It’s not often that we think of dwelling on the past as a good thing — and we shouldn’t. Living in the past can often bring up negative emotions such as sadness, anger, loneliness, and even depression. Obsessing over things which have gone wrong in the past is toxic; not only does it prevent you from moving forward toward your future goals, but it doesn’t allow you to adapt to changing situations around you. The other side of dwelling on negative experiences of the past, is people who relive the same life-changing moments over and over again, and fear that the best years of their lives are behind them. While reflecting on short-term issues is okay, you want to allow your conscious and subconscious to live fully in the present.
As you start your journey toward letting go of the past, here are some questions to ask yourself:
What can you do here and now to move forward in your life?
What can you do today to better yourself, or better the lives of others?
While these questions are not the end of your journey, they are a good starting point to kickstart your motivation, and recognize what is or isn’t working in your life. Finding it hard to answer these questions? Keep on reading for a list of tips to help you fully let go of the things weighing you down!
We all have parts of our lives which are hard to discuss, and when we don’t talk about them it builds itself up in our head. Reviewing, and assessing, and reviewing again. Sometimes bubbling up to the surface at a moment we least expect it to, ruining what could have otherwise been a positive experience. First and foremost, I want to assure you that you are not alone. No matter how bad it may feel right now, out of the 7 billion people on earth there is someone who lives in solidarity of what you’re going through. Even if you may not be able to find that person, we often forget that when it comes down to it — those are around us are a lot more understanding than we may first assume.
Even if you have difficulty letting go of the past and living in the present, it doesn’t mean that you‘re sentenced to do so for the rest of your life. Here are a few things you can do to change the trajectory of your future, and enjoying life for what it is…
Make the Decision to Let Go
Making the decision to let go means bringing down those barriers that prevent you from releasing yourself of your past mistake. Once you‘ve made this initial decision, you‘re already on the right path to successfully being present in your day to day life! See, that wasn’t so bad now was it?
Write it Out
Write write write — or at least get your feelings out into the open. If you’re like me, you’ll probably understand the anxiety of talking to someone about the problems you hold closest to your heart. Which is why, while speaking to a friend casually may be great, if you are to be 100% honest with yourself, write everything you think and feel down into a journal (I highly recommend checking out a Moleskin notebook if you don’t already have one). Keep in mind this isn’t necessarily the type of journal you will need to keep up with everyday, because let’s admit it — ain’t nobody got time for that. This journal is supposed to act as a “brain dump”. It’s there when you need it to clear your head of all those obnoxious memories which resurface and ruin your day for no good stinkin’ reason — like that time you tripped on stage during your solo in the 8th grade musical (lol).
Get Some Exercise
We all know it can be kind of a drag to go to the gym, especially if you’re not feeling well. After an emotionally draining day it’s 100% easier to crash down on the couch with a bag of chips and binge-watch Netflix (“The Office”, anyone?!) What you may not know, however, is that exercise releases endorphins, otherwise known as “feel good hormones”. Even 30 minutes of exercise will do the trick, so you don’t even have to carve out more than an episode of your Netflix binging! These endorphins will help regulate your emotions, making it easier for you to let go of the past and live in the present moment.
Stop Blaming Others
This next one is a tough, and it’s probably what I struggle with the most. Stop blaming others for your mistakes. It’s easy to pass off responsibility for things gone wrong, but by taking full acceptance for those mistakes, you will allow yourself to mature, change, and not make those mistakes again. This is particularly important if you have hurt someone else in the process. Rather than holding onto that grudge, be the person to make the first move — within yourself and with those you have hurt.
The Cyclical Nature of Time
Going through the process of letting go can be tough, and we don’t want you to do it alone. Our Cyclical Nature of Time yoga mat is intended to represent the gears on a clock. No matter what happens throughout your day, let go and move on. We hope that with this mat you will be reminded of everything you can do to let go of your past and live solely in the present. While it may not be easy, and you may not get it right the first, second, or even third time. Continue using these tips to relieve yourself of that emotional burden. Free yourself from the worry and anxiety, and be present here and now — during your practice, at home, at school, or in the office. Take control, and live the life you want to live today.