I know its easy said “Just stop thinking about the past”
If you find yourself dwelling on previous experiences or trauma, or stressing about the future, certain techniques can help you in learning to live in the present. Living in the moment entails neither dwelling on the past nor worrying about the future. It is to take pleasure in what is happening right now and to live in the now. It involves letting go of the past and focusing on the present. You are denying yourself the pleasure of life today if you choose to stay in yesterday or tomorrow. This eventually deprives you of the ability to live in the true meaning of the word.
Engage with it
Memories from the past can hit you like a ton of bricks. Whether it’s the overwhelming emotions you feel when you recall an unpleasant occasion from years ago or the fragrance of a certain food that instantly makes you pleased. You may want to get rid of the latter to make place for new memories that aren’t tainted by previous events.
Researchers investigated three methods to stop thinking about the past to understand more about how to halt prior ideas. They discovered that while substituting thoughts and cleaning the mind erase memories quickly, suppressing memories removes them completely. Engaging with it is the most efficient method to stop thinking about the past. To change something, you must concentrate on it because ignoring a problem will not make it go away.
Detrimental Effects of Dwelling on the Past
- It can trigger mental tranquility
- Prevent you from living in the present moment
- Interferes with problem-solving ability
- Forgive yourself
- Memories make us social
- Be aware of your feelings
- Regulate your emotions
- Learn to deal with your emotions
- Calm your anxious mind
- Forgive and forget
- Think of happy thoughts
- Appreciate why your mind returns to painful memories
Effects of holding on the Past
Here are the detrimental effects of dwelling on the past. This could possibly happen if you don’t move on.
It can trigger mental illness
- Dwelling with your flaws, faults, and mistakes raises your risk of developing mental health issues. Dealing with your past can lead to a difficult-to-break vicious cycle. It wreaks havoc on your mental tranquility, and as your peace of mind deteriorates, you become prone to overthinking.
Prevent you from living in the present moment
- If you are worrying and can’t stop thinking about the past can make it difficult to enjoy the present and live your life. Anxiety can be caused by overthinking about the past. Excessive thinking about the past can make you unpleasant and mentally fatigued; as a result, you will feel exhausted and occasionally melancholy because your life is being caged in your feelings caused by excessive thinking.
Interferes with problem-solving ability
- Overthinkers feel that reliving specific situations or issues in their heads will help them overcome these situations. However, research shows that this is not the case. When you don’t stop thinking about the past, it obstructs your ability to solve problems since it forces you to focus on the issue and envision scenarios that may or may not occur, rather than coming up with a solution.
Memories Make Us Human
Don’t feel bad about thinking about the past. That’s what shapes our views and personality. These are reasons you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself.
- Given the situation, you most likely did your best, and it’s possible that anyone else in your shoes would have made the same mistake. That’s a crucial realization to help you to forgive yourself and see that you shouldn’t take your mistakes too seriously all of the time. Don’t force yourself to stop thinking about the past.
Memories make us social
- For social relationships, personal memories are crucial. Making new acquaintances, developing new connections, and keeping existing ones all require the ability to recall personal recollections.
Be aware of your feelings
- Be honest with yourself about how these failures make you feel (upset, angry, ashamed, sad, etc.) without clinging or becoming hooked to these emotions. Examine your emotions as if you were a scientist examining something under a microscope. Try to manifest positive thoughts.
Regulate your emotions when thinking about the past
- Our recollections serve as reminders of similar scenarios we’ve encountered in the past. It allows us to reflect on how we previously dealt with that emotion and what we can learn from it. Such memories can also assist us in coping with bad emotions. When someone is upset, they can use the time to reflect on a happy experience to lift their spirits.
How To Stop Thinking About The Past
Follow the steps below to stop thinking about the past. This will help you to move forward in your life.
1. Learn to deal with your emotions
To stop thinking about the past, you must express your thoughts about it. Only then will you be able to find closure, let go, and go on. It holds for both sad/upsetting and good events from the past. Even if your thoughts are positive, you could find it difficult to break free from the past. It’s soothing to fantasize about happier times and live in a fantasy world, especially when things aren’t going so well in the present. Romanticizing the past and yearning for better days can lead to losing connection with the present.
2. Calm your anxious mind
If you want to feel better in the long run and gain anything positive from your experience, you must be prepared to turn toward your wild mind and observe what it is doing. Mindfulness meditation is a technique for becoming more conscious of your feelings and thoughts as you go through life. With a little experience, you can understand that your wild mind is building a fantasy place apart from your existing reality. Seeing that in your meditation takes some of the power off from our obsessive thoughts and creates a small space for yourself.
3. Forgive and forget
Dwelling on who is to blame for past mistakes might distract you from the present. Rather than focusing on who has hurt you, forgive them. Concentrate on the present moment and let go of any feelings of guilt or hurt. Choose forgiveness if someone has mistreated you in the past. Ignoring your pain does not help the person who has injured you, and it will keep you stuck in the past.
4. Think of happy thoughts and manifest them
Real-life triggers are used to overcome obstacles in this process. You are more inclined to think about happy moments when your mind is peaceful and pleased. As long as you are in a happy place, your emotions will be about the wonderful days you had before or the good fortune that awaits you in the future. That is the Secret to the Law of Attraction by the way.
5. Appreciate why your mind returns to painful memories
When you think about what you could have done differently, you’re attempting to figure out how to do better next time. Overthinking is similar to an immune response in that it draws our attention to something that needs it—a vulnerability beneath the anguish. Perhaps a new or just reopened wound, or fear or anxiety. Shame, regret, and guilt aren’t intruders who need to be expelled. They’re helpful accountability companions who tap us on the shoulder to remind us of crucial tasks. Similarly, consider expressing gratitude to your obsessive feelings and thoughts.
Your ideas create feelings, and overthinking an issue can easily lead to negative emotions like dread, sadness, and tension. You recall a past action that had unfavorable results. Then you start to be concerned about all of the things that might go wrong in the future.
You feel yourself sliding into a sad mood when you can’t stop thinking about the past. If this describes you, you may be experiencing overthinking. Overthinking is a common unconscious thought that is in direct opposition to what we need to do. You now have a better understanding of what overthinking is and how it affects your mental health. You can also use Crystals with healing energies to stop thinking about the past.
Living in the moment while peacefully recognizing and embracing past feelings and occurrences is what mindfulness or awareness is all about. Slow down your life, make small changes in your lifestyle, pay attention to your surroundings, and concentrate on what you’re doing. For a joyful, calm, and healthy life, obsessive thoughts about the past must be stopped.
Take Action to stop thinking about the past forever.
When you are continuously ruminating on the past, counseling can be quite beneficial. It might help you break free from your habitual thinking about the past, allowing you to think about the present and the future. We can begin to think about it in terms of hope, faith, and positivity. Counseling places a high emphasis on introspection over rumination since it promotes people’s growth and development. After all, ruminating won’t give us any more wonderful memories to cherish, and it won’t solve anything.
You need to become more conscious of when you’re doing it and have resistance methods ready to go before you can break free. It takes time and effort to accomplish this. However, it’s critical to try to nip it in the bud for your mental health and productivity. So, before you walk down the rabbit hole of “would have, should have, could have,” try one or more of the suggestions mentioned above. I also suggest to