Almost 7 percent of American adults suffer from major depressive disorder, and many millions of others suffer from other similar mental health conditions that may or may not be diagnosed. The unfortunate reality is that life is tough at times, and hard knocks can bring almost anyone down. There may even be times where it seems like life continues to throw curveballs at you without stopping, and you may be struggling to simply stay above water.
Depression and anxiety can make it difficult to let go of negative thoughts. Even when tough times have passed, you may find that their effects linger. In some cases, physical results or financial ramifications may make it more challenging to let go of negative thoughts and move on with your life. In other cases, you may simply dwell on what has happened and may be overwhelmed by self-pity. These are unfortunately common situations, so rest assured that you are in good company. However, these negative thoughts and feelings are only perpetuating events that have happened. They leave you no room to find happiness going forward.
Effective Ways to Let Go and Move On
When you are consumed by stressful, negative thoughts, you may find yourself dwelling on what has happened or the impact that previous events have had on your life. By focusing on negative thoughts, you allow them to continue to affect your life. As difficult as it may be to let go of negative thoughts, rest assured that you are in complete control over your thoughts and your future. These tips may help you to let go of the past and find happiness.
Learn How to Meditate
Meditation is essential for a peaceful life and a calm mind, but many people do not know how to meditate. Through meditation, you fully clear your mind of all thoughts, and this can be more challenging to do than you might think. Many people who are consumed by negative thoughts allow those thoughts to seep back into their mind uncontrollably. In a sense, the negativity controls you when this happens. When you meditate for the first several times, you may find that your thoughts continue to return very quickly, and you must consciously focus on clearing your mind. This is natural and to be expected. Through regular meditation, you will gain better control over thoughts. You may be more aware of when negativity enters your mind, and you may be better able to push those thoughts away.
Allow Things to Pass
If you have been dwelling on negative thoughts for many months or years, allowing things to pass may be a challenge. Many people allow thoughts to enter their mind, and they sit on these negative thoughts. Negativity stews and festers, and it becomes increasingly difficult to let go. Understand that you are only hurting yourself by holding onto negativity. It is natural to have negative thoughts, so do not be angry or ashamed about them. Instead, recognize your thoughts as being separate from you. Allow your thoughts to enter your head. Recognize that they are there, and let them pass by. It may be helpful to visualize those thoughts as being on a cloud that passes overhead or on a leaf that is floating down a river. They drift in, and they continue to travel until they are out of sight. As is the case with meditation, this takes practice.
Focus on Positive Aspects
There is more to being happy than simply letting go of negativity. You must replace those feelings with positivity. As you let go of negativity, spend time daily focusing on positive things in your life. You may be able to make a mental list, or it may be helpful to write those things down. This could be something as simple as being healthy or having good neighbors. You may only be able to select a few positive aspects of life at first, but you may discover that this list grows over time. You could also read a positive affirmations book, download a daily affirmations app or take other steps to infuse positivity in your life.
Give Yourself Freely
Volunteering and giving yourself freely to help others in need is often beneficial for fostering positivity. One reason for this is because it refocuses your thoughts on other things besides your own problems. It can also be uplifting to know that you are helping others. Find a cause that you feel strongly about, and look for different ways to get involved.
As difficult as it may be to imagine yourself being happy, rest assured that you have the ability to let go and move on. You have control over your thoughts and feelings, but you must learn how to master them. Begin applying these tips to your life, and be patient as you practice them on a regular basis.