way to find positivity that can lift you above the past and help you feel hopeful.

It would help if you vented your thoughts by journaling. Permit yourself to share your feelings and thoughts on the memories you wish to move on from. Putting your thoughts on paper can be a cathartic and therapeutic experience. Through it, you can break down the experience, process it, and then find a way to reach a resolution. Doing this allows you to understand and embrace that certain things in life, such as a loved one's death, are out of your control.

Writing can also help you become aware of the ways in which you unfairly judge yourself. You can respond to this tendency toward self-criticism by being kinder and more forgiving to yourself. By releasing your thoughts in writing, you can move on from traumatic experiences and past hurts.

Tip 2: Learn to Listen to Your Emotions with Meditation

When you actively listen to your emotions, they can't overpower you when you least expect it.

Things from the past can arrest you and your mind if you haven't given yourself a chance to process them. Perhaps you didn't allow yourself to feel what should have been felt when a particular incident happened because that would mean feeling vulnerable. The trouble with emotions is that if you try to ignore them, they will come back even stronger at the very moments you don't want them to.

Instead of ignoring your emotions, learn to pay attention to them. It will help you overcome whatever has occurred in the past!

Avoiding feeling the effects of a bad situation may have imprinted a lot of unpleasant emotions on you that need to be worked through. Mindfulness can aid in creating the impression of being heard on an emotional level in such a circumstance. You can practice meditation, as it teaches you to notice your emotions and allow them to move through you.

You can start a daily meditation ritual and get in touch with your emotions in the process. Getting over the past means reconnecting with it when you are safe so that it doesn't keep on interfering with your present and future. With time, meditation helps you to process the emotions of the past and re-experience them with clarity. This is a way of accepting the challenging past as part of your journey without letting it define you.

Tip 3: Use Positive Self-Affirmations to Implant Good Thoughts

Plant encouraging thoughts and words in your mind to help you move well beyond your fixation on the past.

When thinking about the past, you usually engage in negative self-talk. Instead of allowing the negative thought patterns to control you, replacing them with encouraging words and positive thoughts is a good idea. One way you can accomplish this is through what is known as positive self-affirmations.

Positive self-affirmations are statements of encouragement and inspiration that are repeated frequently until they become deeply embedded in the mind.

While positive self-affirmations can be applied to any part of your life, they can be quite useful when trying to grow beyond your past. By repeating positive thoughts about your past, you can make it easier to accept it as something that happened way back when instead of something that defines you today.

Here are a few positive self-affirmations that can help you:

  1. I let go of the past to move forward.

  2. My past is not a reflection of my future

  3. My past might be ugly, but I am still beautiful.

  4. My past does not define me; I am driven by my future.

  5. I am at peace with my past, and I welcome a brighter tomorrow.

  6. I forgive myself for my past decisions and actions.

  7. I allow myself to start over.

Tip 4: Make Self-Care a Priority

When you prioritise your own well-being, you open yourself up to future possibilities.

Self-care is essential because when it comes to the past, it's all too easy to let your thoughts focus on what you can't do or what you did wrong. It would be best if you attempted to clear out this mental space so you can focus on creating a fantastic future.

When you take care of yourself, you begin to focus on the present and create the conditions that will propel you toward a better tomorrow. It would help if you made time for self-care as often as you can, as it is an important activity.

Avoid falling behind in life by being mindful of taking actions that propel you toward growth.

When we take care of ourselves physically and emotionally, we're better able to deal with the stress and anxiety that comes with thinking about our past. By incorporating self-care practices into your routine, you can create a better life for yourself.

So, rather than dwelling on what might have been, we concentrate on caring for ourselves and living in the present. As a result, we are better able to move on from our past and create a future that we can be proud of by making self-care a priority.

The Bottom Line

Everyone has a past that they would like to forget. However, some people find it harder than others to move on from their past. If you're having trouble letting go of your past, start by giving yourself the closure you need, forgiving yourself, emotionally hearing yourself through meditation, practicing positive self-affirmations, and incorporating self-care habits into your life. Hopefully, by following these steps, you will be able to let go of what is holding you back and finally move on with your life.

If you want to learn how to pursue your happiness, read this blog post that tells you about the 4 Life Lessons That Can Help You Be More Positive


Priya R. Monver is a poet, writer, and lifelong learner. She is a business graduate who is fascinated by nature and mental health. Her love of writing and knack for branding help her grow as a professional content writer. Follow Priya on Twitter.


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