Why do I always think in the past
Why you should stop living in the past
Many people live their lives in the past, in old memories and past moments.
In doing so, they either try to hold onto positive situations from the past or they cannot let go of negative experiences.
Both are bad.
In doing so, they destroy the present moment, what is now. You dream yourself away into old times and thereby miss the only important thing - this moment.
For once they are totally happy because they are just remembering their first great love. Shortly afterwards, the still good mood suddenly goes into the basement, just because you suddenly remember the shitty end of this relationship and experience all the pain again.
These unconscious thought loops are stressful and continuously draw energy away from you.
In this post I want to show you which methods and ways of thinking help me to live more in the present and less in the past:
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Mindset # 1: The past is gone
What has passed has passed.
Well, it's that simple. The past is over, bang out of Mickey Mouse. There are no switches or knobs to turn back time. What was has passed. It's over forever.
So no matter what you try, you will not be able to change the past. Sounds totally obvious, but apparently for most people it is not as crystal clear as one would think.
For many people, thoughts revolve around the past:
- They wish to undo what happened ("Oh only if I had, back then ...")
- They get upset about the past behavior of their fellow human beings ("How can you be so stupid ..." "how could he / she")
- They blame the past for their current situation ("If only my parents / teachers / classmates would have treated me differently ...")
- Or they are constantly indulging in past feelings of happiness ("Back then ... those were the days when I was happy ...")
This constant living in the past is totally counterproductive and will not get you anywhere.
A wise man once told me:
No matter how excited you are about something, no matter what you do, it has no past-changing effect!
When I heard this sentence, it clicked for me. It literally fell from my eyes like scales !!
There is absolutely no point in complaining or getting upset about something in the past. You just lose a lot of energy and absolutely nothing changes.
What is done, is done. You can't go back.
So accept your past fully (everything else is sheer madness !!!) and finally start to live in the here and now.
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Mindset # 2: You are not your past
Letting go of the past and instead looking positively into the future is especially important if you want to change and develop!
Here is a practical example from my own life:
Three hours later I woke up with a really bad conscience because I actually wanted to get up early, but (again) hadn't made it.
Uff! I usually carried this shitty feeling around with me all day and it's really no fun (do you know that from somewhere?).
Instead of judging myself internally, I should have said right away: "Wait a minute! What has passed has passed. I slept longer than I wanted, well, I can't do anything about that now. That is why I decide here and now to fully accept this past and look ahead. "
I believe that we mistakenly assume that this guilty conscience will motivate us to do better (and really get up) next time. BUT DO NOT DO IT! It just drains your precious energy and doesn't make it any bit more likely that you will change in a positive way.
So what did I learn from this thing? The following:
Do not judge yourself for something in the past. It does not matter anymore. It's over.
Stop criticizing yourself for something that you can no longer change and instead look at the things that you can change in the here and now.
The stop-moment method: come to the here and now
As soon as you realize that you have just lost yourself in the past, tell yourself immediately: "Stop! The past is over. I can't do anything about it now. That's why I now leave behind what has been and prefer to live in the moment again. "
One of my favorite bands (Pantera) from my youth sums it up in the song "Yesterday don’t mean shit":
What's over is over, and nothing between.
(What's over is over and nothing in between)
Your presence is all you have! Do not destroy this unique moment by being upset about your past or criticizing yourself for something in the past.
And your future is the only thing that you can proactively change. But you can only do that if you stop living in old memories!
PS: As you read correctly, you shouldn't indulge too long and often in old, "glorious" times when everything was better. As a result, you lose access to the present moment again and forget what is really important: the here and now.
And here I have 16 wonderful mindfulness exercises for you, which will help you to anchor yourself in your presence and to be able to fully enjoy the moment: The 16 best mindfulness exercises for more happiness and success in life
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