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Last Updated on March 8, 2019

7 Ways To Let Go Of The Past And Live A Happy Life

7 Ways To Let Go Of The Past And Live A Happy Life

How can you live a happy life when you cannot let go of the past? Instead of focusing on the present, you’re caught in a web of lies and only your past mistakes seem to matter. Yet there are many out there who live each day with a happy and positive view on life. Why? Because they are not focusing on the past. Read this guide to learn how you can let go of your past and live a happy life.

Let the emotions flow

“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.” Steve Maraboli

One mistake many people make is they try to ignore their emotions altogether, which is the worst thing to do. To move forward feel emotions and understand why you are upset in the first place. Let the tears come until you can cry no more, or scream into a pillow until the frustration ebbs away. Let it all out in order to let go of the past and live a happy life.

Read these tips on why it’s ok to cry.

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Don’t let negative thoughts cloud your mind

Allow yourself to express your emotions, but don’t dwell on them. Negative thinking is unproductive as it distracts you from the positives in life and makes it harder to let go of the past. Negative thoughts plague your mind with self-sabotaging thoughts, denying you your right to live a happy life.

When a negative thought crosses your mind, steer your mind away from it. Instead, look at the positives you have gained from an experience. Willie Nelson mentions the power of positive thinking perfectly:

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

Learn from your experience

Take away the positives from past experiences. By learning from an experience, you learn more about yourself and what makes you happy. Perhaps you discovered you don’t like certain activities anymore, or you learned who your true friends were. Now you know not to participate in that activity, or to spend time with your true friends, leaving your toxic friends behind. Use these experiences to your advantage so you can learn more about what makes you happy in life.

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Stop being the victim

When you get into the mind-set of the victim, you often find that all your thoughts lead back to past traumas. Your mind becomes plagued by these thoughts and you find yourself thinking that everything always goes wrong for you.

Of course this is not the case at all, because you are in control of your fate. You shouldn’t think because you have failed before, you will fail now. Instead, remember that you have control over your life and you don’t have to be the victim.

Don’t wait for an apology

“True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for the experience.'” Oprah Winfrey

The best lesson you can learn in life is to forgive and forget. Maybe that other person was in the wrong, that he or she should apologize, but waiting for that apology isn’t going to help you. In the end the only one you will hurt is yourself because you aren’t letting go of the past.

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Focus on moving forward, because what has happened is in the past . You could be waiting an eternity for that apology and wasting your time hung up. Don’t let someone else’s mistakes stop you from living a happy life.

Expand your view of yourself

You’ve confronted your past and moved on, so now is the time to avert attention to yourself. This is the time to get to know yourself better, to learn what makes you happy. Go out and take part in new activities, don’t be afraid to take risks and learn what experiences you are passionate about. Understanding who you are and what you want out of life will make you happier in the long run.

Forget the past and live in the moment

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Buddha

One of my all-time favorite sayings is “Live in the moment.” It follows the concept that you should live in the present, not in the past. You won’t gain anything from looking back at the past, because what has happened cannot be changed. So don’t look back at the past, look to the present, the moment you are in now. You won’t live this minute again, which is why you should make the most of it. Be present in this very moment by looking around you. Take in what people are saying as well as focusing on yourself and what you are doing.

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Finally, leave the past behind you, that has happened and you can’t change it. Focus now on the present moment and your own happiness. Choosing to be positive will open you up to a life of happiness.

Featured photo credit: imcookiemonster via flickr.com

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Jessica Charlotte

Jessica loves sharing her tips on life. She writes about happiness and motivation on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

Negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Negativity has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively.

When we make a decision to become positive, and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect.

Although negative and positive thoughts will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.

Here are some ways to get rid of negativity and become more positive.

1. Become Grateful for Everything

When life is all about us, it’s easy to believe that we deserve what we have. An attitude of entitlement puts us at the center of the universe and sets up the unrealistic expectation that others should cater to us, our needs, and our wants. This vain state of existence is a surefire way to set yourself up for an unfulfilled life of negativity.

