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How to not Dwell on the Past, Healing So You Can Go Forward To A Better Life Ahead, Learn to Let Go of The Past

Updated on August 22, 2011

Dwelling on the past...

"Thinking too much about the past, so that it becomes a problem is to dwell on the past". I found that definition of dwelling on the past on a site called "" and I thought it was very interesting so of course I had to write a Hub about the subject!

The older we get the more experiences we live through, some good, some bad and unfortunately some that are extremely devastating. Reflecting on our past is normal but holding on to anger, resentments & regrets of things that occurred in the past holds us back from going forward. Let's face it, some events that take place in our lives are very hard to get over and we may need support of family, friends or even counseling. We are only human and we do need time to heal from those types of experiences. We may never forget but we have to learn how to cope or forgive and learn how to go forward.

The dwelling on the past I am referring to is more the "blaming the past for the present". Not being able to live in the present because you are so obsessed with mistakes you made, things other people did or said to you that you can't forgive and just plain holding onto the past as an excuse for you to find a blame for why you can not find happiness today.

Hanging on To The Past

Holding on to the past
Holding on to the past

There is nothing we can do to change what happened in the past. The past was yesterday and we need to focus on today and the future. When you learn how to forgive yourself and others and not dwell on things you can not change you allow yourself to find peace and happiness within and have a better fuller life ahead. You are no longer stuck in a rut.

I like to think of it as defragmenting the brain. We complain that our computers run slow but never take the time to clean out all the old files. We just hang on to them and let them pile up. Eventually what happens is the computer stops working properly. You have to defrag! You have to let go.

Believe in Yourself

I think it is also human nature to look to others, or means other than ourselves, to provide us with happiness. When that doesn't work we have something or someone else to blame our unhappiness on. You need to go within and believe in yourself first and find your own happiness. You are stronger and more powerful than you think.

If it was as easy as it sounds we would all walk around with constant smiles on our faces. It isn't easy but it is worth it. Life is worth living. If you don't take care of yourself first then you won't be able to have healthy relationships. Relationships are important to our lives, friends, family, co-workers etc. When you are happy from within you have stronger, more meaningful relationships.

 I am sure we have all heard this quote at one time or another:

"May I have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference."
Reinhold Niebuhr, 1926


Happiness comes from within

 Letting go of the negativity's of the past is part of the process of living a healthier life.  A healthy diet, exercise, doing things you enjoy and surrounding yourself with positive people are also important in helping you to focus on today and tomorrow with a healthier mind, body and soul.  You are number one and your happiness is important but it has to come from within. Don't hold on to things that you can not change.  It is holding you back from going forward and giving you the life that you deserve.   

Life is Good
Life is Good | Source

If you need help

 Sometimes it isn't that easy to let go on our own and we need help.  Don't forget to reach out to family and friends but also seek help from professionals if you feel the need.  It is for your mental health and well being.


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Your article seems as if it is speaking right at me. I keep on dwelling on the past, which prevents me from heading in the right direction.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      A beautiful well written article with so much insight on your part. I love the part about defragmenting the brain. I posted your article on my pinterest on FB. And the Serenity Prayer has helped me at many times in my life. Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts. It is amazing that you could write this so soon after your Mother passed away.

    • clydelady2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Ann 

      9 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Thank you baygirl33! I think it is something we have to often remind ourselves of. :)

    • baygirl33 profile image


      9 years ago from Hamilton On.

      Hello Clydelady:

      Thanks for your thoughts,especially the quote.I forgot about that one.It's just what I need today.


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