“If you keep looking’ back, you are gon’ trip going forward.”
The key to life can be something as easy and simple as viewing the past as a measure - to live a better present and yet not be ruled by it. Past learnings and pleasant memories only enhance the present. Not everything is however, rosy and pleasant. The past has its share of mistakes, trauma and difficulties. As important as it is to learn from the past, there are certain memories that need to be forgotten. What needs to be forgotten and let go are those past events that hold you back - that make you doubt yourself and cause distress. The past should be best used as a vehicle to move us forward, and not as an anchor that keeps us eternally stuck or pulls us down.
The past cannot be reversed but we can surely learn from it and enhance our present and future. The past acts as a guiding map or a ‘do’s and don'ts list’ for us. Instead of dwelling on the past, we should buckle up and move forward with higher spirits.
Ways to help you Stop dwelling on the Past mistakes
It is not easy to stop dwelling on the past, but our active involvement and conscious effort can help us move on.
- Consider mistakes as opportunities: Don't let your past mistakes dictate who you are, but let it be a lesson that strengthens the person you'll become.
- Re-examine and take affirmative action: Look at the past situation from the vantage point of the present. All experience teaches us. It leaves us in a better position - wiser, more caring, more humble, more open - if only we learn from it. This recognition is essential before you to let go of the past and embrace the present.
- Finish any unfinished businesses: This may involve no more than a belated farewell, a letter or a call to someone, or completion of a project. It may require the inner relinquishment of someone that outwardly you left behind years ago, or some old image of yourself, or some outlived dream or belief. Completing a project that is no longer meaningful to you may not mean finishing it, instead, you can decide to let it go in its incomplete state and be okay with that.
- Resolve incidents where you have hurt others: Recognize and admit to yourself what you did. Admit it to one other person. When you are ready to take responsibility for the impact of your actions upon others, acknowledge that you were wrong, and are willing to do something about it. Resolve to go forward and stop looking back on this incident. This will also give you a sense of satisfaction as well as inner peace. This will bring the ultimate closure you need to finally move on.
- When you were the offended one, grieve, and let go: It does not matter who did it to you, or what happened to you. The only thing that matters is what you will do about it. When someone does something terrible to you, it happens only once - right at that moment. But if you dwell on it, in your mind, you do it to yourself repeatedly. Actively overcome the pain that was caused to you. For example, if something of yours has been taken away, replace it with an item just as good or better. It may seem hard, but you will feel better. If you were emotionally hurt, give yourself the support that you wanted from the other person. Ask a trusted friend to provide you with the emotional support you did not get. Find your own solution to the problem instead of dwelling within the problem.
- Be in the present moment: Stop investing time in things which no longer exist, Practice mindfulness meditation will help you guide your focus on the present and clear out all of the negative thoughts that are running through your mind. Meditation helps calm your mind and channelise your positive energy into healthy thought.
- Keep yourself busy: Distract your mind from the past by engaging in different and fun activities. Look at ways to be productive, give yourself some challenges to complete and make use of your idle time in your personal growth instead of dwelling on the past mistakes. You can join a sports club, or drama school, music classes, and various other activities. You can spend more time with close friends and family and treasure the people in your life who really matter.
- Seek external help if possible: When you ruminate on a particular mistake, it usually means the episode is connected to a broader mental health issue. There can be various underlying factors, including personality type, family history, and thoughts.
Talking to a neutral and compassionate person who is invested in your well being, like a therapist, might be a good way to stop dwelling on the past.
A therapist can help you understand and learn what's making you hold on to your past. Mental health professionals will help you with techniques for managing and coping with guilt fear, trauma, or any other feeling associated with the past.
Remember, when you let go of past hurts, failures, mistakes, etc. a vast field of possibilities will open up for you. You will be free to respond to present situations in new ways without falling back on programmed reactions. You will also be free from stress and other emotional responses when looking back on past experiences. It is difficult to let go of the past, but it is essential to do so. Otherwise, "old tapes" will drain your energy and keep you from moving forward.
If you need any help, we are here!
Don't let the darkness from your past steal. your happy moments in the present. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, it’s your strength and commitment to do better for yourself. You are not alone in this, talk to us about anything bothering you. We would love to support you. Call us today +91 97414 76476 or visit Cadabam's Hospitals.