You may have heard a lot about “why” you should let go of the past. Like most people, you will eventually come to grips with why you should do it. After having this revelation, however, it is very common to get stuck on actually taking the proper steps to make it happen.
One lesser-known reason for this is that the brain actually processes negative thoughts and experiences differently than positive ones. According to neuroscience, most people remember negative experiences more strongly and in greater detail than positive ones. Crazy, right? Well according to research, there are both psychological and physiological reasons for this. According to, Clifford Nass, a professor of communication at Stanford University, “The brain handles positive and negative information in different hemispheres,” Negative emotions generally involve more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones, he said. Thus, we tend to ruminate more about unpleasant events — and use stronger words to describe them — than happy ones.
So no wonder why you may be struggling!
Help is on the way.
In this article, we are going to focus specifically on some strategies to help you to finally let go of the past and move forward.
6 Strategies to Help You Let Go of the Past:
- Give yourself permission to let go of the past. This sounds so simple, but many times the person who we need permission from is ourselves. It’s because, on a subconscious level, most people really trust their own voice. So you may need to look in the mirror and tell yourself: It’s ok to let it go. This is an important step because your brain has latched onto something and is waiting for you to release it from the responsibility of carrying it. By committing to this release, your brain can now focus on other productive areas. That release comes in the form of telling yourself to let go.
- Learn from your past experiences and acknowledge the lesson. There are always learning nuggets contained within your past. Anything you have done or tried before is up for grabs at the University of your past. It’s up to you to recognize what those lessons are and how to use them effectively. The way to use them is to determine why they happened and how to avoid them in the future.
- Consider learning the art and science of meditation. When you are deeply relaxed, you will have an easier time purging your past. One of the deepest forms of relaxation is meditation. It may take several sessions to get your body and mind in tune with the techniques. Don’t expect fast results. Be patient and gentle with yourself. The key is to keep at it until you experience the benefits.
- Refuse to hide from your past. Sometimes you might try to pretend certain aspects of your past never happened, especially those more embarrassing or hurtful moments. However, this may cause them to come back to you with a vengeance since they are bottling up within you. Acknowledge everything about your past but commit to pushing forward no matter what.
- Keep a journal of your experiences. For those of you who like to write, journaling can be a real lifesaver. Be as detailed as possible so you can refer to your journal when faced with similar circumstances in the future. Don’t treat your journal as the gospel, however. Just use the journal as a simple tool for guidance.
- Don’t expect all changes to occur immediately. Your past habits may be challenging to break. Therefore, don’t try to change everything in one shot. Give it time. It took a long time to develop these deeply ingrained habits. It will take some time to reverse them.
Everybody makes bad decisions or mistakes at some point in their lives. How about those people or circumstances that may have hurt, disappointed or betrayed you in some way. Let it all go. Don’t be too hard on yourself about your past, it’s unproductive. It’s okay to acknowledge that you made some mistakes but don’t get overly critical and judgemental of yourself.
Concentrate on the good aspects of your past. Sometimes, you can focus so much on the mistakes that you forget that you also had some wonderful experiences in the past as well. Remember that your brain can play tricks on you.
For more insight on letting go of the past, read this article next.
Be well + prosper,