10 Ways to Stop Dwelling on the Past (And Create a Happier Future)

10 Ways to Stop Dwelling on the Past (And Create a Happier Future)

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Life tends to be all about sinking or swimming. Once you’ve experienced the pain of taking on too much and feeling like you’re drowning, it teaches you life lessons. It takes a great deal of effort to stay afloat. However, there is something about rock bottom that teaches you things that you can never learn when you are swimming along peacefully.

When you are at the bottom, you learn how to fight and claw your way back to the surface. You learn the power that you have within you that will sustain you in life. Now, the biggest challenge is to learn how to break away from your past and stop dwelling on those mistakes; it’s easier said than done.

Do you tend to ruminate on your past, and your mind plays a loop of your failures? Why do you keep playing the same movie time and again in your head, and you’re expecting the ending to be different? When you are constantly dwelling on the past, you will reopen wounds that have closed, and it will self-sabotage your determination.

How can you move forward when you are so preoccupied with what’s behind you? Letting go is never easy, but if you don’t get control of your thought processes, then days, weeks, and years will pass without change. To put the past in the past, you must first be willing to take a step forward.



10 Tips to Help You Stop Dwelling on the Past

It’s time for you to move on, and you need to let the universe know that you’re ready for a fresh start and change. There’s no need to be scared because you will stagnate if you never alter or change in life.

Everyone will agree the aroma that comes from stagnant water is pungent. If you’re ready to move on from your past and begin again, here are ten tips to help you.

dwelling on the past

1. Remember You Write the Story

The great thing about your life is you get to write your story. You will have many chapters, but each of these chapters will tell a story of a time or period you endured. Some chapters will be exciting and full of love and hope, which others will reflect on the darkest times in your life.



You will have support characters, people who are there for only a season, and those who shake things up. Take a good look at your novel and identify the chapter you’re currently in. Now, the great news is that you get to write the ending too.

Remember, no one else can write your story like you, so make sure that you give the novel plenty of interest and love.

2. Learn from Your Mistakes

The book of your life would be a pretty boning read if there were some intrigue, mystery, and drama. Consider a baby learning to maneuver in their new world. It takes them several times to fall before they learn to walk.

However, the young child soon learns what they need to do so that they don’t fall. The same analogy applies to you. You eventually know what you need to do to keep from making the same mistakes in life. Rumination and dwelling on the past only hurt you. Use your failures as motivation for the future.



3. Trust the Process

Do you ever wonder how your life would have been if you had made different choices? Did you know that you’re one decision away from a whole new life? Each choice you make is important because it defines that chapter in your life’s story.

Sometimes, things won’t work in your favor, and other times, you will master it all. The connection to why these things happened will become apparent in the future. If you’re constantly dwelling on the past, you might resist the good things in store for you.

You must trust the process and give yourself a pat on the back that you’ve made it thus far.

4. Look to the Future

Your strength may be limited, but the things you can achieve in your life are limitless. Keep in mind; you are utilizing strength and energy when you’re dwelling on the past, worrying, or angry. It’s exhausting trying to focus on things that are out of your control.

Letting go is so tricky, but in time you will learn to build and trust. The wonderful thing about letting go of excess baggage is that you’re clearing the way for new adventures. There are reasons for change, and when you resist these changes, you could be preventing some of the most extraordinary experiences of your life from occurring.

5. Find Inspiration in Others

Do you think that you’re the only one with problems? Life is all about the ups and downs and the valley. It seems so lonely when you’re at rock bottom, but you may use this time to draw inspiration from others.

One of the most powerful platforms ever created was Ted Talks. People share their stories of facing insurmountable odds and coming through victorious. You can find just about any topic and subject to draw strength.

If you aren’t much for podcasts, then you might try an online support group. It’s incredible what it does to your spirit when you read of others and their tales of the human spirit’s ability to overcome.



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6. Meditation and Developing a Proper Mindset

Dwelling on the past puts you in a negative mindset. There have been numerous studies done on the effects of negative thinking. If you speak positive things, then you will be optimistic.

However, if you are continually living in a negative realm, your life will have a pessimistic outlook. You can change your thoughts by using meditation. If you’re new to this art form, you might want to try a guided meditation to erase negativity.

Your mindset means everything, so it’s time to change it for good. Stop looking at your past as a life sentence. It’s in the past for a reason, and you need to leave it there. Through mindful breathing and meditation, you can conquer some of your biggest inner struggles.

7. Stop Playing the “What If” Game

Does any of these questions sound like you: “What if I didn’t marry that person?” “What if I didn’t buy this car?” “What if I didn’t move across the country and try this adventure?” There are lots of questions that you ask yourself daily that you cannot answer.

While it’s hard to look at things positive when they turned out to be a disaster, try focusing on the right parts. For instance, your marriage might have been a wreck, but you have a beautiful child that you adore. If it weren’t for that marriage, then you wouldn’t have your baby. Even the darkest of clouds can have a silver lining.

8. Develop a Positive Mantra

You’re human, and it’s nearly impossible to stop all the evil thoughts. Every time thoughts of your past come up and bother you; you need to have a mantra that you quote to clear your mind.

For instance, if you found yourself once addicted to drugs and alcohol, but you’ve been clean for ten years, it’s a significant achievement. When your mind wanders back to those horrible events, tell yourself that you’re more powerful than the pain, and you will use your life for good.

You can use your past to help others who are not as far along on the journey. Then, you’re taking the bad that happened to you and turning it into a positive. Rumination and dwelling on the past are only useful if it’s helping someone else.

9. Stop Playing the Victim

Some people love playing the victim card because it feels good to get attention.

At some point in your life, you must move from victim to victor. Dwelling on the past should never be something you use for people’s pity or to get attention. Plus, this negativity will hold you back and won’t allow you to move on.

10. Get Help

If no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get past the past, then you need to seek professional help. Therapy is an excellent outlet for you to vent your frustrations, process them, and then move beyond that stagnating position.

It’s never easy to change, and there are times when you want to run away and hide. However, there’s something very freeing when you talk about the issues with a third party who is objective. They can help you make sense of the madness and put things into perspective.

It would help if you found the strength within you to move past these events. You know how annoying the old record players were that would get stuck on a scratch and play the same sentences over and over?

Well, you’re doing the same thing inside your head. Ruminating on your mistakes can cause excessive anxiety, depression, and other mental health disturbances. You owe it to yourself and your family to move on.

dwelling on the past
Final Thoughts on How to Stop Dwelling on the Past

Dwelling on the past holds you back from entering the next significant phase of your life. Consciously work at removing these barriers from your mind. Only then will you be free to attain all your goals and dreams.



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