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Last Updated on January 25, 2021

10 Simple Steps to Let Go of the Past

10 Simple Steps to Let Go of the Past

Time flies and the past is behind us now. With the times that we’ve left behind, there are several trials and tribulations we go through in life; we learn from our mistakes and move on. However, there are moments we’ve had in the past that we just can’t let go of. We’re brought down, made emotional and we cry thinking about things that should never have happened to us.

But, it’s not the past that defines us. As psychologist Carl Jung says:

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”

We all choose to become what we desire and want and we should not regret about the things that did not go well in the past as they only make our shoulders heavy and hold us back from a cheerful life.

So how to let go of the past? Here’re 10 steps to try.

1. Recognize That It’s Time to Move On

The hardest part of letting go of the past is trying to make decisions to move on.

Yes, it’s pretty hard to make new choices that can overcome our misdeeds in life but you should always remember that you have a future to share.

You’ve already paid for the past and if that’s not working out for you, you need to recognize that it’s time to move on.

These signs will tell you that it’s time to move on: It’s Time To Let Go And Move On When You Experience These 21 Things

2. Make a List of Things You Can “Re-Do”

Life does not give you a second chance all the time. But, what you can do is make a list of things that you would have done differently if you could go back in time and do it again.

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Making such list will help you to learn from your mistakes while also giving ideas on what things should have been done right. You also develop a skill to plan things and this will surely help you shape your future goals in life.

3. Believe in Yourself

Pain and suffering are parts of everyone’s life and if you believe in yourself, you’ll overcome the grief sooner than everyone else. All you need to do is make sure you know what you are doing and it’ll not let you hold back in forgetting your past.

When you start believing yourself, you develop a positive vibe around you and these feelings you gain will help to overshadow the mistakes and bad memories that haunt you.

4. Meditate

If you’re frustrated and depressed because of things that happened in the past and nothing worked to change your feelings towards it, you need to start meditating.

Find stillness, remain calm and take long breathes. With meditation, you get to keep yourself away from the busy and fast paced noisy world. You keep yourself away from distractions and make yourself at ease with meditation.

Try out this 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime.

5. Live in the Present

If you don’t enjoy the life that you are living, you future is certainly going to be dark. You should have no regrets that eat up your thinking and you need to live in present. What’s done is done and there’s no going back.

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Go on a hike with your friends or dance, sing and do what ever you love to do. It’s make you lively and energize you to focus on things that you need to accomplish right now.

Here’s How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying.

6. Forget the Fear

If you’ve ever failed in the past, chances are it’s developed a sense of fear in you. If you can’t overcome the fear of your failing and wrong-doing, you’ll get tensed and things won’t work out smoothly.

Become a challenger and forget the fear. Think about things that you’re afraid to do and try to perform them, one at a time and overcome the fear. If it’s still difficult, find someone you believe to help you overcome your fear.

Learn How to Overcome Fear and Realize Your Potential (The Ultimate Guide).

7. Don’t Forget Your Morals and Values

If you’re to perform better in life, you need to stick to your morals and values. There’s no denying that the bad events in life develop a feeling of change in us and changes are not good every time.

Stick to your beliefs and morals to develop a self-esteem and pride. This plays a huge role in order to develop a positive attitude towards your life.

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8. Forgive

Mistakes happen but holding back and remembering the same thing again and again will do nothing good to anyone.

If you’ve made mistakes, apologize, console and forgive yourself. If it’s your close ones who’ve hurt you in the past and you just can’t let go of it, acknowledge the fact that they are the one’s you trusted back. You need to learn to forgive and move on to find happiness.

Take a look at these tips to help yourself: How to Forgive and Live a Happy Life Again (A Step-By-Step Guide)

9. Let Go of Anger and Resentment

Anger and resentment are toxic. These feelings will keep you enmeshed in the past. They will bring you down to the ground and hurt you more.

Letting go of anger will help you to develop positive attitude and you might want to punch on the wall or a pillow, or scream; do it. Vent your anger and frustration. It might take time, but after you leave anger and resentment, you’ll start feeling fresh.

Find out how you can let go of your resentment in this article: How to Let Go of Resentment and Anger

10. Realize That You Did What You Could Do Best

Perceptions shape our feelings and actions. The way you respond to what you did in your past will help you decide on your present and future.

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If you’ve a feeling of guilt or remorse at things you could have done better, realize that you did what you could do best at that moment. If you acknowledge the fact, you’ll also learn that your effort was never intended to go in vain. This will keep you motivated to improve and thrive for the better in the future.

More Tips About Letting Go

Featured photo credit: Spencer Backman via unsplash.com

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Grishma Giri

Grishma Giri is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go or motivated. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

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