People living in this sort of entitlement are “energy suckers”–they are always searching for what they can get out of a situation. People that don’t appreciate the nuances of their lives live in a constant state of lacking. And it’s really difficult to live a positive life this way.

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When we begin to be grateful and appreciate everything in our lives–from the small struggles that make us better, to the car that gets us from A to B every day–we shift our attitude from one of selfishness, to one of appreciation. This appreciation gets noticed by others, and a positive harmony begins to form in our relationships.

We begin to receive more of that which we are grateful for, because we’ve opened ourselves up to the idea of receiving, instead of taking. This will make your life more fulfilling, and more positive.

2. Laugh More, Especially at Yourself

Life gets busy, our schedules fill up, we get into relationships, and work can feel task oriented and routine-driven at times. Being human can feel more like being a robot. But having this work-driven, serious attitude often results in negative and performance oriented thinking.

Becoming positive means taking life less seriously and letting yourself off the hook. This is the only life that you get to live, why not lighten up your mood?

Laughter helps us become positive by lightening our mood and reminding us not to take life so seriously. Are you sensitive to light sarcasm? Do you have trouble laughing at jokes? Usually, people who are stressed out and overly serious get most offended by sarcasm because their life is all work and no play.

If we can learn to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, life will become more of an experiment in finding out what makes us happy. And finding happiness means finding positivity.

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3. Help Others

Negativity goes hand in hand with selfishness. People that live only for themselves have no higher purpose in their lives. If the whole point of this world is only to take care of yourself and no one else, the road to a long-term fulfillment and purpose is going to be a long one.

Positivity accompanies purpose. The most basic way to create purpose and positivity in your life is to begin doing things for others. Start small; open the door for the person in front of you at Starbucks or ask someone how their day was before telling them about yours.

Helping others will give you an intangible sense of value that will translate into positivity. And people might just appreciate you in the process.

4. Change Your Thinking

We can either be our best coach or our best enemy. Change starts from within. If you want to become more positive, change the wording of your thoughts. We are the hardest on ourselves, and a stream of negative self talk is corrosive to a positive life.

The next time you have a negative thought, write it down and rephrase it with a positive spin. For example, change a thought like, “I can’t believe I did so horribly on the test–I suck.” to “I didn’t do as well as I hoped to on this test. But I know I’m capable and I’ll do better next time.”

Changing our self-talk is powerful.

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5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

We become most like the people that we surround ourselves with. If our friend group is full of negative energy-suckers and drama queens, we will emulate that behavior and become like them. It is very difficult to become more positive when the people around us don’t support or demonstrate positive behavior.

As you become more positive, you’ll find that your existing friends will either appreciate the new you or they will become resistant to your positive changes. This is a natural response.

Change is scary; but cutting out the negative people in your life is a huge step to becoming more positive. Positive people reflect and bounce their perspectives onto one another. Positivity is a step-by-step process when you do it solo, but a positive group of friends can be an escalator.

6. Get into Action

Negative thoughts can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. Negativity is usually accompanied by a “freak-out” response, especially when tied to relationships, people and to worrying about the future. This is debilitating to becoming positive and usually snowballs into more worry, more stress and more freak-outs.

Turn the negative stress into positive action. The next time you’re in one of these situations, walk away and take a break. With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. Once you’re calm, approach the situation or problem with a pen and pad of paper. Write out four or five actions or solutions to begin solving the problem.

Taking yourself out of the emotionally charged negative by moving into the action-oriented positive will help you solve more problems rationally and live in positivity

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7. Take Full Responsibility, Stop Being the Victim

You are responsible for your thoughts.

People that consistently believe that things happen to them handicap themselves to a victim mentality. This is a subtle and deceptive negative thought pattern. Phrases like “I have to work” or “I can’t believe he did that to me” are indicators of a victim mentality. Blaming circumstances and blaming others only handicaps our decision to change something negative into something positive.

Taking full responsibility for your life, your thoughts and your actions is one of the biggest steps in creating a more positive life. We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.

Make positive choices in favor of yourself.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny” ― Lao Tzu

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Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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