Being present in the moment can be an impossible goal when we are so caught up in our past decisions. Whether those decisions were right or wrong doesn’t even matter if they are haunting your current day to day life. Which is why we are discussing how to stop worrying about the past and live in the present. So you can get over the stresses of your past and focus on being your best self and appreciating things as they are happening in the moment.
I do want to quickly remind you that this, like all other personal growth journeys, will have its ups and downs. It is so important to give yourself grace and remember that bad days will happen. And that is okay! Just don’t put too much stress on yourself if you have a day where you are stuck in the past. Just remember that tomorrow is a new and fresh start!
That all being said let’s get into these tips to help you stop worrying about the past and start really being in the present.
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How To Stop Worrying About The Past And Live In The Present
Tips for not stressing over your past:
Tip 1: Figure out what thoughts or actions suck you into the past.
Chances are you have main events or memories that trigger your thoughts and stresses of the past.
And sometimes they will be really obvious but not always. So it is really important to figure out those triggers for you so you can work through them and help you stop worrying about the past.
I recommend starting a note in your phone that you use to record the event you are thinking about. So each time you start to think about the past (in any context, no such thing as a trigger too small) make a note of what that event is.
By knowing your triggers you can learn to not only avoid them but also it gives you an idea of what you need to work through to help your mental health. I do really encourage talking to a professional (therapist) about the items you write on your list. There is a very good chance you have some unresolved trauma or strong emotions surrounding those events that a professional can help you work through.
Tip 2: Learn techniques to ground you in the moment.
Pulling yourself into the moment is essential to bring you out of the spiral of worrying about the past. There are a lot of techniques that you can try and future out what works the best for you personally. I’m going to share some that work the best for me but there are so many more out there if none of these work for you!
Some of the grounding techniques that work for me to be present in the moment:
- Wiggle your toes- it sounds silly but since the action is one that involves concentration on your body and a super specific motion it helps to bring your body into the moment which will help pull your mind into the moment.
- Do the 5 senses check- go through the 5 senses and think about something you smell, taste, see, feel, and hear to help you concentrate on these real things happening in the moment.
- Pick a color- pick a random color and count how many objects you see in the room that are that color. That will help to pull you back into the reality around you.
Tip 3: Ask yourself these helpful questions.
There are a few super helpful questions that you can use when you are feeling stuck in the past that can help pull you out of it. And avoid the feeling of spiraling into the past in the future.
So let’s go over what these questions you can use are:
- What about this moment in the past makes me return to it?
- Is there anyway I can change that scenario? Hint: the answer is no!
- Does worrying about this past event help better my future?
- What am I looking forward to in the immediate future?
Tip 4: Keep inspiration and motivation visible.
I am a huge fan of keeping your inspiration and motivation visible. Are you trying to stop living in the past and be present for your mental health? Then write that on a post it note and put it on your mirror in your bathroom.
Or is it for your kids? Then put their picture or name on your phone lock screen so each time you look at it you remember why you are working on your personal growth!
Regardless of what your motivation specifically is it is so important to keep that in mind because keeping that “why” visible keeps you on the right track and keeps you motivated to continue on this journey.
Tip 5: Journal about the past and present.
Journaling is a fantastic tool for so many different elements of mental health and personal growth. And not living in the past is no exception to that!
You can either approach journaling with or without prompts. If you are new to journaling and feel a bit uncomfortable with it it is usually best to start with prompts and then start working your way towards journaling without prompts. But prompts or not journaling is a self awareness activity that can really help you with personal growth.
A few journal prompts posts that can help with this are:
- 31 Inspiring Journal Prompts To Better Yourself
- 40 Journal Prompts For When You Are Stressed
- 75 Self Improvement Journal Prompts: how journaling leads to self improvement
Also, if you want more prompts I highly recommend searching on Pinterest because there are so many great options.
Tip 6: Incorporate happy elements into every day.
Bringing small bits of joy into your every day life is so helpful for reminding you that the present is a happy thing and something that you should be present in.
What little happy elements are will greatly depend on you and what brings you joy! But if you are in need of some ideas and inspiration then check this out next: How To Find Joy In Your Daily Life.
Tip 7: Give meditation a try.
Meditation is an incredible tool for working on becoming more present and not focusing on the past. And to achieve that positive mindset on a deeper level.
When you are meditating you are alone with your thoughts and focusing 100% of your energy on those thoughts. Which allows you to eliminate distractions and pressures from the rest of the world. Which ultimately can help you see yourself more realistically and become more aware.
I recommend either downloading a meditation app or just searching for videos on YouTube until you find a guided one that works for you as you start meditating. And then grab a yoga/meditation mat and start working on meditation and figuring out your true self.
Tip 8: Practice daily gratitude
Gratitude is an essential thing for having a more positive life and positive mindset. And for helping you be present in the positives of the moment.
It allows you to keep things in perspective and be honest about the positives in your life. Which are so helpful for having more balance in your life.
So if you are lacking that mentality of thankfulness and gratitude then you need to start learning how to! When you are thankful for the things in your life and regularly taking the time to think about your blessings you will feel yourself start to feel more intentional.
One of the best ways to do this is to start doing daily gratitude journaling. This doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. Just grab a gratitude journal (here’s one that is less than $10) and add it into your night time routine. It should only take about 10 minutes but it can really help you feel more grateful and happier.
If you enjoyed this article on How To Stop Worrying About The Past And Live In The Present then you probably (hopefully!) will find these articles helpful as well:
- Things You Can Do For Personal Growth Today!
- 12 Self Care Ideas For Introverts To Try
- Tips To Help You Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
- Life Changing Questions To Ask When Setting Goals
- 9 Toxic Habits That Are Destroying Your Happiness
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