Living In The Past
Remembering the past is completely natural. Our memories of people, places and experiences can be precious and worth dwelling on from time to time. Even remembering the past in a negative way can be useful to us occasionally, as it’s how we learn from our past experiences – if we didn’t remember, we would keep making the same mistakes! However, some people live in the past most of the time and this is not healthy. When people are living in the past, they are not appreciating the present and they’re not preparing for how they are going to be happy and successful in the future.
Why do people live in the past?
For some people, continually living in the past can be a very nostalgic experience. They do it because they have fond memories of the way things used to be and feel that their past was much happier than the present. They yearn for happier days gone by. This can be for many reasons, including attachment to lost loved ones or attachments to an era, such as school, college or being part of a sports team, band or club.
Other people live in the past because they are still carrying around lots of emotional baggage with them from circumstances which have now passed. Examples of this include bad relationships with parents or former lovers, people who experienced academic issues during school years or failed in business ventures.
Ways to help
- Identify why you live in the past. What is the about the past that was so much better/worse than today? How can you make your present circumstances better than your past experiences?
- Make plans for the future. If you aspire to a happier tomorrow, you will be less inclined to look back to the past. Daydream a little as you’re doing this, it will feel really good! Don’t limit yourself by thinking “this is impossible”.
- Don’t think about what you lack. Thinking ofwhat you don’t have in your life today will keep a happy future from you, so don’t fall into that trap. Dream your future as you would wish it to be.
- Get a life coach. Consider getting the help of a life coach if you need extra motivation to focus on the future.
- Appreciate what you have now. Even if you feel like you don’t have a lot to be thankful of right now, if you really think about it, you’ll find you have a lot that you don’t appreciate. Take five minutes before you fall asleep and think of all the positive things that happened during your day. Even if it is something as simple as having had a conversation with someone you love, eating a nice meal with your family, appreciating the comfort of your bed or thinking of something fun to do at the weekend – those are all things should be appreciated!
source: Nelson Natural World