What is stopping you moving forward in life? As a new year rapidly approaches, that is what a lot of people will be asking themselves. Leaving behind past pain and trauma and being able to feel free can be a difficult journey, and often knowing where to begin is the hardest part. Here’s how to leave the past where it should be and look forward to a brighter future:
Know the Difference Between Learning and Wallowing
There is a silver lining with painful events in life, and that’s that they generally have something hugely important to teach us. But knowing where to draw the line between reflecting on challenging experiences and replaying negative events endlessly can be hard. Ask yourself the cold facts of what happened, acknowledge how that made you feel and ask yourself honestly what you can learn from it. Then make sure to draw a line under it and move on with your life.
Don’t Be a Victim
In a lot of ways, victimhood is a very comforting space to occupy, because it absolves us of taking responsibility for some of our own choices and actions. The act of blaming someone else also gives them all the power and belittles you- which is extremely negative. Bad things do happen to good people, but the only aspect you have control over is your own actions, so focus on them rather than someone else that you cannot hope to change. Make a list of self-help books and make the time to really absorb the knowledge they have to offers
Live In The Now
Find more ways to make now fun, and you won’t be as tempted to revisit the past. From finding local community groups to join to doing more of what puts a smile on your face, surrender to the moment. We can spend a lot of time worrying about past and future things that we can’t change for foresee, and it’s a complete waste. Throw yourself into the immediate and there won’t be time for that. You could even try a mindfulness app to help you focus on the present more.
Give Yourself a Time Out
Sometimes, we all need to enjoy disconnecting and going off grid for a few nights. But social media platforms especially can be a hotbed of comparisons that leave you feeling hollow. Being surrounded by constant reminders of the past can be overwhelming. It’s okay to take a break and allow some perspective into the situation.
Make New Memories
When we’re dwelling on sorrowful experiences in our past, it’s almost impossible to focus on creating new moments, but if we do, the new memories we create can realign our internal dialogue and give us something else to focus on. The key here is to ‘fake it til you make it’ – you may not feel like getting out there, but if you try, eventually genuine joy will creep in. Go out there and find things that make feel happy and give you peace, and pursue them. Those new memories will push out the old hurtful ones given time, and they won’t dominate as much.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.