Life is full of rich history. Every moment of our past has served as a single brick to building the lives we all live today. It’s important to honor our past and pass it on. Looking back on the past allows us to study the nature of ourselves and helps us recognize why we do what we do.
It’s important not look too much into the past or keep your mind there for too long – you can easily get trapped there. For example, if you’ve experienced a traumatic event your mind may keep recycling those memories, making your nervous system experience a continuous cycle of the same stress.
Although you want to look back on the past, it’s vital to separate your current self from it as much as you can. There are 4 exceptions that benefit you from reflecting on the past.
Here are the 5 reasons to look back:
1. To remind yourself how far you’ve come.
Sometimes, you might be hard on yourself and become discouraged. Reflection is important here. Indeed, it switches the mindset and flips the focus back to how far you’ve come rather than how far you have to go. Seeing the progress you’ve made and remembering the things you’ve done right can serve as the positive motivational element you need to stay on the path to success.
Even if there’s still a long, rough road ahead, looking back on your progress can help you gain the encouragement and motivation you need to get to the finish.
2. To keep an open mind and practice empathy
Reflection on life helps keep your mind open and can even help you release judgment. For example, if someone’s in a “less than desirable” position in life, it’s always important to remember that maybe in your own life at one time, you were in an unsavory spot as well. You may even have been given the third degree by someone and judged on the spot.
Looking back on memories of closed-mindedness can certainly help you move forward with an open one. Practice empathy for those with love and support over criticism to help solve problems that the past may have created.
3. To reflect on good, loving memories
Looking back on the positive memories of life have multiple benefits. Understanding the person you are today involves recalling memories. It’s important to focus on the good, loving memories that make you feel warm and fuzzy as opposed to the negative ones.
If you’re feeling depressed, there may be a memory that will warm your heart and help pick you up out of the slump. If you’re sad or mourning, you can remember a happier time and allow a warmer feeling to come back into your heart. Even if you are having an argument with someone, one of the best things to do is strike up a positive memory you’ve both shared to diffuse the situation.
You have your own unique life experience, but just like everyone else, it has it’s bright spots. Focus on them and allow them to expand in your life.
4. To remind yourself of your mission in life
After traveling for so long, you may get forget why you’re still going. Life is a long and complex journey, and it’s easy to get sidetracked. But when you remind yourself of why you decided to walk this unique path, you become reinvigorated with the same powerful energy of intention you set as you started out.
5. To discover a negative life cycle
When you reflect on the past, you’ll stir up a lot of positive, but there’s also negative there too. Don’t get stuck in a past traumatic event. Instead, you can actually use the darkness to create the brightest light. Look for past negative cycles or patterns. Furthermore, ask yourself why they happened and if there is a lesson you can take from your struggle. When it’s brought to your attention you can find a solution to move forward even stronger. In fact, this is a secret of many successful people.