We all experience disappointments, heartaches and setbacks. That’s an unfortunate part of life. Sometimes however, they don’t stay in the past and we relive the unhappy event all over again. When this happens to me, its really horrible.
Fortunately I have found five simple techniques that have helped me to let go of the past and move on. You might like to try them for yourself:
1. Commit to moving on
Make the decision to move on, rather than keep dwelling on the past. Focus your attention on the decision that you are making to leave the past with its negative emotions behind. Commit yourself to letting go and move on.
2. What does “being stuck” do to you?
Identify all the negative things that being stuck does for you. Writing a list is a useful way of creating order when you are anxious. Include your thoughts and feelings and the impact on you and others around you. That’s the unfortunate price you pay for remaining stuck.
3. Understand the other person
It sometimes helps to see the other side of the coin. Try to understand the motives of the person who hurt you. From their perspective, why do you think they did what they did? What do you think motivated them? What pressures could they have been under?
4. Identify the choice you have
You may not have had a choice in what happened, but you always have a choice in how you react to what happened. You can react with bitterness and blame or to let go and move on. What are the choices you have now and what is the best way to react? A year from now, how would you like to look back on this?
5. Commit to not reliving the hurt
The hardest part to letting go is not reliving the experience. Sometimes however, the more I concentrate on trying not to relive the event, the more I seem to encourage it. If that happens, I try to just accept the negative thoughts and feelings as a natural reaction to what has happened. I try to just be aware of them. I try not to judge myself or the other person. Then after a few uncomfortable minutes, they seem to lose intensity and eventually drift away.
These simple techniques take a bit of practice, but I have found that they do help. Try them!