Throughout your life, you are sure to go through some tough times. We will all suffer heartache and emotional pain at some point, but the question is how do we let go of these feelings and move on?
Moving on from the past means stepping into the unknown and allowing ourselves to grow and heal. This can be a difficult thing to do, however, as we can all get stuck in the past and spend our time trying to figure out what we could have done differently.
In this article, we will look at different ways you can let go of the past and move on from a painful experience.
1. Acknowledge What Is Holding You Back
The first step to letting go of the past is acknowledging exactly what it is that you need to move on from.
For example, are you fixed on a failed relationship or a slight from a close friend or family member? In many cases, you will need to find it within yourself to forgive someone before you can move on.
Once you have identified what is holding you back, think about why you need to move on. Will letting go of a failed relationship help you in future relationships?
If you forgive a friend for something they’ve done, will it make you more open to friendships in the future?
When you do this, you set yourself a clear purpose and make yourself aware of why you need to let go of the past. This clarity makes it easier to keep moving forward even in the face of setbacks.
2. Identify Your Emotions
If you’ve lived under the cloud of something in your life for long enough, you will begin to see your current situation and emotions as normal.
You won’t be able to recognize how, for example, the sadness or guilt caused by a failed relationship is affecting you daily. You can’t break a negative emotional loop if you don’t recognize that it exists.
Take charge of your emotions and don’t accept negative emotions as your standard mood. You can learn to experience positive emotions and with enough training and practice, you will be able to switch from the negative loop to positive thoughts.
3. Take Control Of Your Mind
As well as finding ourselves stuck in negative emotional loops, our minds can also work against us in other ways.
Instead of dwelling on mistakes and limiting stories and experiences, try to focus on thoughts and stories that are positive and bursting with new knowledge.
Surround yourself with people that have positive mindsets and can feed your mind with equally positive thoughts.
You need to guard your mind against thoughts that are disillusioning and distracting as these will only feed your regret and negative thoughts.
4. Create Your Own Empowering Rituals
Creating a daily routine full of empowering rituals can help change your mindset. These don’t have to be lengthy or complicated rituals, but you should try to do something empowering every day, and throughout the day.
These can include healthy eating, a good sleep routine, meditation, exercise, and learning new skills and hobbies. We would also recommend beginning a gratitude journal and incorporating it into your daily routine.
Practicing gratitude forces you to focus on the good things that are currently happening in your life, no matter how big or small, instead of the negative feelings from your past.
5. Change Your Perspective
For many of us, we are caught in the past because of how we view our level of control over other people.
We need to realize that although we have control over our own actions and decisions, we can’t control others and we can’t change what has happened in the past.
Instead of wondering what we could have changed or how we could have influenced other people, we should look to our past experiences as points of learning.
You can’t fix what has happened and you can’t control the actions of others, but you can make your own choices and create the present and future that you deserve.
6. Be Present
The past can cast long shadows over our lives but it isn’t as important as the here and now. The future can occupy our thoughts but the future doesn’t exist yet, unlike the present.
The past is often tainted by false memories and our biased perspectives and spending time focusing on the past instead of what is happening in the present is a waste of energy.
The key to feeling empowered and letting go of the past is to live in the present. Look around and engage with the world around you that exists right now. Pay attention to the beauty of today instead of wallowing in the pain of yesterday.
7. Invest In Personal Growth
One way to move on from your past is to concentrate on your personal growth. Instead of thinking of past mistakes, use your time and thoughts to decide what new skills you want to learn and how you want to improve your life.
This will not only distract you from thinking about the past but will also empower you to make a better life.
Whether you decide to move forward with your career, learn a new skill, or increase your chances of a successful relationship, finding a focus and seeing it through is the perfect distraction from negative thoughts (You might also want to check out How To Stop Being Codependent?).
8. Give Back To Others
Everyone has something positive that they can share with other people. Whether this is your time, money, or a friendly ear, you can make a positive impact on the lives of others.
Helping others will help ground you in the present and empower you. Instead of focusing on the negative thoughts associated with the past, you will face the present with compassion and love.
In this article, we listed eight ways to let go of the past. We hope that you give these a try and are able to build a more positive life.